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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Port Angeles Underground

Here's a last glimpse of Port Angeles, a large mural that depicts an extraordinary engineering feat a hundred years ago. Early Port Angeles was built on tidal flats and this led to sanitary problems and flooding as the town grew. It began to look like the only solution was to tear down all the buildings in the downtown core and rebuild them on higher ground. The city government, however, came up with an ambitious plan to simply raise the level of the city as much as 15 feet in some areas. They did this by spraying high pressure jets of water onto hillsides above the town and channeling the river of mud that resulted down the streets of the town where it settled. There it was contained between concrete walls. Roadways and sidewalks were built on top of the mud when it had settled and dried and most of the ground floors of downtown buildings became basements. Our Heritage Tour took us underground into some of the eerie, echoing spaces that still exist beneath the buildings and sidewalks. These spaces are now empty but initially they had some strange tenants, including a miniature underground golf course.

1 comment:

JoJo said...

No idea that PA had an underground. Have you ever done the underground tour in Seattle? It's fascinating too.