Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Steam Plant

Developer Ed Swift's masterpiece, an electricity generating station, long abandoned and turned into expensive apartments. The only thing is he missed the gold rush by a couple of years and some of these splendid units at Caroline and Grinnell are still for sale, while some anxious purchases have filed suit according to The Citizen, accusing him of failing to meet completion deadlines. You'd think alls well that ends well as occupancy permits were issued last week, also according to the paper.
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Looking towards the Coastguard Station at three in the morning, and yes that would be my restored Bonneville parked on the yellow line:The art deco theme works quite well for what used to be Key West's premier industrial plant. It was an electricity generating station built in the style of architecture that it seems to me was favored by Soviet state artists, all massive and geometric. At night it looks like the set off a Batman movie:The front part of the building may look pretty much done, as far as construction goes, never mind the sales of the actual apartments...The back part though, the part overlooking the Coastguard Station and the waters of the Toxic Triangle doesn't look at all finished:
The notion that someone might want to wander the construction area is unthinkable:In a palazzo offering individual elevators to each apartment from each parking stall, so owners can ascend in stately solitude, this appears to be the trades men's entrance. A sort of communal entrance where ordinary people hustle on up, currently not ready for prime time judging by the wrapping tape on the hand rails:
The Steam Plant created the name Toxic Triangle for the waters that abut Trumbo Road, an awkwardly shaped body of water heavily polluted by the chemical effluents for the power plant. Nowadays the generator is become almost a garden:Each line of approach, each door, has a sign reminding passersby that the good life is available for a modest, if necessary payment. The begging is carried out in grand style on the main billboard:The side of the building that faces downtown Key West, and more immediately Caroline Street and the ferry terminal also looks out over the landscaped garden surrounded by its black spiky fence:There is something thoroughly dorky about all these fences and security and the main gate, complete with gate code, is wide open and totally unlocked:
And there it sits all imposing and massive, rather like an iceberg, dominating Trumbo Road:If you happen to have around three million dollars (21 million yuan) going spare, a piece of this could be yours. Who're ya gonna call?