I grew up with a lot of it abundant in the South Florida area where it could be really nice when done right (notably, when concrete was WELL sealed, and humidity buildup was prevented). Some of the structures were pretty damn cool and had things like well sheltered indoor plazas that managed to make an open-air building in Florida heat still comfortable to use.
So… needless to say… I was very amused by this concept, and I never thought I’d say this phrase like, ever—
Brutalist self-storage facility.
There’s a U-Haul building in Roseville, California, that was built in an old hospital. I haven’t found details on when it was originally constructed, but wow it’s Brutalist all right. It had been a hospital until Sutter Health sold it in 1998. It had been a Sierra College campus for a while, was bought by a Bay Area development company and redeveloped in 2014-2017(?) to become an office/school complex, but I guess the demand was low for such at the time. Most of the interior was bashed out, revealing the GLORIOUS CONCRETE… but it still has…..
…this. It’s actually entirely perplexing – look above the window. I suspect it was probably added while the building was a college, otherwise, the poured concrete probably would have been formed for it directly. Weird, right?
The silly thing about this, of course, is that if this had been a 1970s building, the orange would have been right in place!!! The white walls might have wound up brown, though.
Pictures taken from an old real estate portal listing:
The elevator shaft/mechanical core of the building was built in a way as to look SUPREMELY WEIRD… you know, as you do.
It looks a bit like what you’d get if you flattened the sides of Doofenschmirtz Evil Incorporated. Yes you heard that jingle in your head too.
It’s kinda awesomely cool that U-Haul reuses buildings when possible instead of just buying those weird knock-together storage barns. The one where I ran into the bad case of Truckwall was a former bakery.
Transmitter sites used to be kinda different – it was not uncommon for them to be manned daily, if not outright equipped with an engineer in residence. Now they just tend to have weird ghosts and stuff. I’ve only ever seen the name O’keefe & Merritt on appliances in old transmitter site kitchens. Ok then?
I noticed this odd thing near the Sacramento River next to the Bonnyview bridge south of Redding and wondered what it was. A closer look reveals more interesting details, but still no great clues.
View from the bridge. I used enhancement filters in Pixlr that took a very impressionist view??
Another less detailed structure across the river; no sign of a similar spout on it. Maybe a flap gate though??
Water valve at the base.
Bolts and remains of some wooden piece that was attached to the end of the spout
The top has an interesting shape with pointed ends. I keep thinking maybe it supported a pier or bridge deck?
Climbing rungs are present. Also, note form marks. Whatever it is, it was poured in place concrete using wood slat forms. The spout has marks suggesting that either water flows from it (why and from where??) or that’s just the path rainwater takes while draining off it.
So here’s what really gets me about this thing. It sticks way up beside the river. There’s nothing nearby in sight that’s up higher than it is, which would logically drain from it. It’s fairly small and very very high up so it doesn’t make much sense that water from the Sacramento River would divert through it in a flood. The angle of the spout with its sweeping curve does sort of suggest an inlet though. Could it predate the Keswick Dam regulating water levels and reducing seasonal flooding down here?
I’ve found nothing looking it up online; there’s gotta be somewhere it’s documented, but I’m not sure where to look.
I figured now that I wrote all this up I should copy it here finally.
Believe in what you will, or what you won’t, but there are things that lurk in the airwaves aside from our electromagnetic waves.
There’s a radio tower southwest of Miami in the middle of nowhere. Well, kinda not exactly middle of nowhere as McMansions are encroaching on it and it’s next to a country club, but still. It used to be the broadcast tower for Channel 6 before the digital transition. Due to the fact that there was another 6 in Orlando, they had to stick this one waaaay south of Miami to “protect” from co-channel interference between the two destroying the signals of both.
There was an old engineer there, Richard Van Hook, who absolutely loved his job. He was in charge of maintaining the transmitter at the site and the associated equipment. As he got on in years he was fighting cancer but continued going to work there every day until about a week before he passed away. The next day, after he passed, he went right back to work. The security guard at the site (it used to be manned 24/7/365) saw the door open, heard footsteps down the hall.. but…. there was no physical body there anymore 😉
Shortly afterwards they put another engineer down there to watch the site until the analog was switched off for the DTV conversion which put their transmitter at another site about 40 miles north. He was always a little creeped out by the site but refused to believe there was a ghost there.
I was working for a radio station whose transmitter was there at the time. The tower had been sold from NBC to a total smeghead management company, Richland Tower, who laid off the guard and left the site unmanned and unmaintained. I’d often be down there doing maintenance and hear doors opening and closing and footsteps in the hallway, but there was nobody else there in this little tiny building in the middle of a field miles from anything other than a berry farm.
Richland refused to negotiate on a new lease with the university who owned that radio station so we had to abruptly remove all our equipment… then put it back! The transmitters* didn’t survive the moves out and back so I was left to assemble a good one out of the guts of two dead ones.
It was like 3 in the morning and I was sitting on a paint bucket with transmitter parts everywhere when the door opened to the room I was in and closed again. Across the room from me was a small Crown Broadcast transmitter that was keeping the station alive for the time being, connected to an Optimod 2200 processor to handle audio levels and compression.
The Optimod’s front panel lit up like someone had turned the adjustment knob or pushed a button. I looked over just in time to see the display change from MODE -> OPERATE to MODE -> TEST. A test tone started screeching out of the radio across the room (as it did over the airwaves).
I looked over and said “Stop that!”.
The processor turned back to OPERATE mode, the station went back to normal operations, the door opened and closed again and I heard footsteps down the steel staircase fading into the distance.
I fell on the floor laughing, it was the most hilarious thing I’d seen ALL FREAKING YEAR.
There were another couple of times I went to try to contact spirits in haunted buildings. One was in the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. I was there with some of my friends from the station and we were walking down a stairwell in the tower next to where Al Capone used to have a suite and we all heard a whisper “hello!”. One of my classmates had a portable Minidisc recorder running on him with a funky field mic that looked like a pair of earbuds in reverse. We’d tested it prior to going in but now… it was recording *dead silence*. Testing it afterwards showed the equipment was working perfectly fine. Trolled again, but that’s not ALL we we were gonna get. We found access to the rooftop which was via two staircases and an equipment room and were walking around up there when we all heard, very clearly, a toilet flush.
There was no toilet on the roof. The nearest toilet was two floors below us. The only thing above us was a weird architectural dome full atop a ladder that’s potentially made of solid pigeon shit that also housed the 147.150 Mhz amateur radio repeater…
We all just couldn’t stop laughing at this point.
We later went back there with an Ouija board and the first thing that came out of it was my ham radio callsign KG4CYX. I guess they’d heard me use the repeater at some point in time. We asked the spirits there if they or their friends ever hung out on campus, and someone did reply that they often visited one of the older buildings there.
I had been reading about the “Spiricom” experiments and decided to try replicating that, first off because I’m freaking obsessed with electronics and radio, but also because I’d hoped to actually get a recording like they did out of that project. Instead of using a bunch of discrete tone generators to create the voice band audio frequencies, I just synthesized them in Audacity and played the result on loop. As I was messing with the janky little iPod transmitter and receiver I had up there, I heard a voice from behind me (seemingly out of the solid plaster wall) say “Shut up!”. It caught me by surprise and I tried to play back the recording in Audacity—-
You guessed it, DEAD SILENCE. I mean, the least significant bit of the analog to digital conversion didn’t even change (meaning, there was literally, absolutely, no sound there.)
Ridiculous pranksters, they are.
Say, wouldn’t this make a fairly good Creepypasta? Dunno, since it’s not a work of fiction……..