Comments Posted by Scolopendra

Ephemera: Industrial Reuse: Just a Pipe Dream?
This reminds me of City Museum in St. Louis--was an abandoned shoe factory. Unlike this, however, City Museum is just filled with... well... stuff the owners found within city limits and turned into a huge climb-over-it art exhibit. While there's very little "memory" involved other than all the bits that went into it, I still recommend it.
What do you want, a Rembrandt in every decrepit falling-apart institution? Most artwork in these sorts of places either come from inmates or workers, and neither probably have 'proper and formal training.'

(Well... maybe Van Gogh. Certainly crazy enough, but no 'classic beauty' either.)
In all fairness, the buildings in question in Europe generally have 200+ years of history and near continual use in them rather than, oh, ~100 like this one. Not having what anyone would call a stable aristocracy, the US doesn't have the right environmental pressures to maintain all sorts of old buildings, especially when said old buildings (which are prized) conflict with things like health and safety regulations (also prized). A lot of tenement blocks went down because they were honestly unsafe places to live, history be damned.

I'm not really against your argument, Karch and Jenn, but playing devil's advocate here. As it stands it looks like the people in charge don't have the finances to fix the place up and those that do have no interest. That and I severely doubt that Wal-Mart, no matter how unpopular a scourge and symbol of rampant globalization it may be, will be replacing this building in any way.
It /is/ a skull. He's usually depicted with a cross, lilies, and a skull because:

1) Cross: Duh. Show me a saint who isn't.

2) Lilies: Flowers such as posies and lilies were considered to be prophylactic against the plague. Doctors in those days would wear masks with huge noses to stuff flowers into to protect them from the plague, and it's where the line "pocket full of posies" comes from. It didn't really work so well.

3) Skull: The plague again, that and he did essentially martyr himself tending to plague victims before succumbing himself.
Hmmm. With those glue patterns on the board, it's quite possible that one chalkboard, or maybe a whiteboard that since has gone missing, was (for whatever reason) glued on top of this one. Why I think this is because back when I was a sophomore in high school (eight years ago) they switched from blackboards to whiteboards and just glued the latter onto the already-present former. We all wrote our names and such on the board before they came to put the new boards in.
Yeah, my parents' house had 1970s wood paneling in the basement and dark grey carpeting that was molding up underneath due to leakage after heavy rain through a foundation fracture. What did they do?

Strip out the carpet down to foundation concrete, paint the floor white, and paint the paneling a yellow color. Now they can just mop up any leakage and the whole basement's just brightened up dramatically.
Seeing a lot of the other comments with people who have seen their old childhood haunts more or less crumble, I've got a similar story. I haven't made it back to George AFB in California--a victim of the first round of BRAC closures after the First Gulf War--but my mom's been there and I've seen it at one-meter resolution with Google Earth. Apparently the US Army is using old base housing as an urban warfare training ground (according to some Discovery show I saw recently) and the dead grass is visible from orbit.

I understand the feeling connected to places like this falling apart, but in the desert it's an entirely different animal. According to my mom it's more preserved, oddly enough--no water damage to speak of--so you only get natural erosion from the occasional sandstorm and falling trees and the like.

A modern Cold War ghost town.