A depression-era wonder
I may have been underwhelmed by Las Vegas, but I sure was impressed by the Hoover Dam. It truly is an engineering marvel that completely transformed an entire region of the United States from desert to agricultural linchpin.
While it is a hydro-electric power plant, the primary purpose of the dam (according to the obligatory tour I went on) is to control the flow of the Colorado River and provide irrigation water for agriculture. Prior to the dam, the river was subject to flooding devastating the downstream communities. The creation of the dam provided a stable water source for the region, and allowed for controlled downstream release of water.
The Hoover Dam is an interesting comparison to the Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, New York. Construction for both started within a year of each other, and both were much-needed sources of employment during the Great Depression. Of course, the Rockefeller Center was funded privately for private purposes whereas the Hoover Dam was funded by public funds.
Both projects, however, bear the artistic direction of the period in which they were built. I LOVE the 20s and 30s art deco sculptures and art of them both. This sculpture, reading "They Died To Make The Desert Bloom" is particularly touching.
Check out the entire set on Flickr.
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