Archive for May, 2015

A ghost neighborhood in St. Louis, depopulated due to flooding

These are former residential streets in St. Louis that have been permanently evacuated in the 2000s and most of the houses demolished due to severe, persistent flooding, mainly in the basements. There are definitively no plans for resettlement. The problems had been noted in the 1950s by the Metropolitan Sewer District and persisted until the demolition, and still persist in varying degrees in nearby inhabited streets. The cause of the flooding seems to have been poor sewer and city planning dating back at least to the 1940s. My understanding is that, in short, there should have been either more sewers or fewer buildings. and the fate was sealed decades ago, leaving no other option apart from vacating entire blocks.

The collapsed house is the only one like it in the immediate area. Nearly all the others were razed without a trace; the few remaining (more…)

The Stalinist DUMBO known as Industry City

Saturday I was at Industry City, a gargantuan 100-year-old factory and warehouse complex of a dozen buildings each fully as long as two football fields on the waterfront in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, 9 miles /14 km from central Manhattan. The original name, Bush Terminal, was changed to Industry City in the 1980s.

The place was teeming with designy design people buzzing around designy design studios and Brooklyny artisanal food stalls with enough repurposed wood and rusted metal to reach from here to the sun. The whole thing is pretty icky, basically like DUMBO* on a Stalinist scale and manages to combine the worst elements of both so a friend and I are calling it Stalinist DUMBO. Heartreaking that so much dramatic space and the memory of all those 20th century factory workers seems focused now on $4,000 chairs.

*extremely gentrified former-warehouse area in Brooklyn – Down Underneath the Manhattan Bridge Overpass for our overseas readers

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