I have friends that bemoan the demise and disappearance of lovely old buildings in their growing cities. I even do this myself. But there are also the shrinking cities, and their buildings are there to stay until they fall down of natural causes. And because they were built in the face of a hopeful future, they were built to last. Without any love or maintenance, these buildings have survived, putting to shame the plainness of modern architecture.
These buildings both have the same lovely window decorations, but on the building on the right they have at least slapped a coat of paint on things. These windows are custom made and would cost a small fortune to re-create.
This building is currently undergoing renovation and the owners hope to open in a small way (7 luxury rooms) later this month. Built in 1898 as a destination railroad hotel and run by Fred Harvey it was part of the soul of the town. It closed in 1948, had some brief uses over the years, but has not really had any work done on it since then. A lover of the railroad experience is pouring money into it fixing it up, and it could be part of a renaissance of the town.
This building across the street was originally used as a dormitory for the Harvey Girls who worked across the street. It has been bought by an assistant district attorney, and is partially restored (well he at least had the top bit done). It will be interesting to see if these ventures attract tourists (always a fickle lot).
This lovely building was built in 1885, and was a dry goods store starting in 1897. It is untouched, unlike the building to the east, with it’s ugly tacked on frontage. But wait, what’s that in the window?
One can see that this building was quite nice at one time, with cast iron pillars in front. Who ever owns it now might be a bit of a hoarder as it is filled with all sorts of odds and ends.
Yes, that is a life-sized figure of a clown. Why it is there and where it came from are a riddle with no answer. But perhaps it will be something to draw in tourists, somehow.