Abandoned places hold a strange appeal. There is unexpected beauty in the quietude and mystery of the deserted.
Of course, at some point in the past, the vacant structure was brand spanking new. Who lived or visited there? What circumstances through time brought the property to its state of neglect and disrepair? Is there anything that the abandoned site can teach us about the past? Can the images of the forgotten and crumbling structures stand as works of art?
I visited a number of vacant and neglected properties this past weekend, and the decomposing structures called to mind various lines by Emily Dickinson. Below are photos from the various ruins, and selected stanzas from some of Dickinson’s work.
The Skyline Parkway Motor Court
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The Inn at Afton
This property is not completely abandoned. The Inn still has electricity -- there were a few lights on around the perimeter -- and there was evidence that a handful of people lived in a few of the rooms..
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The Dooley's main residence was Maymont, in Richmond, Virginia (below on the left). Swannanoa (below on the right) was their summer home.
And now before the Door
I dared not enter, lest a Face
I never saw before
Stare solid into mine
And ask my Business there –
"My Business but a Life I left
Was such remaining there?"
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