Victorian-era (“gingerbread”) adornments are one of my favorite architectural highlights of any building, transforming otherwise dull designs into lavish representations.
Boarding houses began to develop in the Catskill Mountains in the late 1800s as working-class families sought refuge from the dirty, unhealthy city in the mountains. Lodgers would rent one or more rooms for one or more nights, and meals were usually not included in the tab.
The industrial heart of the Rust Belt is western Pennsylvania as once-mighty steel mills, coke plans, and machine shops, scattered alongside railroads, rivers, and highways, have downsized and closed. A globalized economy and increased automation led many jobs overseas; what remained was a shell, unable to be self-sustaining without government intervention.
Tucked in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky is Peyton’s Store. It’s a rural community of several households, named after an old general store that was once located along the roadway, but it’s nothing more than a wayside today.
Several years ago, I ventured inside the abandoned but historic William Tarr House in central Kentucky. I composed several photographs of the magnificent entryway, player piano and the collapsing rear. But with a backlog of photographs that span years and incomplete keywording in my internal image database, I thought that I had lost these images to the dust bin… until two days ago. I located these photographs on a backup drive, unedited.
“They say when you are missing someone that they are probably feeling the same, but I don’t think it’s possible for you to miss me as much as I’m missing you right now.”
– Edna St. Vincent Millay
In late February, I set out to explore the knobs of Kentucky and wander the back roads. Feeling at ease with being back in my home state but missing it dearly, I set aside some mellow tunes, cranked the window down and pitted myself against the cold with the heaters blaring. It was a melancholy and overcast afternoon which lent itself well to what I discovered.