Tag Archives: Mick Watson

The Link Foundry for September 11, 2012

I haven’t been much for architecture here in the Link Foundry and I don’t know why.  Vehicles, costumes, jewelry, events, but not places.  Odd, because a place can be just as evocative of an era or the people within it as any other element of storytelling.  Perhaps the drama hasn’t been there up to this point in my searches.  Or maybe I’m finally looking in the right places.  Check out these places that just introduce themselves, the living embodiment of form indiscernible from function.

I’m a big believer in the idea that a building, like most other types of vessels, takes on some of the emotion of what or whom it once contained.  Call it aura, lingering spirit, or whatever.  The structure may be collapsed, with trees and weeds growing through it, but you don’t need a floorplan or a former resident to figure out what it once was.  Take for example, the collection of photos of abandoned asylums by John Gray.  Or I should say, take them, please.  They are creepy and evocative and utterly clear about what the walls held when they held anyone at all.  Favorites?  How about 8?  20? 22? 36?  Too busy with goosebumps to pick favorites.  Lots of goosebumps.  Usage note:  the first collection that comes up is Abandoned Buildings; also worthwhile, but for me, the real thing is Abandoned Asylums, further down in white type in the small menu on the left.

Once upon a time, a courthouse was designed to evoke respect for the law.  Columns and cupolas, sweeping lawns and brick facades, windows of all sizes, stately, graceful and beautiful.  Speaking as one of this county’s recipients of a recently completed county facility, I am not impressed with efforts of late.  In fact, I’d have to have the address to tell the new building apart from the housing project down the street.  Or the shopping mall across town.  The house of the law of a free people should be more than that.  Sigh.  That is why I’m grateful for people like Mick Watson, who is documenting every county courthouse in the state of Texas.  Some are head-shakingly new; most are delightful in their old age.  Here is the collection on Flicker.

Check out more small-town goodness in this collection of old photos at Galena Images dot com.  Historic Galena, IL is fairly close to where I live, so I’ve been in several of the buildings shown in the “Historic Galena Images” collection.  Most of them appear to be pre-World War I, though many of them are not dated.

From our friends at Dark Roasted Blend, we have a collection of images of abandoned Russian castles and country houses, left behind as their owners fled the Bolsheviks in the late teens and twenties.  Some are being restored, some are being left to rot.

Having spent a significant amount of time living near a hydroelectric plant, the architecture of power plants has always fascinated me.  I know that the stuff inside them is what generates the electrical power, but the emotional power is all on the outside.  Check out these two (yes, two) collections from Dark Roasted Blend.

Bonus time!  All right, enough reality.  This lovely artwork is from a new discovery, a site called doctormonocle.com.  Wow.  I mean wow.  Did I mention wow?

Thanks for reading!  And don’t forget that, while it’s cool to live somewhere, sometimes it’s even cooler to have somewhere live in you.