Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 4: It's Nice to Get Where You're Going

Today we arrived.

All in all, it was a pretty good day.  We started out from Middle-of-Nowhere-but-West-of-Nashville, and drove straight to the Parthenon.  That's right, the Parthenon!

The Spokesdogs really know how to show a building, don't they?

In 1897, this replica of the real Parthenon in Athens was built for an exhibition in Nashville, in the newly created Centennial Park.  That they chose this particular monument, from among all the available ancient buildings (or anything else that they could have done, for that matter), is a wonderful testament to the 19th Century reverence for the Aristotelian ideals that allowed both the Ancient Greek and Early American cultures to flourish.

Observe how the fluting (the grooves) in the columns create shadows that reveal the column's round shape.  If the column were purely round, rather than fluted, it would appear much more flat, with just a single shadow line.

The only thing I think is a little weird about the Nashville Parthenon is the color and texture of the stone. The real Parthenon is white marble.  This one is some kind of composite stone, with exposed aggregate.  The color is a tan/buff color.  I can't quite wrap my head around this obviously non-historically-accurate choice, for a project of this historical magnitude.  They clearly went to great lengths to copy the building accurately in so many of its details.  But the color and texture?  Strange.

All in all, I think its wonderfully great that they made this (relatively) faithful copy of the Parthenon for a public park.  I think every city should have a Parthenon.  Why not?

But to copy it as a bank, or a city hall -  or a picnic pavilion - not so much.

Then we were on the road again and heading for our final destination: the construction site!

With Paul Baby acting as copilot, we motored on down the highway.

We passed a nifty old dump truck:

and a barn on wheels:

and we crossed the Cumberland Plateau:

Then I got tired of fighting with the big rigs and other impatient drivers, and turned off the main road early.  We drove the rest of the way on back roads.  This was a good move, and brought on a huge sigh of relief.  For the rest of the drive, it was like this:

and this:

and this:

and then the road got even narrower, and the striping went away, and we were there!

After a beer or two and not too much relaxing (yet) Mr. and Ms. Client and I walked over to the site and walked through it.  We looked at things that were exciting, and talked about things that needed adjustment (which is perfectly normal for any construction project, so no worries.)

 It was terribly exciting!

And Paul and Todd got to see what all this excitement has been about, and why we drove all this way.

I think they were excited, too.

1 comment: