Sunday, 28 August 2016

flotsam and jetsam

As with most infrastructure since the times of the Ancients—the Romans being civil engineers par excellence, urban populations have grown by factors while the means and conveyance to bring in necessities and then to haul it all away only creep along until compelled.  Maybe there is some virtue in building a road to no where.
One again gleaming example comes to us from Hyperallergic’s profile of the Victorian-era Crossness Pumping station, commissioned with the odious task of taking sewage out of London in 1865 in response to a cholera epidemic and a particular stifling summer along the banks of the polluted Thames referred to flatly as the Great Stink. The station was in operation until it was relieved by more modern treatment plants—that didn’t just disperse the problem, and sat derelict and neglected until just this month, reopening after extensive restoration, for visitors to explore and marvel at this feat of engineering.