The Paris Catacombs are a story of multigenerational effects: the mining of limestone for Paris’s characteristic buildings, the collapses of buildings into the voids the mining created, the efforts to reinforce the cavities, and ultimately the decades-long project to transfer the remains of six million Parisians to the space. At this point, it has earned the name “Empire of the Dead”.
Today is a more unusual shot of UC Berkeley’s Hearst Memorial Mining Building. As with so many other buildings on campus, the terrain and topology of surrounding the building have changed radically since it’s initial construction, with each shift requiring an adaptation to the landscaping and lower structure of the building to maintain access without violating the original design too severely. In this case, however, a fairly functional combination of tunnel entrance and stairs looks uncannily like some sort of ancient tomb. I keep waiting for Indiana Jones to come sprinting out past the ash trays with an enormous boulder rolling close behind him.