Monday, June 29, 2009

Day trip to North Adams, Mass

On Friday I took the day off and took a drive up to Western Massachusetts to check out the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art--or MASS MoCA, as it is usually called.

One of the most interesting parts about the museum is the site itself, a 13-acre former industrial complex comprised of 26 buildings with interlocking courtyards and bridges.

The site has formerly been occupied (over a period of more than 200 years) by a brick yard, a saw mill, marble works, wagon- and sleigh-makers, an ironworks (which later forged armor plates for the Civil War ship, the Monitor), the Arnold Print Works, Sprague Electric Company, and more--all making for a complex rich in history and visual interest.

Even the bathrooms are cool.

Outside the main entrance is this construction that is part of their KidSpace exhibit. I love that it appears to be growing right out of the second-story window.

It seems they like to grow their trees upside down--pretty amazing!

After leaving the museum we went to the Natural Bridge State Park (although not without nearly an hour of horribly frustrating driving in circles due to Google Maps' inability to actually direct you to the site--which, in their defense, seems oddly hidden away).

This dog kept us company for a few minutes. His friend barked at us a lot though.

Here is the natural bridge, the only naturally formed white marble arch in North America. According to geologists, it is 550 million year old bedrock marble, carved into an arch by the force of glacial melt water more than 13,000 years ago.

And here is some 100+ year-old graffiti. 

Apparently music plays from somewhere in this area at night, an installation set up by MASS MoCA.

While I would have loved to have spent less time angrily driving around looking for it, once we found it the experience paid off.

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