All posts tagged: blight

every city should have a city museum (guest post)

< this post is by my good friend Alex Reisman, whom I asked to share her thoughts about st. louis with us.  enjoy her incredible photos and this first of several entries! > Diana has invited me to write a little bit about St. Louis. I went to college there and recently returned for a six-week internship at the venerable community development corporation and mouthful Old North St. Louis Restoration Group. I feel uncharacteristically religious about St. Louis. Evangelical about its patent potential. If you walk around downtown and many neighborhoods, you might declare, as a visitor of mine did, that “it feels so empty.” But spend some time in the subtext of St. Louis and you would find that the city is in fact—to borrow a friend’s favorite word in college—rife. There are exquisite details everywhere, crumbling buildings to be restored, old mistakes to be avoided, and dire legacies of racism and economic hardship from which to recover. To a large degree, St. Louis’ redemption is and will be in the salvage of its …

ruins: urban, colonial, eternal.

I’ve written before about ruins in Detroit as that city confronts the challenges of urban abandonment.  Today I want to revisit ruins, and once again I’ll try to restrain myself from talking too much about Ruskin, the picturesque, and the patina of decay.  Because how we deal with ruins in our communities is a very practical question, as the city of Detroit shows.  When do you choose abandonment over rehabilitation?  What does it say about your sense of past, and future, when you choose to revere or ignore ruined buildings?  What stories do you tell when historic buildings are maintained, and what do you tell when they break down?  And finally, how do you build a new society, or continue to develop an existing one, in the context of previous narratives of abandonment and decay? I first started thinking about ruins when I visited my friend Alex in St. Louis last month.  She was interning for Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, a redevelopment organization that uses preservation and community history as the foundation of …

blight roundup.

So weekly might have been a bit of a stretch, but I really have been photographing a lot of blight these days.  Here’s a quick roundup of some of the great sites I’ve spotted: some of them truly destructive to their surroundings, some of them sad and nostalgic for their abandonment, and others just somewhat surprising.  Enjoy.

weekly blight, chestnut hill.

So my boyfriend and I have recently purchased a home (stay tuned for many “living in an historic home” moments).  What does this mean?  Lots of Zipcar trips to the suburbs to look at fixtures, appliances, and furniture at unpleasantly large stores in unpleasantly sprawly neighborhoods.  And of course, lots of good blight.  Last weekend I took these rockin’ photos of a big old house under demolition, and this weekend I bring you the rear of a massive abandoned supermarket off of Rte. 9 in Chestnut Hill, right near the Atrium Mall.  We had so much fun driving around it that my boyfriend suggested that we take and post photos of a different “blitten” location after every weekend’s excursion.  I expect him to hold me to it.