Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Room with a View of Destruction

I actually have a really nice office.  Most of my Air Force friends would be jealous because cubicles are generally considered the norm for an office setup.  So, to have an actual office--a corner one with three windows--is pretty rare.  I can't complain about how it gets hot in the summer from the sunshine or cold in the winter from the old windows because I know how lucky I am to actually have that discomfort.  Lately, though, I've had a bonus because the really, really old wind tunnel building that's right outside the corner of  our building is being destroyed.  There are huge machines and extremely talented machine operators out there tearing it apart piece by piece.  I get to watch it out my window and have found myself distracted for a few minutes at a time just marveling at this giant building coming apart in little chunks that are gathered up in big piles on the ground.  I've been carrying around my camera a lot lately trying to practice my manual shots so I finally took a little time to get some shots.

While you can't see the talented man with the torch, you can see the spraying fire as he slices through this giant steel tube.  I wish I had taken a before picture so you could see that this big giant tube actually used to be covered with concrete (like the picture above) and once all that was removed they started cutting it apart into more manageable chunks.
Here's a series of the big giant claw/hand that is grabbing bits of steel and concrete.  It is absolutely amazing how agile this grabber, or whatever you want to call it, actually is!  It can actually grasp one little strand of steel that in the giant pile of scrap looks like a toothpick and gingerly place it on another pile.  It can also drop big ass pieces of concrete onto the pile in a thunderous dusty cloud. 
Hands-on Destruction
It's a beautiful pile of wreckage and rubble and when they drop a really big piece it makes a loud noise and then I realize that I've been staring at my computer for too long and I need to take a break and go back outside to watch some more.  :)
I just spent a good hour googling to find a "before" picture and get some history of the facility.  I can't find much so I may contact the historian and see what I can dig up.  I'll be more diligent about taking pics as the process goes along.


  1. Three windows and walls...lucky you! Your photography rocks! I love your macro blog banner.

  2. I love watching creation, whether it is going up or coming down! My question to you is how do you get work done? :) I would be watching all day.

  3. That first shot with the sparks is really cool( or I guess hot) I forgot you told me you were taking the mastering manual class, how do you like it?

  4. I love your perspective on it. Rather than a sad outlook at something being destroyed, an amazement at the talent of the workers, and their skill at their job! Thanks for the pics!!

  5. It's got to be the Air Force chick in me that loves this stuff -- and you're right, you are lucky with a window! I worked underground for almost three years!

  6. Hi Jen -- I hope you're well and things are going well for you. I've missed your posts!
    All my best,


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Charleston, SC, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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