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Yet Another Proposal for an Aquatics Complex for the Chicago 2016 Summer Olympic Games Bid
Chicago 2016 Summer Olympic Games

The shipping industry is in a crisis, reports Der Spiegel. The brutal downturn in global trade has left many container ships idling in ports around the world and will soon be accompanied by newer ships placed on order during an economic boom that seemed unending. With this much glut in the market, no doubt rental rates are dropping precipitously. When some of the shipping companies go bankrupt, perhaps anyone would then be able to afford to buy (not just rent one) a Panamax or post-Panamax vessels at bargain basement prices.

But then what will you do with it? You'd offer it, of course, to the Chicago Olympic Organizing Committee (that is, if Il Duce gets his wish) for conversion into their Aquatics Complex. Park it right in the middle of Lake Michigan; cleanse it of its toxic fuel, lead pipes and other hazardous materials; gut it; and then install all the necessary accoutrements of an Olympic natatorium.

Not enough space? Simply purchase a second vessel and a third one for good measure; they'll be similarly dirt cheap, we're sure of it. And then solder one to the port side of your first purchase and the other to the starboard side: two aisles and a central nave.

Instead of competing in outhouses built where Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux would have been violently gang raped, Michael Phelps will swim his last laps inside a floating, inverted St. Peter's.

A Proposal for an Aquatics Complex for the Chicago 2016 Summer Olympic Games Bid
  • Anonymous
  • August 14, 2009 at 3:28:00 PM CDT
  • Realizing this is tongue-in-cheek I still have to point out that Panamax, to say nothing of post Panamax, ships can't get through the St. Laurence Seaway. My guess is they'll end up as prison hulks.

  • Georgia
  • August 15, 2009 at 7:23:00 AM CDT
  • The statement about Olmsted and Vaux in Washington Park's toilets is violent. Can you discuss the motivation behind this comment?

  • Alexander Trevi
  • August 15, 2009 at 4:26:00 PM CDT
  • Georgia, for the use of "outhouse", see my earlier post, in particular the second paragraph.

    The "rape" part directly stems from the destruction of the landscape designed by Sasaki and Collins for Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago's South Side. You can see before and after images of the park here. (It's the same website to which I've linked "Il Duce" to in the post.)

    In the current version of the city's Olympic bid proposal, the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Complex will be site on Washington Park, one of the greatest parks designed by two of the greatest landscape architects, Olmsted and Vaux. Building an 80,000-seat stadium and swimming pools and all the other supporting facilities right in the middle of this parkland (when and if the city wins hosting privileges) probably won't be as scorched earth as what has occurred at Reese, but to be doing so is, in my opinion, would still be akin to building in the middle of Central Park.

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