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This is the demolition of "The Drexel Shaft" a gigantic smokestack at Drexel University. My grandfather studied engineering there, graduating in 1944. I worked there from 2000-2004, fifty years later.

Technically this smokestack is located in the Penn Coachyard, right next to 30th Street Station. The video is shot from the West and North of 30th Street Station, thus the tracks are between the camera and the stack. It's been out of operation since the 60's, but has been an eyesore essentially since its construction. It's a giant brick phallus thrusting out of West Philadelphia - where once commerce and industry boomed, and today only limp academic institutions and vast swathes of urban blight reign.

Drexel is surely one of the ugliest campuses on earth. I can't tell if today it's less ugly or if what it lacked in beauty it had in character, and is now somewhat less interesting. Interesting note - whenever I drove through the underpass on the other (East) side of 30th Street Station, I mysterious smelled doughnuts. Why? Despite years of poking around, I never figured out why.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
yagathai
Nov. 16th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
Heh heh heh. Shaft.
aghrivaine
Nov. 16th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
"getting the Drexel shaft" was part, apparently, of the Drexel experience.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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