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1 minute reading time (173 words)

Steel: A Beautiful Mess

steel Domino Park - Photo Courtesy Jeanie Abbett

Not everyone sees an intricate jumbling of steel as a beautiful mess, but I do.

As we grind through engineering and drawings with computers assisting us every step of the way, we become disconnected. Construction schedules are so fast that we step on site and see steel progressing so rapidly, worried about the milestone dates, we don’t step back to observe the achievements and the sheer beauty of the steel.  

Then something comes along that anchors us. Getting photography of Domino Park from my artist sister, Jeanie Abbett, did just that for me. Photography has the effect of putting life on pause. The remnants of the Domino Sugar Refinery along the East River in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was not intended to be architecturally beautiful, it was built with function in mind. The 80-foot gantry crane that was used to unload freight from ships and the steel that supported the elevated walkway remain intact, sitting there with exquisite beauty. Do you see it? Contrasting, raw, complex, interesting, pleasing, patina, composition, rivets, unintended consequences, bold, beautiful.

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