It is the final days of July, once again the month has sped passed. The cicadas are thrumming in the treetops to let me know the season is entering a new phase. It seems like the more I tackle (and even complete), the less I seem to get done! For each task completed, another must remain undone. That is the paradox of making choices. However, getting the garage all cleaned out, stuff to the dump, overgrowth in on section of the yard cut back and more items sorted out is progress. It is just that it is coming at the cost of art time, both mixed media and photography. A fine layer of dust coats my worktable as proof of this. Summer is so fleeting, even the longer days only allow so much to get squeezed in. I say “next week. next week”, and then they pass. I need to get back at the worktable and out with the camera again, even if it means weeds creep back into the lawn.
Okay, maybe I am taking a bit of creative license in the title. But when I saw the belt on the back of the door it did seem a bit uncomfortably odd. This is the room to the right of the open back house I posted about on Wednesday. Only about 6 feet of the room was left, the rest of it had been shorn off by the excavator. Should I have clambered over the dirt and gone inside, maybe. It didn’t seem like the next door neighbors were out, still maybe they own the plot and might frown on such a venture. I know when I don’t I miss out on images, yet I also avoid potential injury and irate owners. So it is a trade off, as much of life is.
It was good to see that the front door of this old house was secured to prevent access. Most of the house has been torn down to make way for a new, quick build. Not sure this would have been much good as a rehab anyhow. Given that I grew up about 2-3 miles from this place I simple cannot recall what this house looked like intact. Odd how the memory does this. I wish I had noticed when I took this image the old pencil sharpener located between the big front window and front door window there on the white trim. The sun was so bright that I just didn’t see it, and I expect the whole building is down by now. Wavy glass windows, bits of pottery, sharpener and all.
The final sweeping out of this house occurred about 15 years ago. It has sat empty ever since, for sale and sale pending several times. There is a feeling of the building holding its breath as it awaits what is to come. Waiting to see in anyone will inhabit these rooms even as commercial space of some sort. The whole 40+ acres is due to become part of an artisan village, so maybe the building will be reused. The bones are good, the 1960’s and 70’s updates not so much. Time will tell whether or not it is reused or leveled. I always cringe a bit the occasional times I drive past it, half afraid I will see rubble.
After the surprise loss, though maybe not wholly unexpected, of the dispatch and fire station on Elm St. It seems likely this one will be next. I have heard it is to be torn down as no one is interested in converting it to anything else. It does sit right on the edge of the road as would be normal for a fire station. The intersection and area is not too great. There is no land out back as the building drops down another level to a parking area between 2 other buildings, which it is likely the footprint will add to. Still it is hard to see it go, and the imagination can run wild with redesign ideas for it. It does have potential were it only somewhere else. Such is the evolution of a city.
While it is nice to see a neighborhood spruced up, gentrification often goes too far. Erasing the character and adding a faux finish of personality that can feel more like a vacation theme park than a place people live. This building is located in an area that has long been looked at for an extension of a rail line. It is a variety of well kept houses, empty manufacturing building of various eras and some more rundown places. How long before this place goes from being Girouard’s Market, a corner shop, to Les Bon Temps Cafe or Boutique? Or some such gentrified thing. Girouard’s is already closed and for sale, a market on the market. It might be empty awhile as rail plans take a long time to get implemented. A rail stop would be a boon for the city, and for commuters heading over the state line. It would boost property values for those looking to sell, would possibly take some commuter cars off the road. It would also likely whitewash the neighborhood in “acceptable niceness” for the eyes. And would likely force rents higher as the “prettification” took hold, displacing residents.
I guess it is, then, both a good and bad thing.