Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Model for Development

The image is from Vermont Images in the FSA-OWI Collection-1935-1945.

It is by Arthur Rothstein and is of a garage owner sitting in his garage in Cambridge, Vermont which has been converted from a blacksmith shop. It was shot in the later 1930s. Talk about your small footprint! Horses and shoeing have gone to pasture, and automobiles have taken to the roads. Same building, same "industry" and yet development with the changing times and without encroachment.

I am drawn to photographing the magnificent, but decaying barns that once were part of small Vermont farms, which of course has led me to think about abandonment in all its forms. And, the other day, a friend of mine commented on the new Lowe's store that has been recently built on Shelburne Road. She said that about a mile closer to Burlington there are large abandoned buildings near the K-mart store.

There must be infrastructure in those buildings--wiring, plumbing, drainage, concrete cellars, or at least a platform. Surely we can develop of kind of "Revival" architecture. Just as we commonly site new building projects within the existing landscape, why can't we consider that an abandoned building IS part of the existing landscape (as it surely is) and create a design that incorporates it?


  1. What a great photograph! I love your thoughts about abandonment and architecture - sounds like a promising avenue for you. Some how we'll get there! Elizabeth

  2. Elizabeth --
    If only it were that simple. Intellectually, the ideas are arriving at a furious pace -- but none of them are moving to the visual side of my brain. As I said, in a post on Susan's blog I think, the time frames on this project should have been reversed--9 months to settle on the project--3 months for execution!!!