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Roadside Attraction: The World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

File Under So. Co., Waiting for… is the actual name of the public art installation in Burlington, Vermont that was built in 2002 by Bren Alvalrez, and considered the world’s tallest filing cabinet, at 38 drawer’s and 40 feet tall.

World's Largest Filing Cabinet
2004 (left) and 2016 (right)

I remember when this piece of art was first installed. I was a twenty-two year old UVM student and frequented the nearby Oakledge park on a weekly basis. Over the past twenty years, I have taken many photos in front of this structure. Over those twenty years I’ve also watched those filing cabinets deteriorate and change over time, slowly rusting away as each year passed by. Stickers and graffiti also covered the filing cabinets over the years. Twenty years in a college town did it’s thing.

Perhaps the accumulation of stickers and graffiti had nothing to do with the decision, but according to Wikipedia, in 2020, due to a perceived immanence of construction, the filing cabinet was relocated 100 feet from its previous position onto a new 10 foot pedestal. This change has made it so you can no longer stand beside the filing cabinet, and basically made it out-of-reach for people trying to get too close to the installation.

World's Tallest Filing Cabinet
World's Tallest Filing Cabinet, File Under So. Co. Waiting for…

There is not much to this attraction besides the one installation, a giant filing cabinet that stands tall, towering into the sky. It’s the uniqueness and simplicity of this art installation that makes for a great roadside attraction, and of course, a great place for a selfie.

In August of 2020, artist Bren Alvarez added a temporary exhibition titled ``File Herd: On the Road to Extinction” that was showcased during the South End Art Hop in Burlington. Transformed file cabinets were displayed around the original pedestal for File Under So., Co. Waiting for…creating even more unique art to view and soak in. I was sad to see when this exhibition came down, but I'm looking forward to the next one.

This art installation is free to visit and view. It's located at 208 Flynn Ave in Burlington, Vermont, located across from the South End City Market, and just down the road from Oakledge Park. If you happen to take the time to visit this art installation while visiting Burlington, then I highly suggest visiting Oakledge Park, which is only a quick way away, and offers some of the most incredible views of Lake Champlain.

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