In this week’s edition of our normal finding-the-architecture-in-the-landscape, we turn to the architecture in the Palouse. As I mentioned, the farms are so big that the buildings are few and far between. Tom showed us a photographer’s map of the Palouse, which actually mapped all the picturesque barns, grain elevators (and even lone trees) for the region, as potential focal points for landscape photographs. However, whatever the architecture may lack in number, it makes up for in size. As in other agricultural areas we’ve visited before (such as southern Idaho, or southern Utah), grain elevators are the dominant type.
The town of St. John has a grain elevator that looks not so much like a building as it does a whole city of grain elevators. In fact, the parallel holds true even at a deeper, structural level: the elevators were built at different times and by different companies. Just as in a city, the form is a reflection of the historical process of growth and change over time.
There are a few built edifices that are not elevators. Near Pine City, we came across this corral for hay bales. Our friend Jug tried to explain its function to us, but I’m still not sure I buy it. It may have to do with moving and storing hay bales, but it seems entirely too elaborate for that. I think they just wanted to do something that had that machine-in-the-garden look.
We meandered down to Pullman, and got to see the WSU campus. This is the only picture I could grab. As Greta and I discovered three years ago, it is almost impossible to park anywhere within miles of big university campuses. All parking lots are designated for those with stickers, and the traffic is usually so heavy that you can’t even stop. So we did a driving tour of the campus (not too bad), and then drove downtown, where visitors could be accommodated.