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PRINT October 2009

RELOCATING THE PAST

Fritz Koenig, The Sphere, 1971, bronze on granite base, approx. 25 x 25 x 25'. Battery Park, New York. Photo: Joseph Logan and Aimée Scala, 2009.

LAST SUMMER I TRAVELED TO GLASGOW to witness the demolition of a couple of public housing complexes, including two eighteen-story towers in Pollokshaws, in the south of the city, and two twenty-story buildings in Sighthill, a neighborhood closer to the center. After the final demolition, a few local journalists and I were escorted to the debris pile, where we met Kenny Crookston, the man in charge of Glasgow’s urban renewal plan. Looking at the sheer mass of material created by the dynamiting, I asked Kenny an innocent question: Where does the rubble go? He explained to me that contractors engaged in demolitions throughout Europe are required to recycle everything. This meant that all the concrete wreckage from the buildings before us would be crunched on site until it was reduced to small rocks. And then this very same material would be sold to still other contactors in charge

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