This is the new feed store in my neighborhood. It’s a big metal box with a lot of lights.
I’m not an architecture critic, for that I direct you to sites such as Dezeen and BldgBlog. I’m a critic of the choices we make as we live along our coasts and on our islands, the choices we make for using the land and the things we build around or near the water.
The road that runs past the feed store is designated a Scenic Byway – it’s one of those fabled back roads of America, a blue highway. It runs past farms, Victorian towns and territorial vistas. Drivers used to get a glimpse of the sea from here.
But the poor siting, lackluster planning or architectural pablum are not the burrs under my saddle right now, it’s all those lights. The waste of energy is bad enough. As are the light pollution for the surrounding area and the close encounters glow as you drive along the road. What really mystifies me though is why a store that stocks chicken feed, water troughs, fence posts, mud boots, bales of hay, and in spring, a few turkey poults, needs such a security array. It’s ludicrous.
This is not downtown L. A. but an island town that can’t scrape together 300 people to vote for incorporation. Yet this company feels the need to protect its premises with 15 lights along the highway side of the building – where nothing is stored, and twice that many on the other side where the stock is.
For a dose of reality, here’s the local bank at the same time of day:
And the lumber yard on the other side of town (seven blocks away):
Perhaps the lower level of lighting at those establishments stems from the fact that they don’t stock the hot ticket items in demand in a rural community. Even that’s a stretch though, as the crime rate here is pretty basic.
The only other building in town that comes close to this percentage of lighting is the pet shop.
What is it about animal food that requires so many lights?
The other argument you hear is that a business needs to be lit up at night so that people can find it. But that can’t be the case for the feed store, if it were the sign would be lighted.
After gnawing at this over the last few weeks I can only assume that someone accidentally hired an architect whose last project was a maximum security prison.
Here’s another take, not on this particular building, but on overbuilding in general, from the Avett Brothers.
Yessireee, this store sure is convenient and it sure is well lit. But there used to be a view of the sea from here. And one day we’ll laugh as we say, “Can you believe that once upon a time this highway was designated a Scenic Byway?”