I've written before about some highway rest stops in NC, and the balance and rightness of those sites. They're arranged. They're an inspiring lesson on the potential ubiquity of beauty, that anything can be made not only functional but "right" in a way that rests the soul. Those rest stops used to make me smile and breathe more deeply because the sidewalks, buildings, and trees were arranged perfectly. They made use of open spaces and placement to make you FEEL the space, the room, the rest.
NC has been tearing these up, one after another, to add a duplicate restroom building. I understand this is to allow one to be open and one closed for major cleaning at all times. This will mean a reduction of cost - only one rest area attendant, regardless of gender, can clean both restrooms while the public is not inconvenienced.
But the beauty of all of these sites has been destroyed. And at what cost? Were the decisions made with full knowledge of what was being lost? I'd noticed that many more people actually stopped and RESTED at these sites, compared to others in the Southeast. Aware or not of the reasons, people were affected by the balance of those places. The architecture. Their RIGHTNESS. Did the officials who decided to destroy that know what they were destroying?
I pulled into my favorite of these rest stops a week ago and was dismayed to find that most of it had been torn down for a similar project. That leaves not one intact. I wanted to weep. I think this inspired the dream I had several days later. And on my trip this week to Atlanta I stopped at another, and realized that the trees they had cut down for the constuction were the China Rain trees - the most beautiful things at that stop...