Saturday, June 30, 2007

Revisiting ruined architecture

Ruined, before & after
St. Thomas, Ontario, June 2007 [Click all images to enlarge]


Air shows are notorious for the parking nightmares they create. I have none-too-fond memories of sitting for hours while waiting for volunteers to guide my car to a large field far, far away from the actual event site. Cars and airports are a lousy combination on a good day. On an air show day, it gets even worse.

So when organizers of this year's show offered free shuttle bus service from the community center, I thought it might help me avoid spending a couple of hours in gridlock. As we parked in the near-empty parking lot, our daughter looked across the field and saw an ancient-looking building that had clearly seen its better days. "Ruined" was the first word that came to mind when I followed her pointed finger. I smiled as I thought about how observant she has become, how much like me she is. Poor kid.

She then insisted that I take a picture of it before we got on the shuttle bus. So I did.

When we got back to the centre at the end of the day, the sun had now shifted behind the building. Dahlia stared at it again and put into words exactly what I was thinking: "That looks neat, Dad. Want to take another picture of it?"

Wise daughters should always be listened to. So I took my camera out and once again explored the decrepit facade.

Your turn: What stories do you think this building would tell?

One more thing: This sequence continues my different-time-of-day thinking that I introduced here. I hope you'll take a moment to look at both images more closely. I wonder what you'll find when you do...

14 comments:

'B' said...

WOW, this is amazing...
With both photos together, one almost looks as though it is a negative (of sorts) of the other!!
I have a new 'toy' that I will be posting about later today (its morning now here in Sydney), so hopefully I might get some great ... (you will have to see!!
Here from Michele's this morning!
Bernie

OldHorsetailSnake said...

What I think is that the vandals have missed several windows.

Thanks for the visit, Carmi. I am here from you know who.

Marybeth said...

Wise daughters should always be listened to. True. They see what we miss. Thanks for visiting me. I'll add you to my favorites and come back to see you. Your photographic eye is amazing.

utenzi said...

Michele sent me over, Carmi.

The top picture looks very, very familiar, Carmi. Have you ever taken a picture of it before? Of course abandoned warehouses probably look very similar to one another...

I suspect the tales that building would have to tell would be of tired hard working Canadians that worked long days on their feet with little rest. And tales like that make me glad to have the job that I have.

Carmi said...

Good question, Dave. I'd never seen this building before that day, and had never been to this neck of the woods with a camera. But given my genetic need to take pictures of crumbling buildings, I'm sure I've posted similar scenes to the blog in the past.

Here are a couple of links that seem to come from a similar topical place as this one:

http://writteninc.blogspot.com/2006/12/shattered-and-forgotten.html

http://writteninc.blogspot.com/2006/08/shattered-windows-on-quiet-street.html

http://writteninc.blogspot.com/2007/02/caption-this-5.html

kenju said...

I bet the stories from that building are myriad; people who worked there could tell some amazing stories, I suspect. I love the patterns that the broken window glass makes.

Catherine said...

I don't always know what to say about your photos. I love them, but sometimes the photo expresses it all, and words can't really add anything.
I always think "quilts" when I see regular repeating squares, like those windows

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Michele sent me over to you today...(Gee I wish she would send you to me---You don't want to miss the Birthday Posts....lol---start on the 26th if you missed it..)

I LOVE these two pictures....there is a sadness to these pictres because the building has been so very neglected...all the broken windows---it's as if kids threw rocks just so the windows would break....So I see a certain amount of anger and disregard for a place that was once quite beautiful...

chrysalis said...

I love these shots.

aka_Monty said...

I should think that there are some ghostie stories contained within that building...

And OH DEAR HEAVENS there was an air show at Tinker AFB a couple weeks ago and my house is directly in the flight path.
Yeah, that was a FUN weekend. Bah.

Mike said...

Tell your daughter she has a good eye! Looks like old railroad shop buildings.

D.O.M. Dan said...

This picture reminds me of some of the buildings nearby my work - an industrial city neighboring Los Angeles.

What character that building has, and if only its walls could talk. I checked out your link to the different-time-of-day post. What a great idea!

sage said...

Nice shots--I like thinking about what when on in old buildings (maybe that's why I'm a historian)

Anonymous said...

The building is the former Michigan Central Railroad locomotive shop in St. Thomas, Ontario. It was built in 1913 and is now home of the Elgin County Railway Museum. They are now in the process of trying to raise enough money to restore it.