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Long Lines Buildings
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Long Lines

One could say there is an ongoing polarization between cities and countryside, where cities concentrate money, skill and cultural value, while the countryside recedes to the background and houses all the things that city-dwellers don’t want to be near from, such as huge logistic centres, or ports, or other types of infrastructure.

New York City is a great example of that, with the successful absorption of its industrial architecture into real estate products in places like Williamsburg or Soho. One has to travel to its hinterland (like parts of New Jersey) to find the new location of large-scale industry and infrastructure of many sorts.

A building in downtown Manhattan, windowless, mysterious, serves as a quiet witness to the disappearance of everything other than housing or office space. Known as the “Long Lines Building”, still works as a telephone exchange centre and other more obscure uses (supposedly a centre for the NSA). In its simplicity and mystery, it is a good reminder of the excitement that might be disappearing in our cities, that of the visualization of all things that make the world work, which might soon be only visible in big white boxes around highways.

Daniel Eguren

Trainee at PAUNew York

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