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And the Snow Came

Captain Nemo has come and gone.  Not a great name for a storm in my view. Nevertheless, in Worcester, MA we got a bit over two feet of the white stuff to deal with.  While I did get out into the storm for a bit, the images were so so at best.  The action as we all know, came in the middle of the night and when it came, it really wasn’t safe out there.  The Governor of the state made the right call, so most of us made it through.  I have continued to work on the Elm Park project, which I blogged about last month.  The images here were taken after a more moderate snow fall, a few weeks back.  They do illustrate one of the challenges associated with maintaining contemplative infrastructure in our area:  the weather.

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Perhaps their design of wood and cast iron was just not meant for our area.  After all, that wood is going to take a beating.

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Perhaps in fact the design is an anachronism, a throw back, I thought.  So, I asked a bunch of young people, College students in a Sustainability course.  I put it to them:  Pretend I’m the head of the Parks Department.  Tell me what I should do.  Should we give up on this and try a different design?

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Interestingly, they had many good ideas, but didn’t like that one, at all.  (Except maybe trying pressure treated lumber.)  And my group of students included a sizable number of engineers, folks who love to create new technology.  Nope they said, given the history of the Park and the feel of the Park, this is the design they should maintain.  I was interested to note their understanding of the relationship between our history and our human needs. So how do we deal with this so that the benches are ready to go with the snow leaves us?  Hard to say.   I have noted that this is one of  the least searched on blog posts I’ve written in some time.  I don’t think the problem is the photography, at least I hope not.

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Tech note:  Speaking of old designs, these were all shot on film.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sandra #

    Beautiful! Are those horse-drawn carriage tracks behind the graceful benches?

    February 10, 2013
  2. I do recognize these bench frames from a previous post, I believe. It is all a question of material choice as to the infrastructure’s longevity. But if they cannot use a cedar or teak, maybe the new hybrid of recycled wood and recycled plastic will hold up.
    I love the arched bridge in the first image, James.

    February 16, 2013

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