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Karl Taps

Aquacade Demolition, 1995

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I just uploaded to Flickr a group of photos I shot in 1995, just prior to the demolition of the Aquacade. By that time, it had already been closed for over a decade and time had taken her toll on the structure. None the less, the sheer size of the seating capacity was impressive, as were the many art deco details. The most surprising relic was the original control room that overlooked the entire site. It still contained its control panels with the many instruments for the hydrolics and lights for the shows the Aquacade was once home to. I have attached one of these photos here.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/44212298@N03/sets/72157622587199343/

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Karl looks like we traveled the same path. Here are some from October 1989:

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After scanning these I noticed the top of the NYSP in the background. Don't see any of the same graffiti, must have been covered by a second generation.

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Very nice, sad pictures. First I have actually seen of the Amphitheater up close. What a beautiful structure. I particularly liked the stone that said "New York State Amphitheater, New York World's Fair" and 1939 in Roman Numerals.

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Does anybody know how any of these controls worked or what they did? I wonder what the bigger cranks controlled? Looks like anything valuable has been "removed for preservation". I brightened up the photo so we could see the details of the panel. (hope that's okay, K-Taps?)

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I wish I did! Electro-mechanical control panels were an early fascination of mine and probably most boys that age. The flashing lights of contemporary digital panels, like on Lost in Space for instance, were no improvement over the sheer muscularity of these babies, train switchyard towers or Dr. Frankenstein's lab.

Check out the Panama Canal lock controls if you get a chance. They are "fool-proofed" with visual hydraulic feedbacks so the operator can see water flowing where it is supposed to.

Quite a contrast between the achievement of the people who built that panel and the impotence of those who can only steal a can of paint and press a button.

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Heartbreaking and like I've said before that structure would have stood for a hundred years, it was all brick. Thanks Claire Schulman.

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The control panels were the most fascinating and surprising element for me during my visit. I was shocked the basic panel was still in place. I can't imagine that these would have had any use during the Aquacade's long second-life as a public pool, so I can only imagine that these were part of the original construction. I imagine the many buttons and levers would have controlled the lights and the water-jets. Does anyone know someone who worked at the Aquacade during its years as a public pool? Perhaps as a lifeguard or an attendant? Aside from the control panels, I was particularly moved by the poetic image of the large public clock which had long-since stopped counting the hours.

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