Thursday, August 21, 2008

Buildings tell stories












They don't make main streets like this anymore.



No Walgreens, CVS, Burger King, Home Depot, Walmart yet.





The vision of those cash-strapped citizens in 1937 inspired me so much. They actually met the demolition crew and paid for the house then and there. Visit the National Trust for Historic Preservation here to learn about how we can help save some of the stories that buildings tell.

23 comments:

Suzy said...

Hey, we just drove right past MP yesterday! Your question at the end is an excellent one. One of the things that bothered my dear husband in his cabinet making capacity was that, you put your heart, soul (and maybe a fingertip) into meeting the deadline to build something for some business, and in 5-10 years it is in a landfill.

Excellent post, Caroline.

Peggy said...

Sounds like a great trip that inspired some insights!

Jess Wundrun said...

{slaps head} I thought they were 'corny miners'.

There's an e-movie going around that says that 99% of items manufactured today will be disposed of in 6 months.

I've been away and so missed some of your last posts in a timely manner. congratulations on the recognition!

Kimberly said...

I love your work! I found about you through Artful Blogging. This is my first visit, but I'll be returning.

Ginnie said...

You've touched something very dear to my heart, Caroline. I HATE the razing of buildings that have such colorful pasts.
In 2002 I spent a month in Maine and visited many Historical Societies. These selfless people spent most of their lives dedicated to such preservation.
A wonderful post, as usual.

laughingwolf said...

nudder gooder, thx caroline...

Pam said...

Those Cornish miners got around! We have a town here in South Australia, Kapunda, settled by them also. Approaching the town is a big statue of one of these miners and in the main street, guess what?quaint shops that serve Cornish pasties, scones and jam with clotted cream.I think they also mined here in the towns of Moonta and Kadina.

ellen said...

As usual,I am at a loss for words. You are my hero..heroine. Cornish pasties, yum, the illustrations that you create...oh, my goodness. Your place, site, feeds my soul.

EMBELLISHER said...

Excellent post.That's a beautiful town and so much food for thought.

EMBELLISHER said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lana Gramlich said...

This post made me think of a few things...
1. The town I lived in back in Canada was similar in that main street had NO major corporations (except for a gas station on the way in & a McDonald's on the way out.) I realize in retrospect that I took that totally for granted, but my current town is even smaller & less corporate, so that counts, too.
2. I'm fortunate that our town has a historic district & that our gazebo is on the Nat'l Registry of Historic Places.
3. I might have taken my Canadian town for granted, but thanks to your colorful nudge, I won't do the same here.
4. I love the miners all on & around the block. That's great!

Peace.

bobbie said...

Old fashioned main streets like that are so wonderful. Others think so too. When my daughter taught for a year in Hungary we saw grafitti in old towns saying "NO McDonalds!" Too often that was a losing battle.

Old buildings should be preserved, and protected from the pollution of "modern" neighbors. Our thinking is skewed somehow. It's sad that so many devalue quality in favor of quantity.

Your drawings are superb.

Selma said...

You've done it again. It is a sobering thought that in 40 years perhaps very little of what we have built today will be worth saving. What price progress, eh? Your drawings, as always, have touched my heart.

Kelly said...

Hi there, I came here from Bobbie at "Almost There"...wanted to congraulate you on receiving the "Lets Kick Ass" Award that she gave you! You are well deserving of it!

I am enjoying your blog so much and will definitely be back again.

Well done and congratulations on your award...

Kelly

coolwaterworks said...

Hi Caroline...

Another post with astonishing crayon drawings... And you had me thinking... Some things are really ephemeral, loosing their purpose of a short span of time. Yet, there are things which we should aim to preserve to remind us of our history... In Filipino we have a saying, "Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan, ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan." It loosely translates as: Those who do not know how to glance back to their past will not reach their future.

Carol said...

I think that the last picture is quite fitting... we do live in such a disaposable society now and it's shame that we don't appreciate more of what we have. Which is why I am inspired by things such as 'Freecycle'.

Have you ever visited Britain? I'm sure that you'd love the old buildings and castles that we have here :-)

MojoMan said...

We all love these old town centers and they will make so much more sense in the future. The irony is, they would be essentially illegal to replicate today. Zoning laws don't permit it. When's the last time you saw apartments built over a Target or Walmart?

susan m hinckley said...

I loved this post! I took a class in historic preservation in college. As part of the class, I had to submit a bid for a building to be included on the National Register (it happened to be our family's home, which made it even more interesting.) I think the drawing of everything going over the cliff is my favorite drawing of yours I've ever seen. I have a daughter who just started school in Vermont studying Environmental Law & Policy -- she would LOVE that drawing as well. Any way to get a copy? Do you ever sell prints?

Jamie said...

It's so powerful when we come across something that resonates with our values. We just know through and through that this moment or place or act reflects something deeply important to us.

What a powerful question you've put out to the world. I imagine that last frame as a poster inspiring thought everywhere. It has certainly inspired me to think.

Sacred Suzie said...

No, they don't make main streets like that anymore do they! How wonderful to go there and get a sense of history and time passed that way Caroline. I envy that! Oh and saffron cakes?! How interesting and decadent!

Anonymous said...

Oh, you site is so beautiful!

Come visit us in Kansas... I live in a town with a main street (downtown) that is very, very close to what main street should be. In fact, they kicked out the McD's. (Okay, so there's a Chipotle and a Ben & Jerry's and of course, a Starbucks) but the tons of local shops give them all a run for their money. And many of the buildings have been used for a hundreds years or more. It makes me proud to live here, even if it's only a small thing.

Balisha said...

I've been there. Love that little town.I took a small vacation years ago and stopped in this quaint little place. I heard a story about how the women made the pasties and then the men put them in their pockets to keep them warm on their way to the mines.I feel like I've been there again.

organicsyes said...

Cool story! When I saw your map at the top of the story...I saw Washington Island. On a clear day, we can see that island from our cottage in the UP of MI:)