Our favorite parts of Roosevelt Island are the exhaust/fresh air tubes which are at the WIRE buildings section of the island, which come in different pleasing 1970’s colors. At least we think they are exhaust/fresh air tubes since if you put your hand on them you can feel air movement, and there is a slight vibration. We are certain they are not part of the infamous pneumatic trash system which links all the buildings on the island by a 22″ trash tube, which you can read about here:
- Roosevelt Island’s trash pneumatic tube system
- New York City’s Trash-Sucking Island
- Fast Trash: Roosevelt Island’s Pneumatic Tubes and the Future of Cities
Excuse us a moment as we depart from our normal photography style guide of black and white photography to show some comparative images of the tubes in color versus black and white. We developed a specific photography style in order to bring some level of harmony to a chaotic mess we call this world. This is a stylistic choice, we always save photographs in their native raw format, and employ non-destructive developing processes so we can go back to the archive file. We standardize our photography collection in order to focus on what the specimen does, rather than the appearance, and to keep workflow consistent. But what the specimen looks like is undoubtably important, especially when it comes to color.
We plan on conducting more research on these specimens to understand their exact usage, then plan on publishing an entry to the taxonomy guide. While you wait, feel free to look at the Roosevelt Island Master Plan to see what the future looked like in 1969.