Archive for the 'What were they thinking?' Category

Retaining? wall.

Today’s question is:  How do I build a retaining wall? Pat’s answer is, not like this!

Retaining wall?

At least, I wouldn’t build a wall like this.  When I first saw it from a distance, I thought it was built of large timbers.  Then as I got closer, I thought it was large timbers reinforced with this wire grid.  But it ain’t.  Best I can tell, it’s dirt held in place with some fabric, nylon netting of the sort you see used to hold a modular wall wall in place, and the wire wrapping on the face of it.  This is about six feet high with that wood fence you see right behind the top edge, and paving for a commercial building right behind that.  It appears to have been here for a pretty long time, and so far is holding the world together OK, but the red dirt on each “shelf” or setback going up the wall are ant hills — they can’t be helping anything.

I’d be real curious to hear from any of you builders, or better yet, engineers out there as to your thoughts on this.  Have you ever seen one before?  Do you think you’ll ever see another?  How long do you think it will last?

IMG_0911

Here you can see the ant hills better, and you can also see the outward cant of the wall.  I wonder if it”s moved to this position, or was this way from the start.  I’m quite certain the commercial building behind the fence replaced some old uneconomic structure and I’d guess the wall was done with the original development.  I’m surprised somebody in the re-development effort — the contractor, the engineers, the owner, the county, somebody — didn’t decide or require that replacement was in order.  Or maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about and these wall are done routinely all over the place.

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What were they thinking??!?!!

It occurs to me that if the title of this blog  . . . . . pat answers . . . . . is going to have any real meaning, we need a few questions.  So if you’ve got a question to which you have yet to get a satisfactory answer, or if you just want to try to stump me or ask some unanswerable inane question, email it to me at ptm@FirstStreetBuilders.com (put “pat answers” in the subject line) and I’ll post an answer here.  If it’s one of those unanswerable or inane questions, I won’t let that stop me — I’ll make something up.

In the meantime,  I’ll just have to provide my own questions.  My guess is that the title of this post might be a common element in my questions-of-self because I am often amazed and dismayed by what people do or don’t do in the world of real estate, construction, design, and development, and I’ve just got to ask myself, “What were they thinking?”

The vehicle lost in that sea of concrete is a HUMMER!  That might give you perspective that is otherwise hard to grasp.

The vehicle lost in that sea of concrete is a HUMMER! That might give you perspective that is otherwise hard to grasp.

Take a look at the picture above and you’ll probably ask the same thing.  WHAT WERE THEY THINKING??!?!! LOOK at all that concrete!  This is in the City of Atlanta where the city fathers — and mothers, since the mayor is female — gnash their teeth, tear their clothes, and heap ashes on their heads if just one little itty bitty tree is removed from private property anywhere in town!  But it’s OK for them to create a sea of concrete in one of the city’s best and most attractive neighborhoods.  The only purpose this concrete will serve is to break wheels and flatten tires.  If you’ve got to do the curb, why not fill the area between them — which in this case is about the size of a baseball diamond — with some greenery?  What a wasted opportunity.  It’s a crime against the citizens of Atlanta, perpetrated by those that are supposed to be taking care of us.  Now the fact of the matter is that the city probably didn’t actually install this crap.  It was done in conjunction with the development of what will be an empty office and condo building at the corner.  The work was probably required of and performed by the developer as a condition of getting a building permit.  Somebody, the city or the developer, could have done this differently and should have.  So two opportunities to do right, went down the drain.  The developer was probably just being cheap because the project is completely underwater and will loose the sponsors millions.  But why spend millions and millions and millions of dollars and then build a mud fence at the front door?  A mud fence, I might add, that is probably visible with the naked eye from the space shuttle.  WHAT WERE THEY THINKING??!?!!

This is looking north on Peachtree Dunwoody at Peachtree Rd. in Buckhead.

This is looking north on Peachtree Dunwoody at Peachtree Rd. in Buckhead.