Saturday, June 29, 2013

Twin Docks

While I personally believe there are infinite opportunities for discovery in even the most spatially confined settings, I will admit to a certain myopia in my unremitting exploration of loading docks. I am well aware that there is a vast uncharted universe of docks outside Boise's walls. But one needn't travel far to revel in new and exotic freight threshold experiences. Some time ago, I hit the open road and ended up in Twin Falls, Idaho several hours later. Other than being home to the scenic Shoshone Falls, a decent-sized community college and a prominent food manufacturing sector, Twin contains a historic warehouse district that is something of a de facto loading dock museum! Here are some highlights of what proved to be a fruitful and satisfying day trip:

A former Swift & Company plant. In the stillness, you can almost hear the bloodcurdling cry of creatures sacrificed for that altar known as the American dinner table. Indeed, loading docks have been and continue to be complicit in dreadful practices, but on an aesthetic level, they can still be encountered in awe and fascination.    

In an age of "repurposing," a handrail now dictates the movement of people, not goods, on the open dock at this old paper warehouse. When spared from the wrecking ball, a loading dock finds a way to adapt and remain relevant through the passing years.

Now here's an outfit that took its docks seriously. Even in a state of disuse, honest hand-painted letters tell us in no uncertain terms the final cause of the gateway they adorn with stunning permanence and dignity. May this artifact provide a lesson in directness and respect for generations to come! 

As far as juxtaposition is concerned, it doesn't get much better than loading dock with a generous splash of grain elevator. I could go on, but grain elevators deserve a dedicated blog in their own right.

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