The final sweep


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.


Next on the block


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.

And it’s gone

relic Not just the doorknob, or the door, but the whole building.

There one week and gone the next.

Not so much as a bit of debris left to let a passerby know what once was there.


Luckily I took a bunch of photos of it. I would have liked to have had a peek inside, but no such luck. Sad to say it probably all went to a landfill, and the empty lot will likely attract trash dumpers pretty soon.IMG_3476


Years of weather


How long has it been since a horse was hitched here to graze a bit while the rider was elsewhere? It’s just a small, collapsing barn a stone’s throw from the old house, perfect for company to tie up when stopping in the dooryard for a visit. Who knows how long this barn will stand, or when I will pass by it again. Years of weather have done their work on the old wood and metal. It was the overload of texture that caught my eye while I poked around the old buildings. I miss getting out and about regularly and wandering among the derelict, the forgotten and the long abandoned structures, both urban and rural.

On down the line


The last passenger train has long since departed from this station. Now only the occasional freight train passes by. Though I have driven by on the road about 30 yards parallel to it I don’t remember ever seeing it. This time I did, and made sure to stop as we headed home to take a closer look. I am unsure why this trip brought out such a melancholy batch of photos, but it did. I don’t have a single photo of anyone opening gifts, the first Christmas ever that I didn’t document the holiday. Which is actually okay as it meant I participated instead of being behind a camera. I plan to step up my abandoned structure photography and scouted out several spots to check back on. Plus my brother has a list of places he knows of as he travels the back roads of the county, so I will be amply supplied with locations. I just need to set aside a weekend to get down there and have the weather cooperate.

Tread lightly

While visiting in the land of limited cell service, I stopped by this slice of days gone by. Had it been geographically correct it felt like maybe Laura Ingalls or Nellie Oleson might appear and start browsing the shelves. But what really caught my eye as I passed , was the vintage bike standing in the window. Once upon a time, not that long ago, this was a functioning store. Then it became an antiques store, now it sits quietly at a country intersection as the traffic flows passed. I don’t recall it ever being in use, but my mother does. Apparently the house behind it is where the proprietors lived. It is now empty, as is the one next to it. Though we did see a raccoon on the roof, so I guess unoccupied is a relative term. It can be hard to tell sometimes as people seem to walk out and close the door behind them, leaving personal belongings in place like some strange tableau. It can make it a bit unnerving to approach as I certainly have no desire to encounter a resident in what seemed to be an abandoned house! Often in these places, even when empty, there is a palpable feel of previous lives still being played out. Tread lightly, tread lightly.