The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #113


A reader writes:

I am pretty sure that's an American flag, and the mountains look New Mexicoish (to me, who has never been there).  And there's palm trees, and the friendly gardeners on Google tell me Las Cruces has palm trees. So, Las Cruces it is, looking East, I think, and probably in the downtown redevelopment somewhere. Are there extra credits for doing the whole thing on a little iPhone screen?

Not enough this time. Another:

I have played a handful times and never even been close. Anything with desert-esque looking mountains and palm trees gets a standard guess of Las Vegas, my hometown. So, Vegas it is. The institutional window treatment, parking garage, and construction makes me think it could be UNLV. Whatever. It's probably Minsk.


Mitt Romney's new parking garage at his home in La Jolla, California?


Aurora, Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, looking west. This looks like a picture taken while parts of the campus were under construction. It may be from Building  500, the old Fitzimmons Army Hospital, given the height of the window from which the picture is taken.

Many readers guessed Aurora. Another:

It has all the color schemes of Tucson, and even the mountains in the background look like those seen in Tucson.

Close. Another:

I was recently at Pheonix's Sky Harbor, claimed to be the most friendly airport in the USA. In the security line I was told I had an insulin pump, which I didn't. I had to do the Full Monty. I was there for five hours, since I did not make my connection. So I had a lot of time to look around. This seems to be it!

Too close for comfort. Another:

Oh I know this one:

This is the view from the US Federal Courthouse in downtown Phoenix looking south at the future site of the new headquarters for the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office.  Very clever, as Joe Arpaio faces racial profiling charges here this week.  The building on the right is the Justice Court in Phoenix.  (See map here)

A bird's eye view from a reader:

Screen shot 2012-07-31 at 12.35.27 PM


This photo is some kind of fake out following last week’s photo. Many of the correct answers were from the Phoenix area, because they were frequent visitors to the resort community of Puerto Penasco, Mexico.


We are looking south towards South Mountain (the low mountain on the horizon) and the Estrella Mountains over to the right.  The picture was taken from the US District Court building at 401 W. Washington.  Yeah, I'm a local.


That photo had to have been taken from the Sandra Day O'Connor United States Courthouse at 401 West Washington Street. The red building in the right of the photo is the Maricopa County Justice of the Peace building. The gray parking garage is part of the Maricopa County Superior Court records office and is a US Passport Office. The building immediately north of them is the Federal Courthouse and only building that would have an elevated view looking south on them. I am sure that some one might be able to get all fancy with angles and guess the window it's from, but the address is as close as I could get.

Some fancy angles:

Screen shot 2012-07-28 at 11.37.22 AM

An eagle-eyed reader writes:

I’ve only been to Phoenix a couple times, but the mountains seemed familiar, so I started my search there. I zoomed in on the picture and could make out part of the name "J (something) Garage" on the parking garage. I searched Google Maps for garage and after a couple minutes of investigating the results, I stumbled upon the Jackson Street Garage. From that landmark, I oriented myself and everything began to line up.

Another goes ground-level:



Looks like VFYW finally got around to my neck of the woods.  I went to see Jerry Seinfeld when he performed here several years ago, and the first words out his mouth were something to the effect of "the one thing you don't have enough of here are brown buildings".  The drab architecture, the scattered palm and mesquite trees and the virtually cloudless sky can only be Phoenix.


One I recognize! My workplace is less than a quarter mile away. The courthouse is a recent addition to the downtown Phoenix landscape,Sdoc3 having been dedicated in 2000, and features a very futuristic style, with an atrium six stories high and a glass wall on the north side. Stunning inside, but from what I read, plagued by interior climate control problems.

Another bit of trivia: this is the place where Jared Loughner was first arraigned after the shooting of Rep. Giffords and 18 others.


Easy because I work in the building on the right. This is a view south from the Phoenix crime lab across Washington and Jefferson Streets to the Maricopa County Downtown Justice Center, which houses justice courts, probation and pretrial offices, and Maricopa County Public Defenders.  I am a public defender lawyer and I work in that building.


The area from which the photo was taken is a security area that’s closed to the public, so I can’t verify the exact location, but, from the angle, it looks like it was taken from the Chambers of Judge David Campbell, office #623.  However, it may be from the office next door, the Chambers of Judge Murray Snow, office #622, who at this moment is hearing the trial of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for racial profiling.


And two or three blocks to the east is the office of the Birther In Chief of the Southwest District, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  He's located on the 19th floor of the Wells Fargo building.  FYI, here is the link [pdf] to the Sheriff's investigation into a grave national security concern.

Appropriately, a reader shows his papers:

It's my birthday today (proof attached), and as a most unexpected and pleasant surprise, I actually know where the place is for once! As the self-proclaimed "America's Birthdaytoughest Sheriff" was on trial at District Court for racial profiling this past week (and made to look like a complete wimp), I first thought the picture was taken from the County jail area (which includes Sheriff Joe's notorious Tent City) – but a quick search proved otherwise. Then I thought, "what about the courthouse itself where the trial is taking place?" and found the exact view with some ease.

Given the height and location of the picture relative to the other buildings, I guess that it was taken on the top floor (sixth) of the building's south face, most likely from an office that has a window on the third major panel from the SW corner of the courthouse.  I would also guess that many people will accurately figure out this week's VFYW, so the chances of winning the book will be remote, but many thanks for the nice birthday "gift" as I've been struggling with many previous VFYWs on the Dish!

A total of seven readers correctly answered the sixth floor. But the following reader is the only one to have guessed a difficult view in the past without winning, as well as sending this spot-on image:


This one is nearly in my backyard. One look at the photo and I knew it was downtown Phoenix.

In the center of the photo is the construction of the new Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office administration headquarters, which uncovered graves from a former cemetery from the 1800s. The graves had supposedly been moved in 1884 because city leaders didn’t like that the first thing people saw when arriving to Phoenix by train was the cemetery. But, apparently, not all graves had been moved.

The mountain in the background is the appropriately-named South Mountain (on the south side of Phoenix) and the mountains in the distance on the right are the Sierra Estrellas. There’s even a dust devil in the background on the right, a common sight during a long-dry summer in Phoenix.

The other six readers are now on our "Correct Guesser" list, giving them a big edge in future contests. Details from the submitter:

The photograph was taken from the sixth floor of the Sandra Day O'Connor Courthouse at 401 W Washington Street in Phoenix. The photo faces south. I have annotated a screen shot from street view with what I calculate to be my window by counting rooms from the elevator. It was taken from the sixth (top) floor:


Update from a reader who takes issue with our judging process:

Come on, give the prize to that guy who guessed the pic was of Mitt Romney's garage. That was the best guess ever.

Update from another:

You may remember I won last week's contest about Rocky Point, Mexico. In the smallest of small worlds, this week's VFYW contest featured the exact view from my office window. I work on a different floor of the federal courthouse in Phoenix. And I didn't even see the original post for this week, only today's recap.

Our readership never ceases to amaze. Go here for more crazy coincidences from our window contest.