Showing posts from December, 2016


Reviving Memories: Brooksburg, Indiana
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We who live in prospering communities have heard of depopulation. Perhaps we have witnessed neighborhoods in decline. Maybe we've also known gentrification, as parts of our prospering cities change ethnic characteristics and families are forced out due to rising rents or land values.
Soon, of course, we will all become familiar with the phenomenon of climate-induced massive inland migration as rising seas inundate our coastal cities. That is depopulation on a grand scale!
What happens to people when communities "rust?" How does it happen that they gradually fade away, perhaps without any great event or fatal, dramatic crisis to mark their departure? In Brooksburg's case it could have been the simple rerouting of Route 56 (now the Ohio River Scenic Byway). Could it be that Brooksburg is recovering? We have no answers. But we offer these visual clues.
Our "window on Brooksburg" is…

The Other Side of the Tracks

Kansas City MO (Part II)
Leaving West Bottoms for higher ground, perhaps by way of the famous 12th Street Viaduct, we are soon in a position to look down on the site of the Union Depot (see part I) and its associated haunted landscapes.
Heading in the other direction, towards the city center, the view is much different. The approach features the expected architectural flourish or two.

All of the above examples are things one finds in most urban centers. Reflections, however, are the outstanding unique feature of Kansas City architecture. These are not all carefully planned, as architects cannot predict the future any better than anybody else. Some, however, are calculated to feature or emphasize certain building details at certain times of year or day.

Out of the shadows comes the light. The golden dome of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception throws some very special light on the cross in November.
For the casual observer, it can be hard to determine which visual delights are pl…

Everything's Up-to-Date!

updated 19 December 2016
IN  Kansas City, MO
(Part I)

Kansas City welcomes rail passengers in fashion, as it always has. Here is a Street View exploration of the area around the site of one of its elegant former train stations. Join us for this this brief tour and please comment if you can add something of interest!
"West Bottoms," the Union Depot's neighborhood, stripped of its importance by the abandonment and demolition of the Depot in 1915, evolved in the absence of much of the notorious commerce which had once been part of this flourishing community. Factories and warehouses moved in ... and then moved out. Periodic flooding has taken its toll on any industry that has chosen to locate here. Nobody tells the story of West Bottoms better than H. Darby Trotter, PhD, whose oral history of the area is riveting. Hear the audiohere.
Finding the site of Union Depot was challenging, as most of the landmark buildings in the Ward above had been wiped out either …