Olden days’ infrastructure


Olden days’ infrastructure

Originally uploaded by paytonc.

Around a bend on the Chicago river stands this gleaming white palazzo: an exclusive boat club, with a high-ceilinged ballroom and a broad marble terrace, compleat with obelisk-studded balustrade for laughing ladies to langorously lean against during swanky cocktail soirees? No. Its use becomes quite evident upon closer, uh, examination: a sewage pumping station. Once upon a time, Americans cared enough about their public realm — about civic art — to endow even the humblest of shit pumps with architectural grandeur.

(A slightly closer look reveals extensive graffiti under those arches, *on* the giant sewage pipes. Kids these days.)

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