Urban Fossil Value

Now that I'm back from traveling, and actually in possession of the cord that connects my camera to my computer, I've begun uploading photos from the Obscura Day California City expedition last weekend; you can check out the Flickr set here, as well as a larger Flick pool here and an even larger group of tagged photos here.

[Image: Somewhere inside the mazework of California City].

I'll be putting up a proper post about the day soon; for now, don't miss GOOD magazine's ruminations on the day's multiple, overlapping groups, walks, and car rides, including the future possible effects of expeditions like these, the growing list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and cultural preservation around the globe more broadly. California City as an indispensable site of world heritage? Its streets fossils of a real estate dream that never happened, perhaps the whole place should be preserved for some future museum of spatial ambitions gone wrong.

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Blogger Unknown said...

When I previously saw the aerial shots, I was imagining optimistically paved roads, covered with dust. Seeing that they're actually cleared dirt paths, suddenly the entire site is transformed for me. Now, rather than thinking of the site as a failed development project, I can only think of it as a cargo-cult version of a So-Cal suburb, which is even more interesting...

March 24, 2010 5:42 PM  
Blogger Enid Verdant said...

Given enough time, the asphalt actually melts away in that kind of heat. Closer to town you can see bits of evidence of past pavement, often no more than a grease spot.

Cargo cult or a sociology professor's research project? We'll probably never know.

California Valley, west of Bakersfield in the Carizo Plain area, is another failed city, this time with no construction whatsoever, just streets. You can still find lots for sale on eBay.

March 24, 2010 8:55 PM  

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