Daily digest: Failed Architecture protests Red Light District relocation, Fearless Girl is granted a reprieve, and more

Sex, Sports, and Statues

Daily digest: Failed Architecture protests Red Light District relocation, Fearless Girl is granted a reprieve, and more

Fearless Girl at its original location opposite Charging Bull. (Anthony Quintano/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Here’s what you need to know today about sex work, sports, and statues: 

Sex workers, architects oppose relocation plans for Amsterdam’s red-light district

An open letter with signatories that include global architecture collective Failed Architecture is urging architects, developers, and construction firms not to participate in a plan to create a so-called “erotic center” located on the fringes of Amsterdam. The plan would involve shuttering window brothels in Amsterdam’s historic red-light district and relocating sex workers to the proposed pleasure zone far from the city center. Officials have identified eight potential areas for the red-light district relocation scheme.

Sex workers, 130 of whom also signed onto the letter, say the city only conducted a surface-level, box-checking consult with members of the industry. Among its many points, the open letter raised possible safety concerns if they are displaced from De Wallen, which is the Dutch city’s largest and most famous red-light district. (Yes, there are more than one). “Sex workers will end up in unsafe, if not dangerous, situations when having to travel to one specific building on the city’s fringes, while the Wallen provides a safe, close-knit neighborhood where people look after each other. Sex work in the Wallen also keeps the local residents safe, as people and police are working in the area into the late hours.”

The new district would take three to ten years to come to fruition if approved. 

H/t to Failed Architecture

Who dey think gonna get a new indoor practice facility?

Super Bowl runner-ups the Cincinnati Bengals are hoping to get the city’s blessing for an indoor practice facility. Surprisingly, given Cincinnati’s miserable winter weather, they are one of the few NFL teams without an enclosed place to train. Instead of a permanent building, the facility will be a bubble enclosure on the site of a 7-acre parking lot.

“These temporary practice facilities … are a standard practice among teams in the National Football League as they allow appropriate practice spaces for players when inclement weather occurs and will serve as a much-needed practice space due to an increase in wintertime games,” a Bengals press release explained.

The item is on the Cincinnati Planning Commission’s agenda for April 15.  The plan is for a 75-foot-high inflatable dome secured to a concrete footer and surrounded by an 8-foot-tall security fence. Inside, the Bengals will play on a regulation-size turf field.

H/t to WCPO Cincinnati  

Wall Street’s Fearless Girl allowed to stay, for now

A bronze of a little girl that once squared off with the famous Charging Bull statue in Manhattan’s Financial District will remain in place at its second (temporary) location opposite the New York Stock Exchange for the time being.

The New York City Public Design Commission (PDC) gave the 4-foot-tall statue an 11-month temporary permit extension while it figures out what to do with the work, which was first installed opposite Arturo Di Modica’s Charging Bull in 2017 and relocated in late 2018. While certain quarters have embraced the statue as a symbol of female empowerment, others have criticized the girl as an “empty gesture” and a tiresome advertisement for State Street Global Advisors, the asset-management firm that commissioned the work.

The PDC is giving itself six months to figure out how the City could take official charge of the statue, which was designed by artist Kristen Visbal.

H/t to New York Post

Construction defects may have contributed to fatalities at tornado-ravaged Amazon warehouse

An Edwardsville, Illinois, Amazon warehouse that collapsed during a tornado in December may have been structurally unsound, a new report reveals. 

During the weather event, the warehouse’s structural columns collapsed; the resulting damage killed six people. While tornadoes have been known to decimate even the sturdiest structures, according to a report from a structural engineer, the supporting columns may not have been properly attached to the foundation.

The damning document on the building’s structural deficiencies was obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request from the lawyer that represents the family of a delivery driver who was killed in the collapse. After the accident, local officials commissioned an engineer to assess the damage. According to The Verge, the report “describes the apparent ease with which columns lifted out of the floor as similar to ‘a peg coming out of a hole.’”

“I could find no weld or bolted connection at the base of any column, but only a bead of what appeared to be some sort of caulk around the column at the finished floor line,” the excerpt continues. “An examination of several of the empty pockets where columns once stood also did not reveal any indication of positive securement of the columns at or below the finished floor level.”

In light of the findings, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) started an investigation into the incident.

H/t to The Verge

Seattle’s concrete delivery drivers trickle back to work, ending five-month strike

Concrete mixer truck drivers in the Seattle area have returned to the job, marking an unconditional end to a five-month strike that first began last November and has since disrupted—or threatened to disrupt—numerous major regional construction projects, including time-sensitive repair work at the still-shuttered West Seattle Bridge. The strike also prompted hundreds of layoffs among related trades. Despite some drivers returning to work yesterday, April 11, a contract resolution between Teamsters Local 174 and a group of six employers has not been met.

“For months, the concrete companies have used their control over Seattle’s concrete industry to drag out negotiations, and it has been devastating for our community and for our sisters and brothers in the building trades, said Rick Hicks, Teamsters Local 174 secretary-treasurer, in a statement. “Our members love our community and are returning to work for the people of Seattle.”

H/t Engineering News-Record