Thursday, August 10, 2006
Shattered windows on a quiet street
There's a building on a quiet street near where I go to donate blood plasma. It used to be a factory, and is now partially occupied by an indoor volleyball venue. The majority of the building has been left to rot, as you can see here.
I pass by this decaying hulk at least once or twice a month, and every time I do, I think that I ought to return here with a camera to capture its decline. I have a thing for ruined architecture. The castoffs of urban life seem to tell poignant stories of better times, of people and experiences that no longer exist. I often wonder what they would tell us if they could speak, what lessons they would share with those of us too busy to stop by as we rush off to another appointment.
So last week, as I cycled to my appointment with the dreaded needle, I realized I had a bit of extra time and my camera was loaded in my bike bag. So I stopped and thought I'd grab some images of this otherwise forgotten piece of architecture.
As I clicked away, it slowly dawned on me that the real story wasn't simply the broken windows or the weeds growing out of the brickwork. The morning sun shining through the trees and reflecting off the bricks told me another story: that inspiration exists even here.
There's a reason this old building still stands. Perhaps it is to remind us that we need to look deeper into the wrinkles of our existence and realize that even an old, broken-down building can be captivating in its own way.
Your turn: Have you come across urban ruins that inspire? Why do they inspire us?