Monday, January 23, 2012

They don't make 'em like that anymore . .

I'm not telling you anything you don't know here; big, old, beautiful churches all around downtown are sitting vacant. You have your favorites too, no doubt. "If only somebody would do something," you mumble as you drive by.

Well, last week I photographed just such a church for a pending National Register of Historic Places nomination. Now putting it on the NR won't prevent it from being demolished, but through Missouri's Historic Tax Credit program it becomes more feasible to restore it. And it seriously needs restoration!

Is it worth it? What do you think?

Monday, January 16, 2012


For the last month and a half or so I've been out photographing Kansas City MO School District schools with Rosin Preservation for an adaptive reuse study.

Everybody knows the schools in their neighborhood, but when you set out to see them all it can be very enlightening, and surprising. First of all, there are a LOT of schools! We're focusing on only about 75. Secondly, the diversity of architecture is impressive. Some are beautiful, and some are purely utilitarian. Some are huge and some are tiny. Some are occupied, others have been vacant for a long time. They're all interesting, though.

Here are some examples from the first couple of days out. More to come . .

(The odds are really good that I can't remember where or what some of these schools are, so my apologies in advance if you're curious.)

Friday, January 6, 2012

More "Art of Decay"

I was out of town this week doing pre-restoration photos for a client. The building in question had been vacant and boarded up since the 80's. 250 boards covering all windows and doors had just been removed on the day we arrived, and all were being put back the next day when we left. It was like opening a time capsule for for a quick look, and then burying it again.

Every time I get to do a project like this I'm awed by the patience and persistence of nature and the elements. Years of hot then cold, wet then dry, animals and insects coming and going, all wear on a building. In time, anything built by man will be reclaimed by nature, and sometimes the process is stunningly beautiful. And I get to photograph it!

I'll be back again to photograph it when everything is repaired and restored, and few will believe that it could have ever looked like this.

I LOVE my job!