Tallest Filing Cabinet on Earth – Burlington, Vermont - Atlas Obscura

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Tallest Filing Cabinet on Earth

This 38-drawer structure claims the superlative title, but it isn't the world's only giant filing cabinet. 


Built in 2002 by local artist Bren Alvarez, the filing cabinet in the first and second picture attached to this post 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. While Alvarez’s piece proudly claims to be the tallest filing cabinet on Earth, it’s unclear if that is actually the case, since other works of art also claim the same title.

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 was delayed due to bureaucracy and legal battles.

In 2020, the filing cabinet was moved a few hundred feet West to make way for construction on the Southern Connector. It now sits in the parking lot at 208 Flynn Ave.

Know Before You Go

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 parking lot on the right, between Foster St. and Briggs St.

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