Spoil Island

Spoil Island : Reading the Makeshift Archipelago

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Spoil islands are overlooked places combining dirt with paradise, waste-land with "brave new world," and wildness with human intervention. Mundane products of dredging, these islands form an uninvestigated archipelago that demonstrates the potential value and contested re-valuation of landscapes of waste. Research navigates the U.S. east coast from New York City to Key West, examines these marginalized topographies to understand emergent concerns of 21st-century placemaking, public space, and infrastructure, and discovers that spoil islands constitute an unprecedented public commons, where human agency and nature are inextricably linked.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 160.02 x 231.14 x 30.48mm | 657.71g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 19 black & white illustrations
  • 0739173065
  • 9780739173060

Review quote

Hailey (architecture, U. of Florida) looks at islands created by soil and rock from dredged channels, ports, and cuts along the east coast of the US. His main interest is how the islands came about and how people have used them, though he also discusses wildlife and plants. He covers building New York Harbor's islands of waste, rip-rap, U Thant's East River island, mound, the common wilderness of Indian River's linear archipelago, nettle, Peanut Island's mutinous landscapes camp, development Biscayne Bay's lagoon, spit, surrounding Biscayne Bay's spoil islands, sand, Key West's western margin, and barge. Book News, Inc. It's exciting to see a book on the array of intentionally incidental landmasses that line our channels and dot our harbors. Focusing mainly on Florida-that most constructed and tenuous state-Charlie Hailey's detailed histories of a few selected sites assert that the things we make without much thought give us a lot to think about. -- Matt Coolidge, Center for Land Use Interpretation Spoil Island is almost magical, as is the place of which it speaks-'surreal, free, and maddeningly difficult, spoil islands offer a range of experiences like nowhere else.' To say that this a compelling tale of a landscape undergoing the transition from industrial channel dredging to recreational uses or a striking illustration of self-organization in the complex dance of linked human-natural events would only hint at its accomplishments. In this work, Charlie Hailey not only continues his imaginative presentations of interesting places, but without exaggeration enters the company of Ivan Doig and Barry Lopez. The wonderful writing weaves together vivid first-hand experiences, historical narrative, and biographical threads, from which emerge a site in the Gulf of Mexico that, as Melville says, 'is not drawn on any map, true places never are. -- Robert Mugerauer, University of Washington Spoil Island serves as a clear contribution to the study of religion and ecology, questioning the ontology of natural ecosystems among other things; it makes contributions to aesthetics, through the various excursions made into art forms; finally it has a lot to say on sacred place and journey. -- Kip Redick, Christopher Newport Universityshow more

About Charlie Hailey

Charlie Hailey teaches design, theory, and history in the University of Florida's School of Architecture. He is author of Campsite: Architectures of Duration and Place (2008) and Camps: A Guide to 21st-century Space (2009).show more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Preface Makeshift Barge Chapter 1: Natural and Infrastructural: Building New York Harbor's Islands of Waste Rip-Rap Chapter 2: Spiritual and Infrastructural: U Thant's East river Island Mound Chapter 3: Public and Private: The Common Wildness of Indian River's Linear Archipelago Nettle Chapter 4: Useful and Cultural: Peanut Island's Mutinous Landscapes Camp Chapter 5: Rational and Irrational: Developing Biscayne Bay's Lagoon Spit Chapter 6: Real and Surreal: Surrounding Biscayne Bay's Spoil islands Sand Chapter 7: Order and Disorder: Navigating Key West's Western Margin Barge Archipelago Notes Select Bibliography Indexshow more