Ventilation shaft on Justice Mill Lane

On Justice Mill Lane in Aberdeen is this lovely pole.

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I’ve always admired it and wondered what it was. Ben recently borrowed a book about Aberdeen from the local library and it gets a mention in that. It was built in 1905 as a ventilation shaft for underground tunnels containing electricity cabling. The ventilation helped dissipate the heat from the cabling.

If humans built a ventilation shaft for underground tunnels today it would be an ugly concrete pole with no thought given to the design. Why is that? As this shows, even boring but functional street furniture can have beauty and value.