Thursday, July 30, 2009

Victorian Period Masterpieces, Washington, Illinois

On the street heading out of town south of Washington, Illinois is a classic row of various Victorian Period houses.It's a little difficult to photograph them, as there are so many large, mature and well-maintained trees blocking the view.The southeast side of Washington is the healthy part of the town; walkable communities segue into farmland, while on the northwest side, towards Peoria, farmland is being swallowed up for cookie cutter Mini-McMansions.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Washingon, Illinois Town Square

The beautiful town square of Washington, Illinois demonstrates how a walkable downtown can continue to thrive, even with the construction of new buildings in the late Twentieth Century.Correct building frontage is maintained, and there is no surface parking other than metered street parking around the square. The one small parking lot is tucked behind the buildings of the square.Sadly, one must still run willy-nilly across the streets to avoid being run over by cars. Luckily traffic is not nearly as stressed out as in major cities, so the crosswalks are a bit safer.Abraham Lincoln once traveled through this square while living in Illinois.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Abandoned Diner, Goodfield, Illinois

I made it out to my favorite abandoned diner outside Goodfield, Illinois, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the original signpost is still extant. How I never noticed it before is beyond me.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Zoning Felony, Washington, Illinois

This picture speaks for itself: the future of St. Louis unless residents demand better, rational zoning in our city.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Unique Contemporary Tombstone, Hirstein Cemetery, Morton Township, Illinois

I spotted this tombstone from across the cemetery while examining some other tombstones. It is one of the most unique ones I have seen recently; if you look closely, you can see that the center is actually a stained glass window. The picture below captures the light shining through the glass onto the rough polished granite.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Washburne Trade School Coming Down

I had heard that Washburne was coming down quickly, but I was stunned at the rate of progress. I parked along the street in front, got out and took some photos, wished I had some money for tacos from the stand by me, and then got back on the road.

You can't tell me they couldn't find a use for this building? Damage from the fire, which precipitated the demolition--supposedly--is evident in several photos. Check out my other photos here and here.

When the demolition is complete, this will be the largest building I have ever been inside that has been destroyed.A dubious distinction, indeed.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Abandoned Farm Outside Washington, Illinois in Good Weather

I made it back by the old farmstead that I had photographed in haste while a large storm came on, and this time I was able to photograph it with better light. Some original paint still clings to the front porch. Amazing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hirstein Cemetery, Morton Township, Illinois

I made it out to another cemetery where my ancestors are buried, but these are much older family members who for the most part died in the 1800's. Above is the line of tombstones that mark my ancestors' graves. Note: Learn from my ancestors' mistakes and spring for stone more expensive (and durable) than limestone. You can barely read them, so I will bring up some tracing paper the next time I am there. I like the little details, slowly deteriorating, such as the stack of books and the rose of some sort. I first thought it was a skull.
My mom said one of the best decisions my dad's family ever made was to stop naming people in their family "Valentine."The last two are the oldest, almost illegible.Finally, this is the tombstone of Christian Naffziger, who came across the Atlantic with his father and settled in central Illinois. The tombstone is nothing short of mysterious; I have done some research, and weeping willows can represent sorrow and also eternal life. I am not sure which it is, but the weirdest thing is the strange, large eared animal standing underneath the willow. Its meaning has been lost to the passage of time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Evanston, Illinois Textures

Having grown tired of taking another dozen pictures of the Rookery Building in Chicago, I decided to photograph something else the last time I was in Chicago. Here are some of the fruits and vegetables I saw in the farmers' market in Evanston, to the north of the city.

A Blog detailing the beauty of St. Louis architecture and the buildup of residue-or character-that accumulates over the course of time.