Category:
Architecture

Soviet Bus Stops

Canadian photographer Christopher Herwig has been on a mission to raise awareness of Soviet bus stops. He feels that they're an under-appreciated form of architectural art, "built as quiet acts of creativity against overwhelming state control." But he warns that they're disappearing fast due to demolition.

He collected together over 150 of his photographs in the 2015 book Soviet Bus Stops. More recently, a documentary film, again titled Soviet Bus Stops, follows his years-long effort to photograph the bus stops.

More info: Soviet Bus Stops







Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 14, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Architecture, Mass Transit, Books, Documentaries, Bus

Rooftop Runway

Landing a plane on a giant treadmill mounted on top of a skyscraper. What could possibly go wrong?

Modern Mechanics - Feb 1930

Posted By: Alex - Sun May 12, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Architecture, Air Travel and Airlines, 1930s

The Bromo Seltzer Tower

The building's home page.

The original tower was topped by a 51-foot revolving replica of the blue Bromo-Seltzer bottle, which was illuminated with 596 lights and could be seen 20 miles away. Due to structural concerns, the bottle was removed in 1936.




Posted By: Paul - Sun May 05, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Architecture, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Regionalism, Advertising, Twentieth Century

Bridge Color and Suicide

There's a popular hypothesis that the color of a bridge can influence how many people commit suicide from it. Dark bridges are said to attract more jumpers than brightly colored ones.

The most widely cited example of this effect is Blackfriars Bridge in London. It originally was black, but in 1928 it was repainted green with yellow trim. In fact, it was repainted with the specific intention of reducing suicide attempts. And sure enough, the suicide rate reportedly dropped by 30%. (More info: "The influence of color," Penn State)

Blackfriars Bridge is no longer green, but it's still brightly painted (red and white). I can't find info on how many people still jump from it. So I don't know if the color effect is still working.

Yonkers Herald Statesman - Sep 15, 1928



Blackfriars Bridge (source: wikipedia)



Another example is the Clifton Suspension Bridge near Bristol, England. In 1957 its color was changed from dark red to a light silver-gray — again with the specific hope of deterring suicide jumpers. Unfortunately I can't find any follow-up data to know if the color change worked.

Toronto Daily Star - Mar 13, 1957



Clifton Suspension Bridge (source: wikipedia)



The connection between bridge color and suicide seems a bit dubious to me. It would be nice if there was more substantial data to back up the hypothesis.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 03, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Architecture, Suicide

The man who cut his house in half

The story goes that, in 1976, Eugene Schneider cut his house in half with a chainsaw as a spiteful way of complying with the divorce requirement that he split his assets evenly with his wife.

But as you can see from the photos below, he didn't actually succeed in cutting the house in half, although he did a lot of damage with the chainsaw. It was all eventually repaired, and the house is still standing, in one piece, today. You can view it on Zillow or Google Maps.

Calgary Herald - Mar 30, 1978



Central New Jersey Home News - Aug 6, 1976





New York Daily News - Aug 3, 1976



Charges were filed against Schneider, but somewhat surprisingly (at least, I find it surprising) a jury cleared him of all wrongdoing.

Central New Jersey Home News - Feb 16, 1977

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 02, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Architecture, Divorce, 1970s

Flagpole of Freedom

Plans are afoot to build the world's largest flagpole, flying the world's largest American flag, in the small town of Columbia Falls, Maine, "where the rays of the sun touch America first every day." It would stand 1,461 feet tall, higher than the Empire State Building, and cost over $1 billion.

According to Wikipedia, America currently isn't even in the top 10 in the list of the world's largest flagpoles. It only comes in at #16, with the Acuity Flagpole in Sheboygan, Wisconsin (height: 390ft).

The Flagpole of Freedom, if it actually gets built, would more than double the current world's tallest flagpole. But it remains to be seen if it ever gets built, since many of the residents of Columbia Falls aren't keen on the idea.

More info: Oakland Press



Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 12, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Architecture, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough

House of Tomorrow:  1969

Watch the video below the screenshot.





Posted By: Paul - Sun Jul 09, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Architecture, Domestic, Hobbies and DIY, 1960s, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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