Sunday, July 17, 2011

Loo with a View

I went to work on Friday, a short-term temp assignment. Of course, I took my camera with me and found several opportunities for pictures, including portions of the brick-paved sidewalks and streets near Monument Circle. There is a lot of construction taking place downtown, primarily maintenance and improvement of existing streets. It's time for the bricks to be reset because the base has loosened or worn away, causing the pavers to rattle and rock when walked or driven on.  

The reworking in this area of the brick pavement appears to be an effort to make a bigger arc in curbing at the street corners just south of the Monument. (An arc in a corner? Huh?) The bricks were first laid about thirty years ago in an effort to improve the appearance of the Circle and to attract visitors to the downtown area. During the Christmas shopping season, the Monument is decorated with strands of lights and becomes "The World's Largest Christmas Tree."

I took a number of pictures through the bus window as we rode into town, among them the pictures of the new Wishard Hospital construction site below. The hospital began as City Hospital in 1859, opened first to treat victims of a smallpox epidemic, then served as a military hospital during the Civil War, treating about 13,000 sick and wounded soldiers. The hospital changed and grew with the people of the city; among many other "firsts," being the first of the city's hospitals to treat African-American patients, to admit African-American physicians to practice at the hospital and, in 1943 graduated its first class of African-American nurses from their diploma nursing program. 

Since 1909, Wishard has been affiliated as a teaching hospital with the Indiana University School of Medicine. With that affiliation and growth, the hospital building has become a warren of tunnels, clinics, offices and hallways to the point there was no other place to grow. In 2009, Wishard reached a land lease agreement with IUPUI to allow the new facility to be built. It's expected to be completed in 2014.

I am going out on a limb, but I do believe the concrete column above is an embryonic elevator shaft. At top left of the column's forms there is a green rectangle which has all the proportions and appearances of a portable toilet.
Right now, the penthouse with the best view around is a green plastic outhouse, a loo with a view.


While there have been as many as five cranes on site, this photo shows only three. The area surrounding the main construction site is a small village of contractors' shacks, replete with various types of heavy equipment. Obviously, it's a hole in the ground that needs my attention, but I need to figure out how the SDP camera can get to it. Hmmm.


dive said...

What a cool post, Speedway. Travelogue, history and a construction site full of boys' toys. What more could one ask for?
That Christmas tree video is great fun, especially when he starts singing to himself. It's a really impressive sight all lit up.
The history of the hospital is inspiring I'm glad they got the money to do what they want and give it a whole new lease of life.

Yes, that's definitely an elevator shaft with a portaloo at the top. Well spotted! I've used building site loos in many an odd location but none quite so precarious (or with such a great view).
Have a word with the gate man at the construction site. They probably won't let you in (at least not without hard hat, safety boots and hi-vis jacket) but on large construction sites there's usually a platform or a hole in the fence where the public can see what's going on. And guys on construction sites always love the opportunity to talk to women!

Speedway said...

Oh-oh-oh, Dive, on the wishard website there's a webcam feature where you can follow the construction. Also a time lapse feature. And lotsa porta-potties dotted throughout! I believe the camera may be located on top of the VA Hospital, which is just across the drive (To the right, outside the frame of my bottom picture).

dive said...

Cool! I love those time lapse construction movies. When the big mall under the park by Norwich Castle was being built I got the dumb job of weekly changing the film in the camera mounted right on top of the Castle battlements. Boy howdy that was nasty in the wind and rain.

Petrea Burchard said...

That top shot is a fantastic photo. I love it!

Speedway said...

Thank you, Petrea. I'm generally so reserved that it's difficult to approach people, so things like this are attractive to me.

Oh - would more than one crane on a site constitute a rookery?

mabepi said...

The hospital was named Wishard fairly recently as such things go. Wishard was a community physician and director of the hospital for many years. But money talks, and the practitioner will be displaced in the title by a family of 40 million-dollar donors named Eskenazi (Sidney and Lois).

Speedway said...

Hi, Alison. The hospital became Wishard in 1976, a couple years before I moved here. I hope they find a way of retaining/using the name in the new hospital. I don't think Dr. Wishard will be ignored.