It began with a one-liner, a throwaway, a joke: how would you get Stonehenge past a zoning board? Jonathan Rothberg posed that question after his plans for a zinc-clad observatory were swatted down following a local zoning hearing for, among other reasons, not looking sufficiently colonial. [...]
He hopes it will be eternal, too. Dr. Rothberg gave his design and construction team an additional brief: he wanted the stones around for 10,000 years. "Ten thousand years is on the same order of magnitude as recorded history," he said.
It's likely that in 100 years the site will be under water, according to Pat Arnett, a senior engineer in New York at the consulting engineering firm of Robert Silman Associates. "But Jonathan was O.K. with that," said Mr. Arnett, whose firm designed a concrete mix for the foundations similar to those used by the ancient Romans.
Mr. Arnett used computer modeling to simulate natural stresses like enormous hurricanes and earthquakes, as well as ones on a more human scale. "It hadn't occurred to me, but Jonathan asked about vandals," he explained. "So I tested a dump truck running into the stones at 40 miles an hour. If someone is really intent on destroying the circle, it wouldn't be easy." [...]
"The issue is whether or not it's considered a structure," Ms. Hayden was also quoted as saying. "They did it without any kind of permit." Indeed, Dr. Rothberg sought no zoning approval or building permit because, he said, "my position is, if I put up a piece of art, I don't need permission."
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