Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Archive for the ‘Buildings’ Category

Red Barn at Sunset

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I was about to wrap up a walk on the Portage Hike and Bike trail near Kent, Ohio, when I noticed the late day sunlight nicely illuminating a red barn and old farm house at the Beckwith Orchard.

I had to walk out into the orchard for a slight distance to get a clear sight line on the barn and hope that the sun didn’t dip below the tree line before I could get there.

But I made it and got the image of the barn. The orchard is still open, but won’t be for much longer as the fall apple season draws to a close.



Another Old Building

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I like old buildings. Maybe I like them because they’ve stood for a long time. Maybe I like them because they remind me of another time. Maybe I like them because they are classy.

Whatever the case, when I see one I like to photograph it.

This particular structure stands at the foot of Main Street in Summerhill, Pennsylvania.

It probably used to be a store, but has apparently been repurposed. Notice the garage door in front to the left of the front door.

If I had to guess I would say this building has been made into housing, perhaps apartments.

It seems odd that all of the windows are either boarded up or closed off with curtains. Or maybe not. It was early morning when I was there and not many people were yet out and about.

Industrial Space

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You can find blocks like this one in every American city and town of any size.

An old red brick factory sits in the heart of the city, often next to a railroad track.

Some of these industries are very much alive and well while others sit silent and vacant as monuments to another era. In a few cases, the buildings have been repurposed.

I’m not sure of the status of this industrial site in Marion, Ohio, but there is something about it that is quintessentially American and typical of the Midwest.

The boarded up windows on the first floor suggest abandonment, but the windows on the second floor suggests life.

The fading paint on the side that once proclaimed what company owned this building and what it made is a testament to another time.

Written by csanders429

October 18, 2017 at 6:17 am

And They’re All Made Out of Ticky Tacky

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When I made this image I thought of the 1962 song written by Malvina Reynolds titled Little Boxes.

The song is a commentary on suburban America in which everyone not only lives in houses that all look the same but also lead lives that are all pretty much the same.

Released in 1963 by Pete Seeger, Little Boxes speaks specifically to tract housing — something called cookie cutter housing — that became widespread after World War II.

This neighborhood in Kent, Ohio, may not be tract housing per se. In fact, it might be filled with custom homes built to a design agreed to by the folks who paid to build the home. These homes are hardly small.

Yet I can’t help but think of the song because those who live in this development have much in common with those described in the song as having gone to universities to become doctors, lawyers and business executives.

Given the prices of these homes, only those who are affluent could afford to live here.

It may not be a “cookie-cutter neighborhood” as such, yet it has much in common with countless suburban developments favored by the middle to upper middle class across America.

This neighborhood and these homes could be anywhere. Still, there is something pleasing about such neighborhoods, which in and of itself helps to explain their popularity.

Written by csanders429

September 15, 2017 at 7:18 am

More Questions Than Answers

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I’m walking along the main street in downtown Marion, Ohio, and have come to a stretch that is a bit seedy.

Along the way I encounter the Midway Tavern. The name begs the question of what is it midway between.

I found it curious that a tavern would use a sign provided by a soft drink company.

When I think of tavern I think of beer and not soda. Sure, taverns stock a variety of sodas because someone might want to drink one or mix it with something harder.

Perhaps this used to be a diner or something similar and the tavern owner just re-purposed the sign.

Written by csanders429

August 26, 2017 at 7:31 am

Church Along the Way

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We had stopped at a rest area along Interstate 70 while driving to Maryland. We had picked up sandwiches at a Sheetz in Breezewood, Pennsylvania, and would eat them at this rest area, which we knew about because we had stopped here before.

There is a panoramic view of a valley here and I took my camera bag with me to the picnic table.

I put on my longest telephoto lens and zoomed in on a structure on the hillside.

It was a rural church that has probably been here for decades. Presumably, there is still a congregation that meets here regularly.

There wasn’t much I could do about the wires in the foreground. Sometimes you just have to live with clutter.

Written by csanders429

August 22, 2017 at 6:34 am

Hauted in Willoughby

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Word is that the building that once housed the Willoughby Coal & Supply Company is haunted. Back in 1945, a foreman is reported to arrived for work to find the owner’s body lying on the floor by the front entrance.

The official version of events is that he had climbed into the third floor rafter and accidentally fallen. But others think that he was murdered.

The building is still a working business today and on the day that I made this image a school group was touring it on a ghost walk.

Written by csanders429

May 30, 2017 at 6:58 am