If you recall, last week we took a look at a depressing area of a major American city, complete with blocks of apartments that had been abandoned, trashed, and finally leveled. Surely it's going to get better, you ask. And what does this have to do with a downtown?
Not much. But it's a commercial strip, and that's what this project is all about.
What the hell was this?
A gas station, perhaps - it has four bays. Also looks like it had a drive-up window. It seems out of place - new and cheerful, old and odd.
Open! Come on in!
Sure we’re open! No, it doesn’t smell very fishy in here, we’re proud of that. Say, come over here behind the counter, I’ve something to show you. (murder intensifies)
“Say, Mr. Architect, how did you know everyone in the church is a Mason? Just a guess?”
No longer a church. That’s such an odd thing to say. The church isn’t a church anymore. When you’re a kid you believe a church will always be a church. And you’re usually right.
Still a church.
Looks like the sanctuary got some new skin-cleaning prescription.
The quality of these buildings suggests a previous life as a prosperous era, middle-class and above, with good social stability.
St. Philomena Church. Interior shots here.
Not all of them had the stony gravity of the past. This ark style was popular for a while. Too long, if you ask me.
It had a cupola once, I’m sure.
They gave up on one side, and boarded the windows, but the street side view still has glass.
Wonder what the lobby under that arch looks like. Whether there's some light fixture left from a 1960s "modernization."
"Say, let’s used a lighter brick for this one. Someday people will want to block up all the windows with plywood, and it’ll look nicer.”
If there wasn't an Italian restaurant called "Vesuvius" in that spot once, I'll be disappointed.
I don’t know when this picture was taken. Could be rehabbed. Could be gone. Could just sit there like this for another 20 years.
Apparently the City Fathers anticipated a lot of foot traffic around these parts. Perhaps they were dealing with impromptu parades complete with brass bands, five people across.
Firefighters would have to pack a lunch to make it from the hydrant to the store.
It's an everyday curse to a neighborhood to be full of the trappings of a time when things were nicer.
The building in the banner picture. Somehow, if you paint over everything, it doesn’t look depressing and abandoned, even though it’s obviously depressing and abandoned.
I get angry at these pictures.
All the money moved away and no one cared enough or had the scratch to keep it looking civilized.
Looks like it was taken over by another building that’s pretty damned happy about it
Everyone’s, and no one’s now
There’s a broad wall from the Good Days now covered with neighborhood murals, and they’re not unnerving in the least:
Recent pictures show they're all painted over.
Nothing made here any more
Best to start again, perhaps. But how?
That'll do - see you tomorrow.