Officials Beg the Public to Stop Peeing on the World’s Tallest Church Tower

Since its completion in 1890, the pinnacle of Ulm Minster in Germany has reached higher than any other Christian church in the world. At 530 feet, it was even the tallest structure on Earth for a brief stint in the late 19th century. Today, the historic landmark is facing a unique threat: urine and vomit from inconsiderate passersby.

As Travel + Leisure reports, the pee problem has gotten so bad that the stone base of the tower is beginning to erode. Now the church officials responsible for conserving it are imploring the public to stop.

Martin Kraft via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Earlier in 2016, the city of Ulm doubled the fine for public urination to 100 euros, but so far that’s done little to deter vandals and their bodily fluids. A city spokeswoman told Süedwest Presse that despite the evidence coating the walls, practically no one’s been caught in the act. She said that “as long as there are people,” the problem isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon.

The sandstone base was recently restored, but if the public doesn’t start behaving, the department that maintains the building could be faced with another restoration—and the financial burden that entails. Since curbing the city's partiers isn't likely to happen anytime soon, one department official has put forth a more realistic solution: on-site port-a-potties.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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Watch an Artist Build a Secret Studio Beneath an Overpass
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Artists can be very particular about the spaces where they choose to do their work. Furniture designer Fernando Abellanas’s desk may not boast the quietest or most convenient location on Earth, but it definitely wins points for seclusion. According to Co.Design, the artist covertly constructed his studio beneath a bridge in Valencia, Spain.

To make his vision a reality, Abellanas had to build a metal and plywood apparatus and attach it to the top of an underpass. After climbing inside, he uses a crank to wheel the box to the top of the opposite wall. There, the contents of his studio, including his desk, chair, and wall art, are waiting for him.

The art nook was installed without permission from the city, so Abellanas admits that it’s only a matter of time before the authorities dismantle it or it's raided by someone else. While this space may not be permanent, he plans to build others like it around the city in secret. You can get a look at his construction process in the video below.

[h/t Co.Design]

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One of Frank Lloyd Wright's Final Residential Designs Goes on Sale in Ohio
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In case you’ve missed the many recent sales of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed real estate, you have yet another chance to secure yourself a historical starchitect home. The Louis Penfield House is being sold by its original owners, and it could be yours for a cool $1.3 million. The restored Usonian home in Willoughby Hills, Ohio has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2003.

The house is currently a vacation rental and, depending on the preference of the new owner, it could continue to operate as a tourist destination. Or you could take it over as your private residence, which sounds pretty luxurious. It still has a floor-to-ceiling glass-walled living room that looks out on the Chagrin River, and comes with all the original furniture Wright designed. Like Wright’s other Usonian homes, it has a radiant-floor heating system that draws on a natural gas well onsite.

A retro-looking living room features floor-to-ceiling windows.
A bedroom is filled with vintage wooden furniture.

Around the same time as the original commission, Louis and Pauline Penfield also asked Wright to create another house on an adjacent property, and that home would prove to be the architect’s final residential design. It was still on the drawing board when he died unexpectedly in 1959. The sale of the Penfield House includes the original plans for the second house, called Riverrock, so you’d be getting more like 1.5 Frank Lloyd Wright houses. Seems like a pretty good deal to us.

All images via Estately


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