Archive for March 24th, 2008

The hot-water heater house at 12722 Lonsdale was a favorite of mine long before its front roof collapsed. This house went down on Friday, March 14th.

I wearily drove through the neighborhood after a long three-day conference on Saturday the 15th to find this one down to its driveway. I stood here for a good hour taking pictures of what little remained, waking up in the cold. There was a decorative lamppost in the far corner of the yard which had been used as a bird’s nest in recent years. I never noticed this little detail until the rest of the house was gone. Nicknamed, The Hot-Water Heater House, this place had also given me some of my favorite images, particularly in black and white. Last fall I found a newspaper that had blown into the yard with the headline, “Monuments to the Past.” Although the article was actually about a graveyard, I found the inclusion of the newspaper article into many of my shots here a fitting, final tribute. This place was a gorgeous little house that again would have been a great place to call home. It felt comfortable and well cared for long even long after its front beams were pulled off and the roof finally gave way. This house was full of warm pastel light and the little decorative touches that give a home character. The best part of this house was the hand-painted bedroom with folksy animals frolicking together in an intensely hued grassland. (more…)

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14806 Pont, on the northern side of Bonfils, was destroyed on March 3rd, a day before a massive snow storm left the wrecker sitting on this plot for weeks later.

I explored this house in detail after I saw the yard was dug up from the water tap destroy. From the outside, it was cute yet nothing special. There was a workbench that was moved to the front yard, which sat for years. A faded bandanna clung to the dogwood for an equal spread of time. Inside this home was full of bittersweet beauty. It was a spacious, well cared-for and classy place. It was the type of house that the homeowners took pride in. Despite knowing for years it would all be flattened and crushed, they updated and wallpapered, painted and decorated. A great room with a cozy fireplace flanked with windows was just off the entrance foyer. To the right of the foyer was a handsome library that make me envious of the number of books that was once proudly displayed on the floor-to-ceiling shelves. The bedrooms told me that kids grew up here and possibly left as teenagers or older. The open kitchen and dining area was inviting to walk around in. I am sure the cabinetry would have been quite nice had they not been wrenched off by scavengers. It was the kind of place that you knew once Lambert’s final letter was delivered to them, the family’s heartache sunk in deep. There was a feeling that something was not quite right; not in an eerie, creepy way but in a sad and melancholy way. Standing inside this empty and ravaged house, I could almost hear the scornful tears of the family who probably will never feel at home like they did on Pont. Wherever they are, whatever place they now try to call home, I am sure this family can still feel it. Everyone I have talked with all tell me they still do. (more…)

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The little yellow house on Pont was destroyed on February 28th.

I tried and tried to find out where the red wrecker went next. I drove around the subdivision four times until on 2/25 I decided to give it a go and check out Pont, on the southern side of Bonfils. Surprisingly, I saw the wrecker parked in the yard next to this yellow, numberless house. This cluster of remaining homes have been long tied up in court and sat vacant well before mine. They should have been taken years ago… they are the closest remaining homes next to the runway and could clearly be seen from Natural Bridge Road. Now, it seems, all loose ends are slowly being cleaned up and the houses cleared away. Graffiti strewn and boarded up for years, this particular house was frequently targeted by vandals who wanted their name seen from the street, for you could see the entire backside of this place when driving down Natural Bridge. This house was ready to come down, much like its now awaiting four brothers. (more…)

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