Chesapeake Bay Model Update
Intentional Model Gives Way to Expanded Model Form

1004 Like the landscape of some newly formed post-industrial planet, the Chesapeake Bay Model site, stripped of the contoured concrete of the model surface, is now a chaotic network of tire tracks and rivulets, forming and evolving in the exposed dirt and sand. CLUI photoTHE CHESAPEAKE BAY, AS REPRESENTED on a 1:1,000 scale model that was the subject of a CLUI exhibit in 1998, has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past four years, breaking beyond the bounds of the miniature landscape originally constructed out of concrete in the 1970’s. 90% or so of the concrete from the model has been removed, exposing the dirt and sand that lay beneath. The original eight acres of representational surface has expanded to fill the full footprint of the 14 acre shed built to cover the model. The loose material that now covers the floor of the cavernous space has been contoured by the tracks left by demolition crew trucks, and is carved into a system of braided rivulets by the rain water that streams in through the holes in the roof. The complex network of erosional streams and elongated tire tread ponds resembles a miniature landscape of a post industrial, post glacial period of some indefinite future.

The contemporary, incidental model now can be seen, even, as having expanded beyond the shed, into the unfrequented park in which it resides, where a depositional mountain has formed, built out of the ground-up concrete of the model, a mountain over one thousand feet tall at the model’s scale (applying the model’s 10 times vertical exaggeration to the 1:1000 scale). Apparently, the future will continue to be extrapolated at this remarkable, “Modeled Earth” site.

1005 This pile outside the model’s shed was named “Mount Model” by the CLUI on a recent visit to check on the progress of the constantly evolving Chesapeake Bay Hydraulic Model. CLUI photo