Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Architectural Spelunker

One of the perks of my job as a historic preservationist are the opportunities I get to prowl around the dark recesses of old buildings with my camera in-hand.  Although I always prefer to see an old building activated with use, there is something spooky and delicious about personally getting to rediscover the history of an abandoned or vacant structure (or even parts of buildings, like basements that are often full of treasures few know about).  While I'm often in these buildings to look at the bigger picture--their layout, historic integrity, condition, etc.--I can't help but also be pulled in by the little details; the discovery of original plumbing fixtures, old hardware and thermostats, faux marbling, stained glass peeking over a modern door, or random bits of detritus left by previous tenants telling their piece of the building's history.  These days are a rare occurrence in my typical workweek, but when they do happen, I have so much fun.   Here are some photos from my recent architectural prowls: