That Corten steel should appear in Pullman is appropriate. After all, the town was built on the promise that rail and industry shall connect us all, east and west, north and south, including integrating a remote land grant institution into an ever changing global picture. Isn’t that why we have held on for dear life to that functionally useless steel bridge in downtown, to remember and wax nostalgic about a past era.
Nothing wrong with that but what is disappointing is that we should turn rusted steel into a commodity, detached from meaning and culture and consumed on terms limited to sudden and popular appeal, bought and sold on Amazon. The height of inauthenticity.
A more authentic approach would demand that we understand what Corten steel means to Gnee. And if indeed anything then make it part and parcel of the criteria by which we unify and beautify the built environment. We may imagine a booklet established and handed to developers and prospective investors, diagramming in words and images the appeal and significance of certain materials, including the way they may join and become part of a sensible ensemble.