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Unbuilt Minneapolis: the Horrors

  • Blog Post by: James Lileks
  • March 25, 2014 - 12:23 PM

You’re not a hoarder. You’re an archivist! That’s why some people don’t throw away those old Do you have VHS and Betamax tapes in the basement They may be the only copy of an old cable-access show or a 1985 commercial or a news anchor’s brief appearance filling in for the top dog. You could digitize them yourself, which of course you won’t, or donate them to an organization that will. The Internet Archive is uploading 40,000 tapes to the Internet - and it’s one person’s collection. Fast Company:

When Trevor von Stein first heard the story of a woman named Marion Stokes who spent decades recording television news, tape-by-tape, in her home, something resonated with him. "I just sort of tingled," he says. "I understood this woman a little bit." Von Stein also had something akin to a hoarding impulse, though most of what he kept--a large music library, his photos--was digital. And he believed in Stokes’s mission. “From one kindred spirit to another," he says, "I thought we had to do it justice.”

Soon after he learned about Stokes, von Stein became a volunteer at the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization that plans to digitize and make public the 40,000 tapes Stokes left behind when she passed away in 2012.

More here.

COOL Says io9: “We love staring at posters for our favorite movies for hours and hours. And you know what makes it even better? When those posters move." Agreed. Some of these you might have seen before, and not all are animated GIFs; some on this page are in Flash form, so don't bother if you're on an iPad or iPhone. 

Here’s one you haven’t seen, because I just made it:

(In case you’re curious: 15 frame grabs, with the right side of the poster pasted on each with the layer set to “lighten,” then compiled in GIFbrewery.)

URBANISM Another piece on unbuilt cities - in this case LA, which attracted so many utopian schemes. But Minneapolis had its share of unrealized projects as well, and in each case we are very, very lucky they didn’t follow through. The soulless complex originally pitched for the Government Center:

Instant Big Downtown, I guess, but deadly dull. That wasn’t the only scheme for the idea: there was something called the Short Megaplan, which would have built a massive complex between 3rd and 4th avenue South, from City Hall to the freeway. Good Lord:

For perspective: that’s the Foshay.

It would have brought the barren and brutal concrete aesthetic of Cedar Square to downtown.

Say hello to this brute, which would have stood where the Opus Towers on 5th rise gracefully today:

That’s how it looks in the drawing: ready to fall over.

Not all the plans were bad: there's no denying the beauty of the 1917 Plan, even though it was generic French-City style. 

Should they have made the entire downtown look like that? No. A few blocks? Yes.


View Larger Map

AAAEEEEIIIII Bruce Wayne nods approvingly: Andrew Rossig, Marco Markovich, and Kyle Hartwell B.A.S.E. jumped off the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower in September 2013, landed safely, and escaped capture. They also filmed it. That they did. B.A.S.E., btw, stands for Buildings, Antennae, Span, and Earth.

Wikipedia notes that this pastime has a long history: n 1912, Franz Reichelt, tailor, jumped from the first deck of the Eiffel Tower testing his invention, the coat parachute. He died.

There’s film of that, too.

VotD This is going around the internet like a brush fire today; everyone’s linking to it. Who am I to be different? The ultimate Generic Brand Video. (Has a cuss word.)

This Is a Generic Brand Video from Dissolve on Vimeo.

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