Monday, September 10, 2012

Rust in peace

Windows into a lost era
Montreal, QC
July 2012

Most working waterfronts have these relics of an almost-lost past, silos designed to store whatever bulk goods are carried on the freighters that sail up and down the watery highways that define the North American landscape.

The ships, often little more than hulking piles of rust, once carried most of the cargo needed by a growing continent. But times have changed. The 18-wheeler now seems to dominate, and the watery highway has now been replaced by ribbons of asphalt. The ships continue to sail, but there are fewer of them, and the ports that once fed our day-to-day lives now seem almost completely removed from our reality.

As a result, structures like this one are increasingly left to the ravages of time. Or demolished. Either way, they won't last forever. And if we don't take the time to capture their slow decline now, there may not be a next time.

Your turn: How do we decide what's worth saving? Or bringing in the wrecking ball?

About this photo: We're wrapping up Thematic's weathered and worn theme today. There's still time to get in your last-minute submissions - just go here. New theme, at an angle, launches tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern.


Kalei's Best Friend said...

The easy way 'we' decide is whether what we keep is profitable... 'We' do not think of the long term of what and who it may impact and whether by tearing it down will better the general public but will think of the profits 'we' will reap... I put 'we' in quotes, since I don't consider myself part of'we'... Big business, government and rich individuals = 'we'.

mmp said...

suppose it's all down to Could Anyone Else Use The Building For Anything Else? + a time scale attached so it doesn't all drag out for ever.....?

Pat Tillett said...

Even if it doesn't make sense all the time, I hate to see old stuff destroyed. Ships, I'm not so sure though. That's a lot of scrap metal there!

Unknown said...

The older buildings around my University Alma mater that resembled slums have been razed and replaced by swamky dorms. If there is architectural richness or historical significance, that's one thing. But quite often, eye sores should be replaced by buildings that inspire hope!