The Birth of a Building

| April 30, 2012 | 0 Comments

The abandoned construction site across the street was there when I moved in four years ago. It had a sense of sadness about it, an ongoing reminder of the decline of the building industry. It was a dying piece of property and a blight on the neighborhood. Rusted iron poles stood up straight as trees seemingly in defiance of the real trees in Balboa Park directly across the street. It was not a pretty site, but a fact of life I’d gotten used to. Every day, as I would look out my window, I’d see life and death staring across the street at each other.

Now that same abandoned site is springing to life and I am watching the process. The first step was to remove the old metal and wood and clear the entire area to begin anew. Life was coming back. A building was being created and the gestation period was just beginning. The lifeless metal poles were replaced by dozens of workers in hard hats scurrying about hoisting wood up the scaffolding, banging nails, drilling holes, then stepping back into the street to appraise their work.

At first I was apprehensive about a construction site right across from me. I worried about noise and dirt and all the other inconveniences I would have to endure. Yet somehow it has become a pleasure to watch. Instead of concentrating on the negative, I find myself enjoying the show.  Seeing how they move the huge planks of lumber up the side of the building is interesting. Watching the drivers fit large trucks into their place on the street is a wonder. The street needs to be open to traffic while at the same time accommodating various sized trucks and with careful maneuvering they’ve managed to do just that.

Each day around noon the lunch trucks start to gather near the building. The men stop to purchase lunch and one by one make their way across the street to sit under the trees in what seems to me a respite from dirt and dust and a chance to see their productivity from a perfect vantage point. As someone who has never built anything with my own hands, I am impressed.  I wonder if they realize how amazing it is to create an entire building where once just rubble stood. I wonder if they are aware that when they are done and people move in, they had a part in defining someone’s surroundings.

As I watch this operation I am struck by the thought of how much this is like a pregnancy.  Technology now gives us the ability to see inside the womb as the baby grows. With each new sonogram we can see more and more the development of a new human being, a living breathing organism. Then nine months later a child enters the world and lives are changed. Could it be the same thing with a building? With each new day I see more growth. Last week the windows were put in, windows that will one day shine light into the finished rooms and provide the residents with the opportunity to see the park from the comfort of their own homes.

When a new baby finally arrives we can hold them, cuddle them, feel their life and witness something that has been created. The process has been completed. One day when I see my new neighbors move in across the street, I have a feeling I will have that same sense of having watched the birth of something I have been waiting for.

Category: Life Style

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