Tower of Wooden Pallets - Wikipedia

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Tower of Wooden Pallets - Wikipedia

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In 1953, Los Angeles county building inspectors were baffled as how to classify Van Meter's innovation. They ultimately decided it was a wooden "fence".[1] No further regulatory action was taken for over twenty years and the building department left him alone, along with his "folk art" innovation, until 1977. In that year the city fire department declared his creation "an illegally stacked lumber pile." He was instructed to tear it down. Van Meter, using some imagination, convinced the Cultural Heritage Commission and the city of Los Angeles to designate his creation a Historic Cultural Monument.[6] It was declared then as HCM Monument No. 184 in 1978.[7] This designation protected Van Meter's pile of pallets until he died or moved.[2]
Later, then-commissioner Robert W. Winter said "maybe we were drunk" when the pile was designated a monument for Van Meter's lifetime.[8] Winter said it was the funniest thing they ever did.[7]