More on these waterways, that have so bewitched me

A few times every day, an architectural pilgrim will crouch as to position their camera low to the plaza of Louis I’ Kahn’s Salk Institute in La Jolla CA. A stream in a blank plane of travertine appears to stretch on forever. It is a vision designed to assuage Americans’ longing for a Classical past, on their own soil.

With lesser frequency, some dill like myself, will crouch down low in Styx Creek, aiming to impress upon their blog readers the sheer improbability of their own off-the-map town, world famous for Silver Chair, Miss Universe winner Jennifer Hawkins (who I have seen naked), an Earthquake, and of course, Steven Fleming. And if all that weren’t enough, a 2km stream has been carved so straight, Erich von Däniken should take a look and explain. As keen as I am to see Newcastle’s drains transformed into creeks, part of me would rather a sight so astounding be preserved as a relic. Allow Los Angeles to be the ones to be twee, with the way they transform their river.


  1. kfg says:

    If the Salk Institute is an example of our longing for a Classical past on our own soil (and I don’t doubt that’s what Salk himself had in mind), why does it look so much like our longing to eradicate the soil (and The People for that matter) on our way to a Radiant Future?

    • Steven says:

      Spoken like a true student of Kahn: cryptic, oracular, and way over my head 🙂

    • kfg says:

      Well, let us try again then, shall we?

      Master Behooving, if this complex is supposed to represent a Classical city, why does it resemble nothing so much as a Corbusier table model?

    • Steven says:

      I don’t see it. Kahn’s corb-clone days ended with his American Academy in Rome fellowship in 1950. The axial symmetry of the Salk is a huge departure from Corb’s picturesque planning approach.

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