July 30, 2006

Brunch in the Ruins

Cross-posted to Crooked Timber.

It's a hot, lazy Sunday, which seems like a good time for browsing through livejournal communities dedicated to photos of peacefully rusting machines, quietly crumbling buildings, and similar modern ruins:

Abandoned Places [via David Chess]
Decayed Machinery [via I forget who, years ago]

The photographers are all amateurs, so the quality (to the slight extent I can judge) is quite variable, but many manage to capture the suggestion of sunset and sadness, of unhappy stories brought to a close, which fascinates me about such scenes. Some of these photos, in fact, seem as good as, say, those in Terry Evans's book on the former Joliet Arsenal, Disarming the Prairie, bringing to mind the words of the poet:

These are the halls of the dead, where the spiders spin and the great circuits fall quiet, one by one.
— But I see I'm getting melodramatic, and it's just too hot and sticky and still to sustain that.

Update: John Burke (who needs to revive his blog) writes to point to Jef Poskanzer's great industrial archaeology page, with many fine pictures and links.


Posted at July 30, 2006 14:59 | permanent link

Three-Toed Sloth