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City Living

The Art of Reinvention


I've got some modern art I'll sell you... Bill Chappell/NPR hide caption

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The way cities reshape themselves amazes me — especially when you get a look at the tools they use to do it. Get a load of this thing: It's huge, it's heavy, and for good measure it has blades.

This thing might look reasonable at first glance. But notice the cars in the background, and you'll get a sense of the scale. It's like 10 feet tall. I have no idea, or at least very little, of what this thing's for. But I'm certain it gets the job done.

It actually reminded me of a Richard Serra piece, built as it is to dwarf human scale and expectations — especially in a small Washington, D.C., neighborhood that is being rebuilt to accommodate its new baseball park.



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Judging by the pipe in the background, it looks like it is for trench stabilization where the work is taking place.

Sent by Leigh Cutler | 9:01 AM | 6-17-2008

Leigh is exactly right. This device keeps the sides of trenches from collapsing. Trenches collapsing is very bad for trench workers, therefore a device (as shown above) was developed. To summarize: Buried in dirt bad... trench stabilization good. Have a fab day.

Sent by Captain Cornhole | 11:20 PM | 6-17-2008