November 13, 2013
An Ode to Scaffolding

The skyline of the nation’s capital is in the process, I am sorry to tell you, of becoming considerably less epic. Starting today, the blue-and-black scaffolding that has bolstered the Washington Monument since an earthquake struck it two years ago is being removed, tube by metal tube. The most phallic monument in all the land will once again stand tall and proud and free.
This is sad news. Because the scaffolding that cover(ed) the monument was, actually, kind of awesome. At night, the building’s vestigial layer was gorgeous, lighting up the 129-year-old symbol of the American experiment like some kind of be-obelisked disco ball. During the day, its painters’-tape blue added interest and intrigue to a structure that is otherwise smooth and white. It reminded viewers that everything, even that which is smooth and white, is a work in progress. The scaffolded Monument, all in all, was ugly and beautiful, perfect and flawed, product and process. And, really, what could make a better symbol of the country it celebrates?
Read more. [Image: Flickr/Paulo Ordoveza]

An Ode to Scaffolding

The skyline of the nation’s capital is in the process, I am sorry to tell you, of becoming considerably less epic. Starting today, the blue-and-black scaffolding that has bolstered the Washington Monument since an earthquake struck it two years ago is being removed, tube by metal tube. The most phallic monument in all the land will once again stand tall and proud and free.

This is sad news. Because the scaffolding that cover(ed) the monument was, actually, kind of awesome. At night, the building’s vestigial layer was gorgeous, lighting up the 129-year-old symbol of the American experiment like some kind of be-obelisked disco ball. During the day, its painters’-tape blue added interest and intrigue to a structure that is otherwise smooth and white. It reminded viewers that everything, even that which is smooth and white, is a work in progress. The scaffolded Monument, all in all, was ugly and beautiful, perfect and flawed, product and process. And, really, what could make a better symbol of the country it celebrates?

Read more. [Image: Flickr/Paulo Ordoveza]

  1. bnzene reblogged this from theatlantic
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  6. ck2219 reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    I fully agree. It was like an awesome and huge art installation.
  7. s3t reblogged this from theatlantic
  8. agelaius reblogged this from theatlantic
  9. ohbignerds reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    really sad to see the scaffolding go.
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  18. chrisdwoo reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Boo! RETURN THE SCAFFOLDING! It was just super cool.
  19. yeshellooo reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Yes i am quite sad about this. The lit of scaffolding is really something to see.
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