[Image: Saltair, photographed ca. 1901, courtesy of the Library of Congress].
While writing the previous post, I was reminded of the old sprawling Venetian structure called “Saltair,” built on the Great Salt Lake atop roughly 2,000 stilts, the ruins of which remain visible.
[Image: Via Google Maps].
Although the original building, seen in the topmost image, burned down in 1925, it was replaced by another behemoth architectural complex that later appeared in the film Carnival of Souls.
But it’s the sheer nature of piers—those bridges to nowhere, promising endless extensions of dry land over even the most abyssal of drowned landscapes—that captures my interest here, with Saltair promising something like an American Oil Rocks, that labyrinth of platforms and elevated roadways that snakes out, and out, and out, into the Caspian Sea, only, in this case, styled like some Renaissance palace of cupolas and domes, with rumors that it’s so vast, its furthest rooms have yet to be visited.
The always interesting Center for Land Use Interpretation is seeking proposals from artists, writers, designers, architects, and more to “explore the land and waterscape of the north arm of the Great Salt Lake, known as Gunnison Bay.”
It’s a landscape they describe as “an exceptional, extreme, and largely unexplored place”:
The construction of a filled-in railroad causeway in the late 1950s cut the original lake in half, creating a new, anthropogenic entity, more isolated and saline, that has evolved into a landscape of desiccation that resembles another planet, or this one in some past or future time.
They specifically hope that you’ll include in your exploration of this seemingly parallel terrestriality the so-called Great Salt Lake Exploration Platform, or GSLEP, a pontoon structure built by Chris Taylor and Steve Badgett (it’s a boat).
Proposals are due March 1, 2016.
There is much more information over at CLUI’s website, so check out the full call-for-proposals.