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     Behold the stylish wastewater treatment plan in Durand, Wisconsin, 30 miles downstream from Eau Claire on the Chippewa River. Notice the interesting placement of the historical marker billboard with the blank planes of the wall, the single window, and the decorative logo — all very Zen gardenish. Of course, the real love was lavished on the front of the building, lest anyone suspect that this is not masterpiece of the Western canon. The building within a building scheme reminds me of the creature in the original Alien movie — a head within a head. Creepy as all get out. Well, this is how its done out in the American heartland. Shout-out to Nik Novak for sending’er in. He writes: “Stately symmetrical entrance?  Two sets of Greek pillars?  Manicured lawn leading to traditionally conceived, regionally renowned edifice?”

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

13 Responses to “January 2014” Subscribe

  1. CatMara January 3, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    Tonight, on “Pimp My Water Treatment Plant”!

    “Yo dawg, I heard you like porticos so we put a portico on your portico!”

  2. GoLightRail January 5, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    A faux portico within a faux portico leading to a non-entrance. Compared to the porticos side, the street-facing side is work of art.

  3. RobH January 5, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Thank goodness the money ran out before they could extend the theme to the other walls

  4. flyover country January 5, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    UNCANNY! I often have nightmares that include this building. I am circling it, looking for the entrance because I need to use the restroom inside. No door is to be found. Then I wake up, just about to piss the bed.

  5. carstars January 7, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    I bet it really looks great when the box lighting is on at night! And what % is needed for art on this project.

  6. Toby Bo January 17, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    Good example of theme park architecture with the imagineered facade leading to the processing shed.Notice the twee house worshipped inside the temple of the American dream leading to the slaughterhouse of the mortgage industry.Fun factory,sewage factory or money factory just keep the pipes hidden and plus the show.Celebration,Florida’s water treatment plant is named Camelot.Pardon me while I recall the lyrics.The Segways chase the ice cream trucks…

  7. Sandero January 17, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    It’s funny! And meant to be.

  8. k.cobley January 20, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    Before I read the spiel on the wall I thought it was an elcheapo church, that’s what the front looks like!

  9. Alan Art January 26, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    the sodium vapor kleig light is what tops it off for me. And I can only wonder at the amount of toxic exhaust and green house gasses are emitted from the practice of lawn keeping.

    One day, I hope at least someone will start a community garden there.

  10. AKlein January 30, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    As JHK might say, a cartoon building for cartoon people. This is the kind of crap built by people who are not earnest. Basically, they don’t care. Question is, what DO they care about? What IS the object of their concern? Or, perhaps, they just don’t care about anything. Talk about nihilism.

  11. AKlein January 30, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Anybody have any idea of what that thing is at top center of the outer (bigger) entranceway facade? Looks like a blowhole. How fitting.

  12. communitymotive February 1, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

    Folk art in what is probably a resilient community.

    durand-wi.com/

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durand,_Wisconsin

  13. rollie July 5, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

    Most of these elicit something closer to tears, but this one made me LOL!

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