Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Bit of History is Lost

This ornate facade with a Ford logo in the middle harks back to an early 20th-century love of the automobile. Click here for Plaintalker's previous post.

Alas, as I hurried up Cleveland Avenue to catch a train, I saw that the facade is now covered over.

Workers are making the building's exterior uniform by applying a styrofoam-like material. This material has been used recently for facades on East Front Street and Richmond & Third.

The leftover bits tend to drift into the surrounding area, piling up in the grass or curbs.

I wonder what this stuff does to the quality of stormwater when it gets washed into the drains. If anyone has any information on how this material came to be so popular to create smooth facades, I for one would like to know. As for stormwater, there is a strong state initiative to keep it cleaner to protect our waterways. Another factor important to ratepayers is that suspended solids in stormwater add to the cost of treatment by the Middlesex County Utilities Authority before it is released to waterways. It must be a chore to get all those tiny particles out.
--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bernice,
The styrofoam is used because it is cheap and easy to work with. It can make any uneven or ugly surface new by adding the stucco overlay on top of it. It can also be shaped to add decorative details. As far as it getting into the water supply...its like everything else that should not be there. We need to prevent it from getting there in the first place. It will be around for years to come.

11:50 AM  

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