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World's Tallest Filing Cabinet: Burlington, Vermont

This was a pretty cool 38-drawer monument I found on my Burlington trip. Southwest edge of town. Drive US 7/Shelburne Road/Ethan Allen Hwy five blocks north of the turnoff for I-189. Turn left (west) onto Flynn Ave. After five blocks, the file cabinet is in a field on the right, between Pine St. and Foster St.

But the neatest thing about it is that while I was standing there, a squirrel made an appearance by peeking out of the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet. Then I saw a smaller squirrel but I missed the photo shot. I waited for awhile but only got the Mom.

It was built in 2002 by local artist Bren Alvarez and is made up of 38 drawers, with each one representing the number of years of paperwork that Alvarez accumulated while working on a local street project.

Alvarez built the tower—titled “File Under File Under So. Co., Waiting for…”—as a comment on bureaucratic delays building the “Southern Connector,” a roadway intended to connect Interstate 89 to downtown Burlington. Officials originally proposed the road spur in 1965, but it was never built. Fifty-one years later, that project, now called the “Champlain Parkway,” is still in bureaucratic limbo.


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