Beauty in Decay
About eight years ago, I became interested in abandon buildings. I was practically interested with asylums and hospitals. Through the research of the structures I learned more about the inner working of the institutions themselves. What they were like fifty years ago, and why so many were shut down. I have only been in a few old buildings that would be condemned, if they were not considered historical. Once you get past the fear of breathing in lead paint, asbestos, mold, and who knows what else comes along, the structures take on a unique beauty. What was once man made is slowly but surely being taken apart bit by bit by nature from the ground up, an ever-changing piece of art. It is amazing to see something that was built by man a century ago quickly disintegrate, compared to the great monuments of the ancients that are only now being effected by modern pollution.
Other buildings that I have become fascinated with recently are warehouses and factories. I have passed by quite a few factories at night in my travels, all lit up like post-apocalyptic cities. Some are small with only a few lights while others seemed to be many blocks wide with hundreds of flickering yellow bulbs. They pump out billows of smoke or steam; some even have blue and yellow flames shooting out of the pipes. For all the harm they can cause to the environment they are a wonder to see. I try to imagine what it was like when the industrial age started and people saw such similar brick mammoths being built. These cities devoted to creating products for the masses. A love hate relation most likely started quickly with the general population. Now the Grandfathers of the new steel machines sit empty and forgotten. Some are bought and change into something else that was never there original purpose. While others go the way of many forgotten buildings. They become condemned and quite dangerous with not just flaking of harmful particles but also the weakening of the structure before it finally buckles in on itself.
In some way, they are a reminder that nothing lasts forever.