I’ve never used the plinky prompt feature, but this one seemed interesting.
What is the appeal of abandoned and decaying buildings to us mere mortals? As always- I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but for me- I find them to be beautiful. If there were people in them, they would bore me. The fact that a place has gone fallow, that it’s potential lies dormant evokes a romanticized image in my head of a history that I want to believe is there.
I did a google image search in my extensive research for this post and saw the image on the left. It appears to be a warehouse or commercial space’s back entrance with some graffiti declaring war on the world. The first thing that I want to know- what has the world done to deserve such a declaration? It will devolve from there into a mental world of post appocalyptic fun where John Travolta and Val Kilmer will battle it out Deadliest Warrior style for the right to rule the world. Yes- I know that I need to get a hobby.
There are so many potential stories in an old house that I am like a kid in a candy store. The fact that each building has been left, all alone, with nobody left to care for them, speaks to a sad past, filled with love and loss or a struggle to keep the family home in a great financial crisis. Did the building once function as a speak easy? A brothel? The home of a good Christian family? A good pagan family who preformed rituals in the back yard?
The picture of the house on the right makes me wonder whether it was the home of a well established family who fell on hard times or whether the only person left to inherit the land had enlisted in WWII and not come home, leaving his father and mother to waste away until the property went into disarray. Maybe the son did return, but the trauma of the War left him a shell of a man who never married and has left the house all alone- the only family to visit being a well intentioned nurse and the mail man.
I guess that I enjoy thinking about what might have been because it’s much nicer to create a story that isn’t true than to figure out the truth about the sad state of a majestic place. For instance, the picture to the right is of an abandoned hospital in Northern Wales. There was probably not anything dramatic that happened to give me a fantastic story as to why it is no longer used. The reality would look more like a population shift led to too few patients and the company running the hospital was unable to afford to keep it opened and since all of the people had been moving on, there was nobody interested in purchasing and repurposing the building.
The ghosts of a buildings past, the history hidden within it’s wall will remain. In a hospital, the deaths, the births, the sorrows, the joys, will all remain, but there will be no witnesses. An old factory, whose owners had been forced to close the doors due to an economic slowdown, or who had been driven out of business, will stand silently, a testament to mans innovative nature and self destructive tendencies. The windows will crack and fall away as the heat warms them and the winds cool them. The winter will blanket the roof and the forests will reclaim the floors as the spring comes and we will move on with our lives. I think that Old, Abandoned buildings are beautiful and cool while at the same time being just a little creepy. Either way- they are a natural resource that colors the landscape of a place and reminds us of its history and speaks to its future.