The Trade Center building – home of Wolfram Research World HQ – is looking a little different these days.

The west entrance has metal benches, some landscaping and a few ashtrays (too bad everybody smokes in the stairwells). The lobby has new furniture (cheap, ugly), new tile (less slippery than before) and a new paint job (aka [censored] brown). The first-floor building directory, previously a sheet of black paper behind a clear plastic cover (held to the wall with screws at the corners), is now much fancier: it’s an actual three-dimensional metal box, with replaceable metal strips inside for the tenants. So when a tenant moves in (which is rare) or out (which is rather more common), only their particular strip need be replaced.

The realtor on the first floor needs a new strip, since the current one says "Purdential".

(The rumor is that all this renovation & remodeling was done to entice Wolfram Research to renew their lease. I have no idea whether that’s true, but it’s an interesting rumor.)