"The underground tunnels that crisscross campus are one of the more mysterious aspects of the University. Originally built to carry steam, power, and telecommunications lines to buildings during the World's Fair, their time is slowly coming to an end.
"The oldest of the tunnels connects the original power plant with Brookings and the other original buildings. The cramped space is constructed out of limestone, similar to most sewers. Water drips from the ceiling and thick mud cakes the floor. Most of the tunnel is pitch-black, though there are unscrewed naked bulbs scattered around. Valves stick out from the wall to poke a passerby in the stomach. The low ceilings seem designed to scalp unsuspecting victims. No rats in sight, oddly enough."...
"One surprising fact about the old tunnel is the amount of graffiti peppering the walls. According to Nicholson, before construction removed much of the tunnel, it ran from the power plant all the way past Frat Row. Students could access the tunnel through a manhole cover, and would spray paint the walls during pledging or for other reasons."...
"In the basement of Rebstock Hall are water chillers, huge vats that make the power plant boilers look small. They circulate cold water throughout Danforth Campus. They are also so loud people can barely hear themselves speaking near them. On the wall just outside the door to the basement of Rebstock is a case for a breathing apparatus in case the fluids or gasses used in refrigeration, known as Freon, leak from the chillers. Unsettlingly, the case is empty."...
Wednesday, 29th of November, 2006
I guess I was being too innocent by not even checking the bottoms of the chairs until I loaded them in the car - to discover some of them had gum stuck to the bottom of them. Gum? On stage at Powell Hall? Hmm. Well it's just part of the story.
While nostalgia played a large part in my pursuit of these chairs, a recent invitation has helped me not feel like I'm living too much in the past. I actually do get to play down at Powell Hall next month, at the St. Louis Children's Choirs Holiday Concert on December 9th. For those of us Youth Symphony alumni who decided not to major in music, such opportunities are pretty rare so it makes me really happy.
Thanks go out to Andrea for pointing out to me even before the season started that they were getting new chairs to replace these red ones, thanks go out to Eddie, the blogmaster of the SLSO who provided this information and presented my request to the senior staff of the SLSO, and thanks to the SLSO staff for providing the way for me to get the chairs that are left over from the initial private offering to SLSO musicians.
Later this evening, on a different project, I discovered that boring out 7/16" holes in tapered pipe can be done without much problem with some hand power tools. The cheap 18V drill had plenty of power. I stuck a black oxide 135-degree split point bit on it, stuck a pipe wrench on the pipe to hold it in place, set it all down on a block of wood and drilled away. Using the weight of the body to help with the drilling is the way to do it efficiently. Cold water helps keep the temperature of the bit and pipe reasonable.
Sunday, 12th of November, 2006
Thursday, 9th of November, 2006