Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Visual Inspiration: Abandoned Places

When I was last in Georgia visiting my peeps, I made my sister pull over on our way out to the country to visit Mom. Kitty pulled over in a dirt driveway so that I could finally jump out and take some pictures of a structure that we have for several years called "Maison de WTF."

Early to mid-2000s, someone began building a huge house back up on a hill about six or so miles from Mom's house, and it was the strangest damn thing we'd ever seen. It was huge--Atlanta McMansion huge--and was apparently made from CMU (cement block or cinder block, as y'all might call it) instead of the usual 2x4 or even 2x6 wood frame construction. Construction progress stalled out on it about six or so months after it started...and it never recommenced. One story we all heard was that a former Atlanta Falcon player was planning on moving to Small Town County or Booger County and ran through what was left of his fortune trying to build the dream country house he always thought he deserved. We never got a good story on it, though. Back in 2008 or 2009, the shadiest contractor in Booger County (who has also tried his hand at chicken farming, log truck driving, and preaching, all in the past three years) took on the project as a fix-n-flip...and took his sign down from the end of the driveway almost as soon as he had put it up.

When Kitty pulled over to let me hop out and snap a few shots, I cursed the fact that I'd put on a skort before leaving the house. I had dressed for the heat and humidity, but not for the long weeds and brambles that I'd have to face if I wanted to nose around in the fading glory of Maison de WTF. And oh did I long to nose around, to play forensic architect in these remains of post-millennial archi-cheez glory--I couldn't make heads or tails of the building's footprint or facades from my spot in what would have been the main part of the driveway/parking area at the house. Where the hell was the front door supposed to be? Perhaps the house had been designed to be the ultimate suburban house, where there is no front door and the only way in is a back door to the back yard or the door from inside the garage. It would have been a perfect summation of that residential building type: no one is allowed inside but family members; we are done with the outside world.

I was only able to trot up the driveway and get about 20 or 30 feet from the house and garage to snap a few pictures. As I tried to aim the camera into a window that I really couldn't reach, I also realized that the Georgia light was fading fast on me--I'd soon have to break out the flash to get any decent shots. As I snapped a couple of pictures of the tattered roofing underlayment and wisps of some sort of gauzy protective wrap on the building's parapets, my camera flashed and closed its lens--out of batteries. Like everything else involved with this building, my attempts to properly photograph it would go unfinished, out of energy and resources, fading like the evening light.








6 comments:

ms. kitty said...

Oh my, what a sad-looking structure. If houses could weep...

Miss Kitty said...

Those pix turned out crazy-good! WOW! As I sat there in the car waiting for you to run back down the driveway, I did wonder what the photos would look like. Hell, I'm not even an architect, and I still want to pull over and poke around at Maison de WTF every time I drive by on the way to Mom's. Next time, I'll loan you a pair of my old jeans, and we'll investigate together.


Forensic architecture sounds like a fascinating new field of study. You should look into creating a concentration in it for M.S.Arch. students. For real.

bluearchitecture said...

This looks like something from the television show Life After People. Proof that the monuments to ourselves will sooner or later be consumed by Mother Nature.

Wilderness Gina said...

During my brief stint at that Wood Truss Place in Small Town I learned that the county inspector had a problem with the stick-built rafter/roof construction. The contractor had priced trusses at WTP but decided it was too expensive to let Mr. Man build them and let the carpenters have at it. Too bad so sad. The football player is I think in prison or looking at it. He got in trouble for drugs. They took out the yard light, the HUGE electrical OD green box in the back.
I think the front door was supposed to be in the front in one of those 'turrets' HEY! I've got turrets syndrome! I stick em on every house I build!!! (There's one of THOSE on HWY 29 between Newnan and Palmetto-Oi!)

Miss Kitty said...

I don't even want to think about how much money and work it would take to get that house up to code. Or move-in condition, for that matter. [sigh]

galingale said...

Sounds like you might be at least mildly interested in this if you haven't found it already:
http://community.livejournal.com/abandonedplaces

:) I'm enjoying your site too much. Must get back to dayjob.