Friday, 26 March 2010
This large coffee-table type book is quite a tome on the history of the building of, and life of Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance. Dedicated in 1934 to honour the Victorian soldiers of the First World War. This massive granite monument is the largest state war memorial in Australia.
These photos are from when I went to a Local Studies meeting at the Shrine.
The approach from St Kilda Road was designed to frame the memorial.
The forecourt, and eternal flame. The flame & World War 2 monument were later additions, it was Queen Elizabeth II who dedicated the forecourt and first lit the flame.
The Western courtyard, deep in symbolism. The natural imagery and garden landscape suggest a return to peace.
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Hurricane Katrina left New Orleans in utter devastation on August 29, 2005. New Orleans, was 80% flooded. Parts of it were under 15 feet of water, but the storm surged to over 20-feet high in some areas. This drowning of the city included Six Flags. Now 4 1/2 years have passed, and the fate of Six Flags is undecided.
The park opened in 2000 as Jazzland, before that it was a swamp. The Mega Zeph, a wooden hybrid rollercoaster, was Jazzland's first, signature ride. It has been decaying, the wood rotting and the steel rusting.
Dark, desolate and dejected, this post-apocalyptic setting could be the perfect movie set for a zombie or horror/disaster movie.The statues and busts appear beyond sad and melancholy, now miserable and macarbre. With mud and mildew, chipped faces and bodies overturned. What was once cheerful is now cheerless and downright creepy, its still left to be unmaintained and ravaged by the elements. The statues seem to utter a silent yet never-ending scream.
The eerie silence at Six Flags is beyond unnatural for an amusement park. Left abandoned, Main Street is as deserted as a ghost town. Destroyed by the hurricane and flood waters years ago, the rides rust, the attractions rot, and the buildings crumble.
Urban explorers first have to find a way into this forsaken park and then they risk their necks out of curiosity. Six Flags officials claim the park was 70-80% damaged or destroyed. The defunct park is too expensive to rebuild and too expensive to abandon, so it crouches on the skyline and waits for decay to claim it.
The concession stands still show a scummy waterlinr where 4-7feet of rain & seawater submerged the park for over a month. Six Flags are suing the insurance company for $175 million in damages. They have filed for bankruptcy. The city of New Orleans owned the land and fined Six Flags $3 million dollars and ordered them to vacate the lease. A Nickelodeon redevelopement of the park fell through late last year. In December 2009, Big League Dreams expressed interest in possibly turning it into a sports complex, but New Orleans would need to cough up about $25 million for the cost of construction.
Fuller story and more pictures at WebUrbanist
Monday, 15 March 2010
Friday, 12 March 2010
A New York man, retired. He wanted to use his retirement money wisely, so it would last, and decided to buy a home and a few acres in Portugal. The modest farmhouse had been vacant for 15 years; the owner and his wife had both died, and there were no heirs. The house was sold to pay taxes. There had been several lookers, but the large barn had steel doors, and they had been welded shut. Nobody wanted to go to the extra expense to see what was in the barn, and it wasn't complimentary to the property anyway... so nobody made an offer on the place.
The New York guy bought it at just over half the propetrty's worth, moved in, and set about to tear into the barn...curiosity was killing him. So, he and his wife bought a generator, and a couple of grinders...and cut thru the welds.
What was in the barn...?
The male I was with, when reading the email was agog, drool dripping from his chin, no doubt imagining himself unlocking such a treasure. I was more pragmatic, I wanted to know the story behind the photographs, careless of what particular make & model each was. After being assured that the expression 'barn find' was indeed an accepted & used expression for such a situation, we both searched for more info on the web, and found -
The guy "E" who put up these pictures in February 2007, had stumbled upon a Portugese web forum that contained a large number of pictures of old cars left in a barn, and he put them up on intuh.net, and since then the story of the barn full of classic and not-so-classic cars seems to have taken on a life of its own. The interwebs have been abuzz with theories and he believes the 'New York guy' story is an urban myth.
Tom Cotter says he contacted the photographer who was sworn to secrecy about the cars’ location and the owner’s name. However, he was able to obtain permission from the elusive owner to give the following information:
The owner of the cars was a car dealer in the 1970s and 1980s, and decided to save the more interesting cars that came through his doors. When the barn was full, he padlocked and welded the doors shut. There are 180 cars in the barn, and none of the cars is for sale.
I'm still wondering why you'd build such a huge ugly edifice, fill it, then weld it shut!