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Thoughts on the world’s largest concrete pour

February 18, 2014

In case you haven’t heard, a world record was broken this weekend in Los Angeles. A massive crew of workers poured 21,200 cubic yards of concrete, which is (imagine echo voice here) THE WORLD’S LARGEST CONCRETE POUR (POUr POur Pour pour). I first heard a snippet about it on KPCC. It wasn’t the concrete pouring that grabbed my attention though, it was a quote from the reporter.

When completed in 2016 the structure will be the tallest west of the Mississippi.

I don’t get it. Did someone miss the memo that we live in Earthquake country? I understand that it’s new and will have the “latest technology” to withstand everything from a tsunami to a riot, but that kind of confidence makes me nervous. Did they learn nothing from the Titanic?

I understand I’m being very Chicken Little about the whole thing, but keep in mind I grew up not only in Los Angeles, but in the San Fernando Valley, where everything is flat and spread out. And have you seen the tallest building in Memphis? Right. The Wilshire Corridor is my worst nightmare. I’m rarely comfortable in any structure above 5 stories because I have visions of being trapped, without air or water, calling out for help until I die because no one can hear me from under 2 million pounds of glass and steel rubble. (I know.) You might be saying, “But what about New York? She loves New york!” And you would be right- I just don’t ever want to stay in a high rise. I’d rather sleep on a friend’s floor in brooklyn than the penthouse at The Plaza.

Another thing that bothered me was a quote from the adjudicator-

“A lot of times when I come to places it’s for something really frivolous. Coming here, this is such a great thing for the community, for Los Angeles, the downtown area, that I’m really excited to be part of it. And setting the Guinness World Record is just a small part of it. This is more about revitalizing the community.”

First let me say, I am all for the jobs this is creating. Second, let me shoot that down and say, what?! Did I miss a memo? Downtown Los Angeles is not an area that needs revitalizing anymore, and certainly not through new construction. It seems to me to be such a waste to build a whole new building. There are architecturally beautiful, if crumbling, historic buildings everywhere that need a little TLC. I’m not kidding, if you live here or are planning a visit you must check out the Los Angeles Conservancy‘s website, find a tour and take it. These people love our city and know all the hidden gems.

Also, there are massive numbers of homeless people, many of whom are mentally ill and/or addicted to drugs who need and deserve our help. All this new construction will do is force them out. It will either push them west or bus them to Rosemead or wherever and let that city deal with the problem.

I don’t want to be a killjoy and poo poo something people are excited about, but I can’t help but feel slighted as a citizen of Los Angeles when I see such waste and opulence when there are other, better options.

My 2 cents.

What are yours?

*All quotes are from the KPCC article on the pour.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 18, 2014 10:59 am

    I agree, Over here, they waste money on things,That could be put on the back burner, because they have a budget the have to use up. When they could be sheltering the Homeless with the money, if they are going to build,maybe they should consider more Shelters for them, it gets very cold and wet over here all year around. Governments are selfish once they get in, All promises and they never keep them, I feel for the homeless and see it every time i head into Dublin, I give them money when i can, no one in this day and age should be left without a home, alot say they bring it on them selves, i say walk in their shoes for a bit, you don’t know their backstory, and all the beautiful builiding’s old castles and churches that could be restored, instead of the new crappy lego connect building’s that look awful beside the stone ones, Have you ever been to Ireland Clementine, some nice history over here, but its fading fast, which is fast, Dublin is changing to much and not for the better, I may post you some pictures if you might like to see 🙂 if that is ok with you

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