Monday, February 18, 2008

The Endangered Species I'd Like to Save

I was surfing today for pictures of chemical plants (I'm a geek. It's what I do, ok.), and happened across Haiko Hebig's Endangered Machinery blog. He writes,
What started as a journey to forgotten places of closed down heavy industries in Germany's former economic heartland, now is a photographic coverage of both closed down and operating sites throughout Europe. Focus is on iron and steel, coke and coal, energy and transportation.
These are wonderful photos, and the ones showing shuttered industrial plants are poignant, and wistful. This is the one endangered species that I vote to save. Check out a listing of all his photos on one webpage.

Some of my favorites:


Galileo Blogs said...

Those are beautiful photos. I love the sight of industrial plants. The larger and more complex looking, the better, especially when they are lit against the night sky, as in your last photo.

On a more sour note, in New York City, living manufacturing is pushed out by zoning, tax, labor and environmental rules, yet the city seeks to forcefully preserve dead factories, such as the Domino's sugar refinery on the Brooklyn waterfront that was shut down several years ago. By law, that relic cannot be torn down, since it was recently declared a legal "landmark."

In this case, I would like to see them tear it down...

Ergo said...

Wow, I love that last picture!

In fact, just the other day I was telling my best friend about a recent experience I had: India has a very thin manufacturing industry; the country is mostly agrarian and service-industry oriented.

Therefore, one night as I went traveling to visit someone who lived at the edge of Mumbai city, I happened to pass by the manufacturing area, with heavy oil industries, and was moved by what I saw. It was dark outside and from the distance I could only see spots of light on the factory walls. And far off in the background, I saw tongues of flames twisting out of a factory's chimney.

It was such a beautiful sight. I had to get off the rickshaw and stand by the road, facing the factories, for a while. It reminded me of the world of Hank Rearden, and Wyatt's torch. :) Very beautiful.

Kendall J said...

GB, you hit the irony of this post right between the eyes.

These plants, as living functioning entities, are more worthy of honor, than the meagerest soup kitchen, but only in death do they become worthy of "cultural" preservation. I blame the mixed economy and collectivism for that. They *should* be preserved long before they die, and they can be, but only if one thing exists: lassiez faire capitalism.

I'm probably the only guy I know who would consider the skyline of the Houston Ship Channel more worthy for a view than the Colorado Mountains. Someday, when I have enough money, I'm going to commission a painting of just such a place as the plant in the 4th example I show. Maybe the same guy who came up with the idea for this painting: ;-)

Kendall J said...

By the way, Mr. Hebig does say that prints of any of his photos are available. I'm thinking about picking some up. Maybe I'll decorate my study in "post-industrial"...

Kendall J said...

Ergo, well I guess that makes two of us, then. ;-)

The plant you saw probably belongs to Reliance Industries, an Indian powerhouse and Fortune 500 company.