Have you ever wondered what is really behind that façade? Sure you see a house or trees or rocks or a large wooden horse… but what is really inside?
Looks can definitely be deceiving. All you have to do is peel back the layers and you will be surprised what you find underneath it all.
A municipal pump station in Raleigh North Carolina gives the outside impression of being a normal, single story home in the suburbs. it is in fact actually a fully functional, multiple story facility buried under the foundation and extending far beyond the reach of the foundation above.
If you got up close you would see that the windows are covered very well from the inside and there are no paths or driveways leading to the home’s small, front lawn which ends at the road side-walk. This is a brilliant example of facilities around the world that are attempting to hide otherwise unnecessarily ugly and unsightly facilities in and around suburban areas.
Who would complain about a lovely, quiet home next door, regardless of what it houses underneath (not including sacred burial grounds)?
We have seen other examples of this from water treatment plants that are disguised as marshy swamp lands (man-made of course) to large tree farms used to disguise power plants and lines.
A similar structure has been built to mask a pump station in Haddonfield with a façade of a colonial style home.
The idea of cloaking structures can also be taken on in a more environmentally friendly way. take for instance the fake boulder cabin hidden in the Alps.
Travellers can stay at Bureau A’s Antoine folly in the Alps. This man-made structure blends in with the rocky surroundings but is actually a fully functional short stay cabin complete with drop down beds, eating area and a stove for heat and food. If you were not paying attention you would probably walk right past it as you were hiking through the mountains.
If you happen to be passing by 58 Jorelman Street in Brooklyn, NY, don’t bother knocking. The chance that anyone except the NYC transit authority will be home are pretty slim. Hidden behind this door is a small room and a series of ladders and stairs that lead down to the NYC subway tracks Four and Five. This is actually quite common around residential neighbourhoods around the US and parts of Europe as older neighbourhoods attempted to beautify they areas a bit.
You will find another in Bayswater in London just around the corner from Hyde Park. This façade on 23-24 Leinster Terrace masquerades access to the the tube with a clever front-face or two residence. If you were to look around back you would simply see a wall, a few girders and a train passing below a hole in the ground.
Structures such as oil rigs and towers and other similar facilities both active and abandoned have seen a makeover to blend in as well. From turning them into art to wrapping them completely in a full building façade (see below), municipalities are going the extra step to hide these buildings and in a sense “theme” them to the environment.
The next time you pass a random door on a random neighbourhood just be aware you may be passing by a water treatment plant or a pump station or emergency access to a world down below. You never know what is happening, so next time you are on that trail… look a little closer and you may find a hidden secret.