• T Clark
    3.2k
    Previously I started a discussion called "Beautiful Things." So, I'd like to start a similar thread with pictures of structures. Primarily beautiful or well designed ones, but craptacular ones are welcome. Houses, skyscrapers, bridges, communities, churches, warehouses, government buildings, ruins.... Beautiful (or egregious) architecture, engineering, decoration.

    I live in a formerly industrial town in Massachusetts. Driving around, I see evidence of that history. New England comes as close as anywhere in the US, except for former Spanish colonies and some American Indian pueblos, to being old. I particularly love bridges. The railroad came through this town in 1848. Here are some of my favorite bridges and a tunnel. As you can see, the rails have been removed and a rail trail built. It is a bit controversial, partly because adding safety railing is not very aesthetically pleasing. I understand the sentiment, but, as an engineer, seeing the structures reused makes up for that.

    b3luulcvn42vb5o6.jpg

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  • T Clark
    3.2k
    This is plagiarism from an earlier discussion, but since they are the most beautiful things in the world and are structures, I'm including them again.

    Incan architecture. Machu Piccu:
    80_-_Machu_Picchu_-_Juin_2009_-_edit.2.jpg

    By Martin St-Amant (S23678) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

    Cusco:

    CuscoPiedra12angulo.jpg

    By Martin St-Amant (S23678) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Baden
    7.6k
    prabavjzembwtmh8.jpg

    Partial building front, Thailand. Took it the other day. Three people liked it on Instagram so it must be awesome. That aside, I find these types of structure both craptacular and fantabulous.
  • Baden
    7.6k
    Seeing as you didn't ask, have a couple more from Ningbo, China.

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    Attachments
    IMG_20171009_012842_260 (254K)
    IMG_20170906_191850_879 (252K)
  • T Clark
    3.2k
    Seeing as you didn't ask, have a couple more from Ningbo, China.Baden

    Are these all also both egregious and wonderful?

    Do they come under the heading of "vernacular architecture," buildings that might be commonplace or ugly by themselves but which contribute to the character of their neighborhood?
  • Baden
    7.6k


    The first one is part of a relatively new business district in Southern Ningbo (Actually, they have a building there that looks very like the Chrysler building in NY. It's funny how from nothing, these places spring up). Anyway, fairly typical new China and well-integrated into its own mini-neighbourhood. I just liked the lines from that angle. The second one is the back of a more traditional restaurant (as far as I remember). A bit more character to it, and I liked the colour. The last one is an art gallery or museum or something along those lines nearer the centre of the city. Certainly one of the better designed newer buildings and it caught my eye for that reason. There's nothing particularly special about any of them.
  • TimeLine
    2.7k
    Took it the other day. Three people liked it on Instagram so it must be awesome.Baden
    Yeah, but when you compare the total number of followers to likes, you're like a quantum Kardashian.

    Does it need to be manmade? I love seeing places like this...

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  • Baden
    7.6k
    quantum Kardashian.TimeLine
    My new female alias. Love it. :100:
  • T Clark
    3.2k
    Does it need to be manmade? I love seeing places like this...TimeLine

    As long as it's in the spirit.
  • T Clark
    3.2k
    I love towns. Maybe it's because I grew up in a small town in Delaware:

    wnzthpazi8juowz3.jpg

    That's Mt. Olivet Methodist Church on the right. I was an acolyte there - sort of a low-rent alter boy. I was Senior Patrol Leader of the Boy Scout troop that met in the basement.

    My grandparents lived about an hour away on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

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    The town was always a mix of very rich people, very poor people, watermen, and farmers. I was born in the hospital there while my mother was living with my father's parents while he was in Germany in the Army. Here's another town on the Eastern Shore where my wife and I were married.

    n4j36wck7ivqvbdp.jpg

    I love the way buildings sit in small towns, usually none standing out too much but all fitting together. Everywhere I've been I've seen these types of towns. I especially like the ones in the Middle Atlantic states - Delaware, Maryland, Southeastern Pennsylvania. The buildings have a feeling about them that's different from New England and the South. The church, which is not the one where we were married, is a good example.

    My other grandfather was born in a small town in Vermont where we spent a few weeks in the summer. My mother is buried nearby along with her father and mother.

    mnm18ofnym28en6w.jpg
  • Bitter Crank
    7.6k
    If you like rail trails and find yourself trapped in SW Wisconsin with nothing to do, check out the Elroy Sparta Trail, the FIRST rail to bicycle trail project in the country. It's about 30 miles long and has 2 or 3 tunnels, one about 3/4 miles long. The trail follows a piece of the Chicago and North Western Railroad trackage. CNW became part of Canadian National Railroad. Of course the tunnels are dark, so you can walk through in the dark. there are drainage gutters on each side of the trail in the tunnel. Wisconsin is beautiful in the fall.

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    There is a modest trail fee.
  • Bitter Crank
    7.6k
    Here's a picture of my hometown in 1890, about. These two blocks on opposite side of the road are partially intact. The park is still there.

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    A few years later, around 1900-1910, the place was looking a lot more prosperous.

    tumblr_p5vc1rgpAQ1s4quuao4_500.gif

    Here's the place quite recently.

    tumblr_p5vc1rgpAQ1s4quuao10_540.jpg

    I attending first and second grade in this nice old brick and limestone building with slate roof and copper trim. After second grade I was dragged off to work in the iron mines of SE Minnesota with just my little pick, shovel, and little tin pail. Life was cruel back in the 1950s. People don't realize how much we suffered. It was salvaged in the 1960s--taken apart for the fine old-growth lumber in it, and nicely cut limestone. There were only 8 rooms -- but big, with very high ceilings. Maybe it could have been adapted for some use (don't know what, really). Salvage was probably the best way to reuse it.

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    Chatfield has a Carnegie Library. It had a distinct bookish odor to it. It's still there, but has had an architecturally appropriate addition.

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  • T Clark
    3.2k
    After second grade I was dragged off to work in the iron mines of SE Minnesota with just my little pick, shovel, and little tin pail. Life was cruel back in the 1950s. People don't realize how much we suffered.Bitter Crank

    I don't see an emoji in your post. Did you really have to go in the mines?

    I do love the towns. And every town I've lived in or even spent time in had a library where I spent much of my time. The town where I live now has a Carnegie library also. It also has been renovated in a reasonably appropriately manner.
  • Bitter Crank
    7.6k
    Did you really have to go in the mines?T Clark

    Didn't everybody?
  • Bitter Crank
    7.6k
    I don't see an emoji in your post.T Clark

    Why should you?

    After second grade we were moved to a cheesy new elementary school building in like...1955. They attached it to this old building and to the high-school which was built by the WPA in the '30s. They recently tore it down, much to everyone's relief. Nobody misses it. That's a sign of bad architecture.
  • T Clark
    3.2k


    These are great. I assume that's a termite mound. What is glowing?
  • StreetlightX
    3.5k
    It's actually an abandoned termite mound, taken over by fireflys. They're using it to catch prey!
  • T Clark
    3.2k


    And what's with the goat?
  • StreetlightX
    3.5k
    Dem corckscrew horns, yo.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    It's cliche, but when I think about beautiful structures ( as someone who isn't particularly taken with visual beauty), I always think of the view when I walk over the Manhattan bridge, from Brooklyn to Manhattan. These pictures don't do the trip justice, but:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=view+from+manhattan+bridge&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS768US768&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiWq8P1g_rZAhUlnOAKHR5zB84Q_AUICigB&biw=1393&bih=730#imgrc=_
  • Bitter Crank
    7.6k
    Houses, skyscrapers, bridgesT Clark

    If you like bridges, you might like the 'Stone Arch Bridge' across the Mississippi in Minneapolis. It was built by James J. Hill for the Great Northern Railroad in 1883. It served railroad traffic until 1978. By then passenger service had ceased and the large Great Northern station had been torn down. Freight traffic was routed on other lines that didn't go through the middle of DT Minneapolis. It's about 2100 feet long and 38 feet wide. It's the only stone-arch bridge on the Mississippi.

    Today it's part of a very popular bike/walking trail and historical park scene.

    tumblr_p5vf52vXDV1s4quuao1_540.jpg

    The SAB is next to the former center of Minneapolis's flour milling industry. Water from above St. Anthony Falls was piped to turbines which drove milling equipment. Shown here are the out-fall streams from the turbines. All of those mills are now gone, though the foundations are buried under the West River Road embankment.

    This is the site where Gold Medal and Pillsbury flours were once milled and shipped to a store near you. Milling is now done elsewhere.

    stonearchbridge_2.jpg?maxwidth=650&autorotate=false
  • T Clark
    3.2k
    If you like bridges, you might like the 'Stone Arch Bridge' across the Mississippi in Minneapolis.Bitter Crank

    I love arch bridges. You can feel the forces from the trains pushing down and being distributed by the arches onto the supports and onto the piles under the river. It doesn't seem like it should work, but it's been working for thousands of years. I wonder what people thought the first time someone built one. "No effiing way I'm crossing that!"

    The little arch bridge I showed on my first post was for a branch line that carried sulfuric acid and other chemicals to a chemical manufacturing plant.
  • StreetlightX
    3.5k
    fire_ant_forking_raft_bridge.jpg

    fire_ant_curved_raft_float_bridge.jpg

    The most terrifying bridge in the world. This is a fire-ant bridge, constructed to get ants across bodies of water. Incidentally, here is a fire-ant raft, just in case you thought you could sleep well tonight:

    fireantraft-flickrdorisratchford.jpg
  • Bitter Crank
    7.6k
    Here we have a man on his knees in the snow apologizing to a woman he hardly knows for making a possibly inappropriately sexually suggestive comment. You can't be too careful these days. She might have just grabbed him and thrown him off the bridge. And gotten away with murder!

    The pile in the background is Minneapolis.

    tumblr_p5vgd2AKgW1s4quuao1_400.jpg
  • T Clark
    3.2k
    The most terrifying bridge in the world (this is a fire-ant bridge, constructed to get ants across bodies of water).StreetlightX

    Did you read "Leiningen Versus the Ants?" It was standard fare for high school students in the US. It's a short story about a plantation owner's fight against army ants in Brazil. Pretty scary.
  • T Clark
    3.2k
    Here we have a man on his knees in the snow apologizing to a woman he hardly knows for making a possibly inappropriately sexually suggestive comment. You can't be too careful these days. She might have just grabbed him and thrown him off the bridge. And gotten away with murder!Bitter Crank

    After your story about iron mining in the third grade, I'm reluctant to believe anything you write.
  • StreetlightX
    3.5k
    Did you read "Leiningen Versus the Ants?" It was standard fare for high school students in the US. It's a short story about a plantation owner's fight against army ants in Brazil. Pretty scary.T Clark

    Woah. Just read a synopsis. Pretty scary indeed!
  • T Clark
    3.2k


    New York is my favorite city. My mother grew up there and we visited often. Such beautiful buildings.

    Tell me one thing. Why did they change the name of the Triborough Bridge to the RFK? As if NYC traffic isn't bad enough.
  • Bitter Crank
    7.6k
    Is this in South America? I suppose the ants on the underside of this bridge manage not to drown, or not?

    Leiningen Versus the Ants -- great story.

    It seems like there is a large hairy bushy-tailed animal menacing the abandoned termite mound.

    Now, it says that fireflies are beetles. Didn't know that. But they don't feed much as adults (which is when they do their light thing, I suppose) but they are vicious predators when larvae -- they throw up stomach acid on their prey. That would make a great horror film.

    I commend the bower bird for it's excellent taste in blue plastic.
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