Crane Check

O n a pizza slice of land between Canal, Prospect and Sachem Streets—with the first-bite tip pointing downtown, and the crusty points angling respectively up towards Dixwell and Yale’s Science Hill—tall narrow bases of orange-yellow tower cranes extend straight into the sky, lanky arms meeting them above white manned cabins.

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Those cranes have been looming there for months, though lately they seem to be getting more exercise. Yesterday, arms pivoted around their bases, casting and reeling thick metal cables to grab various items—a large curved metal element like part of an oil tank; a bundle of rods like a quarter-slice of a cube; a forest green porta-potty, twisting in the air—and bring them to another section of the site. Securing and receiving these parcels were neon-vested workers, their colleagues ranging around a sprawling open-air catacomb.

One day, that sprawl will be the foundation for two new Yale dormitories, or “residential colleges.” According to renderings produced in 2011, when the estimated $500 million project was cleared by the city, the final result will be a lot like the largely neo-Gothic campus New Haveners already know. A touch of Hogwarts will magic up the interiors, and a 190-foot spire is set to rival Yale’s iconic 216-foot Harkness Tower half a mile away.

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For that part of the project, at least, those cranes will get to stretch their limbs a bit.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories.

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