Looked a lot better in the olden days... that is one nasty looking retaining wall.
The street was certainly in better shape in 1938 too. Thanks NCDOT!
I'm confused of the benefit of retaining walls?
retaining walls keep the dirt from eroding. However, I kind of doubt their benefit myself...I'm letting mine slowly crumble in favour of an ivy-covered slope.
I suppose the retaining wall is better suited for low-maintenance yards, as once you pour the concrete you don't have to worry for a decade or so. In some cases it can look good (i.e., done in New England style stone)...in others such as cinder block I've notice it tends to attract graffiti.
My guess on the retaining wall would be that the foot of the slope of the embankment was removed to construct a sidewalk (I'm assuming it's a sidewalk slightly visible below the wall.)
Retaining wall could also help level a front yard so it's more usable.
The retaining wall in this case was constructed so as to provide some space for a sidewalk. It was likely a DOT and/or city "improvement" project.
Retaining walls certainly have their place, but they have to be designed and built correctly with good drainage in place.
I'm not a fan of that wall or any wall built with a cinder block face. Here's one I built for my front yard to combat the constant erosion we were seeing over the years.
@ Paul,That is an awesome retaining wall. I wish DOT or COD budgets could afford to make all retaining walls with such detail.
North Duke and Monmouth, looking northwest, June 1938
(Courtesy Duke Forest Collection)
North Duke and Monmouth, looking northwest, 06.21.10
(Copyright Endangered Durham)
Find this spot on a Google Map.