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WQW #46: Are Abandoned Buildings Compelling Art?

November 30: Abandoned or Artistic Buildings/Writer’s Choice/or Your WOTY Month-end review

Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays

“When I was in high school, my friends and I would drive out into the country to abandoned houses and structures… haha… to ghost hunt. We would scare each other so bad! We would sometimes camp out by the abandoned buildings just to scare ourselves! Such good times. The adrenaline of real fear is so cool!”

Keegan Allen

Featured Bloggers Last Week

I am super grateful for all of you who visit and post each week. You bring me joy, I learn about the world far and near, and feel close to you and what you are doing in your lives.

For More Abandoned Buildings Visit These Blogs

Abandoned in Elderwood

From Portland to Spokane Terri and I searched for abandoned barns for one of her Sunday Stills themes. We didn’t find anything. My question for this post is to consider if abandoned buildings are even art? Apparently, they are because when I searched for quotes I found an entire website on where to find abandoned buildings for photo shoots.

Our search engine has helped millions of people scout out thousands of locations across the world, from derelict buildings to abandoned theme parks.

If you’re urban exploring or just looking for a place for a photo shoot, I’m sure we’ll having something for you to discover.

Shot Hotspot

Do you have photos of abandoned buildings? Why did you take the pictures? You have seen some of my pictures if you have known me long enough.

Vince and I had driven by an old barn less than a mile away from our home in California hundreds of times on our way home. One afternoon when the clouds were dark and the sun was strong, he looked at it and said that would be a great photo. He dropped me off I went crazy taking over 100 pictures that day. To see more pictures of Bob’s Barn click here.

Bob tore it down the next week and planted an orange grove.

Hengst Barn

“The abandoned building glowed golden in the light of the new day, its’ stones finding their way to join the dawn chorus.”

-Angela Abraham

A week ago I received an email asking me about an abandoned hotel just outside of Woodlake in an area known to locals as Redbanks. He wondered if a hotel out in the middle of nowhere was used for prostitution.

“I am wondering what kind of skullduggery was really happening at the Redbanks Hotel one hundred years ago, during the era of Prohibition.  (I have my ideas ranging from a simple speakeasy coupled with prostitution to a “dry-out center” for Hollywood addicts.)  What do you know? Do you have any ideas? “

-Richard

I sent him a copy posted on my Blogger Woodlake History website of an article written by an earlier historian about the history of the fruit company that built the building.

“Founded in 1904 Redbanks Orchard Company shipped trainloads of fruit around the country on the Electric Railroad in the early 1900s, “The Hotel” near Woodlake, California, was one of the most beautiful Spanish-style buildings in the area.  Resembling a Southern Pacific depot, the building, constructed in 1914, served as the headquarters of the company.” earlier post on Redbanks

Schools are always favorites of mine. One of the schools was moved and preserved by one of the main contributors to my book about Woodlake, lifelong Woodlake resident, Robert Edmiston. In my earlier post about it, he said that the school had been on his “Granny Fudge’s” property so it might have been moved there at a later date than the 1860s. Antelope School was not established until 1870 and it was the first public school in the Woodlake area.

“By the end of the 1860s, the Colvins, Bacons, Barringtons, Fudges, and Reynolds had arrived in the Woodlake area.  Thomas Henry Davis had hired one John Hill to teach his sons and the Fudge and Barrington children on Davis acres in a sheep shed.”  

Roy Lee Davis, life-long Woodlake resident
Robert Edmiston’s abandoned schoolhouse and former sheep shed

Many buildings last much longer than 110 years in other parts of the world. In California, early buildings were not made to last. In some cases, once they served their purpose, they were abandoned. Untreated wood rots even in semi-desert areas, so the abandoned buildings slowly deteriorate.

Elda School was organized on February 8, 1911.

Elda School sits close enough to Millwood Drive that you could almost touch it as you head into the mountains on the rural highway about five miles from our home in California. For each of the twenty years we lived there, I marveled that it still stood. When we passed by in May, it still remained. Is it a work of art or a pile of rotten wood?

Abandoned in Deleware

Another building that I enjoyed photographing was in Deleware next to Cousin Hal’s condominium complex – the first Catholic Church in Deleware. As I drove by it the first time, I couldn’t wait to get back and explore it. Why is that? What is the fascination with old abandoned buildings? I’ve written about St. Mary’s Church several times for photo challenges on my blog, so if you’ve seen it before, feel free to skip the clicks. But, if you’re like me and like to explore, here’s another St. Mary’s Post.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Deleware
It was a dark and stormy night…

In retrospect, I should have posted this theme in October, right? Scary!

Vivid Abandonment in Arizona

This was the only photo of an abandoned building/dwelling I could find this week that was vivid enough to work for Terri’s Sunday Stills Challenge this week. To the left of the picture, if you are not familiar with them, are Native American cliff dwellings.

Montezuma Well National Monument – a free visit.

Lens-Artist, Tina encouraged us to look around and decide where we would take a stranger if they were to visit our area. I’ve posted pictures of places near me that I probably wouldn’t take a stranger. However, Montezuma’s Well has an interesting history – enough to be declared a National Monument.

For Becky B my birthday outing was the perfect opportunity to post a couple of #Walking Squares. It is a quick walk along the 1/2 mile path to see cave dwellings and one other building that looks like the foundation of a home we might build today.

A Montezuma Well square for Becky B’s last day of #Walking Squares

Curating to the End of the Month

Yesterday, this quote inspired me to curate efficiently.

“One of the worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all.”

Brian Tracy

I made a list of things that had to be done, and prioritized them, which helped me curate my “stuff” Sunday when the sun shone. On Monday when I wrote this post, it was gray, cold, and windy. “Stuff” for the office lay uncurated in boxes in our master bedroom. However, it was a perfect day to write my blog post for Wednesday, which goes up on my priority list exponentially as the day approaches.

“Architecture is a visual art and the buildings speak for themselves.”

Julia Morgan

Many of you have commented that abandoned buildings are indeed art. I found this quote in Kirstin’s Loving Life post listed in the “More Ideas” section. As the quote suggests, this post of abandoned buildings shows examples of public art, so I’m posting this for Natalie’s PPAC/Weekend Coffee Share post today.

Challenges that Influenced WQW #46

In addition to Sunday Stills and Natalie’s PPAC/Weekend Coffee Share, this post is also influenced by the following challenges

November 2022 Highlights

  • This is my 10th post for this month.
  • Both Vince and I had birthdays this month and celebrated well.
  • I emptied the two-car garage enough that both cars fit comfortably, which means that I took a lot of “stuff” to the Goodwill store. I had to close my eyes and curate things into boxes and garbage bags and drive on. I couldn’t toy with the idea that something might come in handy later in life. 🙂
  • Some things got curated into the trash. On Monday Vince needed the old extension cord I threw away on Sunday. I knew that was going to happen! In my defense, it only had a place to plug in a two-pronged plug.
  • We celebrated Thanksgiving with strangers rather than at home.
  • I have a new walking partner and she hustles me walking up and down stairs. I walked over 11,000 steps (not stairs) on at least two separate occasions. It was too cold and windy for a walk today.
  • I gave up not eating sweets for the next two months.
  • I finished the autobiography Katherine Johnson, My Remarkable Journey. She is one of the black female NASA mathematicians who plotted courses by hand for our space flights in the 60s and 70s. The movie “Hidden Figures” was based on her life. She lived to be 101 and took boxing lessons to stay in shape at age 88! What an inspiration!
  • The movie “Where the Crawdads Sing” about an abandoned child is one of the best videos I saw this month.
  • We decorated our Jimson house for Christmas to brighten up the gloomy gray day on Monday and to clean out some of our boxes.
  • I received another email from someone telling me how they could improve my disorganized and error-ridden website. As I wrote this post and linked it to old ones, I corrected some of the glaring mistakes and wondered what in the world Grammarly and my brain were up to back then. I also wondered what I’m missing today that will stand out VIVIDLY to you now and later to me.

Your website and needs immediate improvement on some of the major factors mentioned below:

– Less visibility for many competitive keyword phrases
– Errors that prevent your website from being indexed properly by search engines.
– Unorganized social media accounts.
– Shortage of content based back links.
– Less participation on social media portals.”

Coby

When I started blogging ten years ago, I didn’t know what half those bullet points meant. Now I know that they are what Brian Tracy might classify as doing a great job at something not worth doing.

If you blog for fun like I do, it is important to curate your blog for errors and to make your posts vivid and interesting. This pesky marketer doesn’t even mention the importance of visiting other bloggers and having a relationship that lasts over the years. Silly Coby.

Play Along with WQW

I hope you have not had an abandoned week. If you want to play along with Writer’s Quotes Wednesday, write a post about the topic of abandoned buildings, find a quote that you like, and link your post to my post.

Upcoming on Always Write

WQW Schedule until the end of the year.

  • December 7: Water: Snow/Winter Wonderland – A challenge to design a new logo for WQ – I’m simplifying the name of the challenge to Wednesday Quotes for 2023.
  • December 14: Food: Delicious Delights
  • December 21: Holiday: Christmas or Winter Solstice
  • December 28: Reflections on 2022/Writer’s Choice/ or YOUR WOTY Review Voting for the top design for 2023.

PPAC is now hosted by Natalie the Explorer. You can link your post directly to her Weekend Coffee Share blog post.

Happy Quoting!

107 replies »

  1. A very compelling discussion on old buildings as art, Marsha! I have a very soft spot for ruins in particular, so I really enjoyed this post. Of course, I love Montezuma’s Well very much.

    P/S Happy belated birthday! May the year ahead bring much delight in exploration!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Throughout middle school and high school, my family and I would go on a roadtrip every summer. We were bound to see an abandoned building or an abandoned town. I found it fascinating because I wondered how long was this town around and why did people just get up and leave. I was imagining something more exciting and tall tale-like like a ghost or curse that drove them away. But it could be because the venue had served its purpose. I am sure it is cheaper to just abandon it and let nature do its thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • An abandoned town is a whole different story. Generally you are right, it’s purpose was served – mining lots of times. During the Dust Bowl people left because they couldn’t afford the taxes and their land wouldn’t produce, they couldn’t get away from the dust, so they walked away. What a traumatic time.

      Like

  3. Hi Marsha,
    I don’t think I ever shared this story with you. It’s a Carrot Ranch 99-word piece but for this one I included some notes, because my 99 words are historical fiction based on both my photo and some facts I dug up.

    Thought you might enjoy it. I do love our old barns around here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoy photographing abandoned buildings, but I seldom go inside. Am I afraid a ghost might topple the structure on top of me? I think so. >grin<

    I need to curate a bunch of stuff in three closets. Maybe this spring… hmmm… not likely.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I full on fabulous month Marsha. I just love the first photo of Hengst Barn. The other abandoned and derelict are so interesting. Thanks for joining in The Changing Seasons 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There’s something special about abandoned places, and buildings! Around here, there are still a lot of old houses (or ruins) from the famine times left in place, and while some people may not like it, I find it an interesting element that reminds of history, while being mixed with modern buildings and infrastructure. You reminded me that I should try to get to some of these to take some photos.
    I also get a lot of those annoying marketing e-mails. As if I cared! I care mostly about having a nice design, writing what I enjoy sharing, and to connect with people. When I open my online shop I’ll care more about those things, but I still know much enough to do the work myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are going to open an online shop? How wonderful! I tried making money with my blog, and I know that is not my thing. I used Fine Art America for a while but I didn’t market very much or well. Another friend of mine did pretty well with her photos and drawings. I’m sure there are many venues for sharing your work.

      Like

      • Yes, I’ve been studying graphic design in recent years and will start with opening a shop (or more, with different niches) to sell my designs printed on t-shirts and merch. The first one will be music-themed. When I get going with my photography again, it would be nice to sell cards, wall art and the likes too, we’ll see. I’ll use Pinterest primarily for marketing to begin with, and my sister will help me set up Google ads.

        Liked by 1 person

        • How exciting, Susanne! Where did you study graphic design? How lucky you are to have a sister to help you with merchandising. Let me know when you get going with it.

          Like

          • I’ve mostly studied in peace and quiet with courses at udemy.com, both theory courses and to learn Adobe software. This autumn I attended a 12 week course at a university in Dublin, it was super intense but I’ve learned tons and got some better confidence with it too. My sister works for a marketing company in Sweden and is licensed with Google-anything, so she’s a great help!

            Liked by 1 person

          • That’s amazing. I love that learning Adobe software is part of your coursework. I’ve picked up knowledge piecemeal, but it would be wonderful to focus and take some courses online. I’m excited for you.

            Like

  7. Hi Marsha, What a great collection of abandoned buildings. I’d love to visit Montezuma Well National Monument. You’ve accomplished a lot in November. Thank you for your weekend coffee share and PPAC. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was fun and funny, Marsha. I do love stumbling across old abandoned buildings. The history is so intriguing, especially in the ghost towns of AZ. And like others, 11,000 steps and no sweets? too funny. I walk that many steps so I CAN eat sweets. lol

    I took my grandkids to Montezuma’s Well. It is such a nice, meandering walk, with so much information. Found it fascinating to truly be in the presence of a watering hole in the desert. And I can only imagine the wildlife that visits at night.

    My grandson described an animal he saw shuffle into hiding, in the back of the cave. The docent confirmed a ringtail cat. And while they frequent the area, not too many people see them My handson, age 9 felt pretty important.

    Glad you are settling to your new digs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Donna. You misread my goals about sweets. I decided NOT to give them up until after the new year!!! LOL I do enjoy them too much. I did give them up for a while, but it made little difference in my weight. I like other food as well!

      Imagine seeing a ringtail cat in one of the caves. Which one was that? Are they dangerous. Some people hiked down into the watering hole area. I didn’t feel that was a safe plan for me this year. I was huffing and puffing too much that day. Maybe another day. 🙂

      Like

      • According to to the ranger, the ringtail are pretty recluse. And yes. down by the water. It was worth the hustle. I was more nervous about having my youngest grandson (4)along as he doesn’t have much fear and it was pretty steep. We survived. lol

        Ahhh… sweets. Thank goodness. I would hate to think you would just have to stare at holiday sweets. lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. There’s something fascinating about abandoned buildings! And Montezuma Well is such a cool place. I love the cliff dwellings and the 19th-century graffiti on the cave wall near the water.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I mostly look at your posts through the Reader, and they look fine!

    I seriously love your old building photos. There was a school for sale in a nearby city -I wanted to buy it so badly! The good news is that the developer who bought it has renovated but kept most of it intact.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that’s wonderful. What a gift to the community! Thank you for your kind words about my blog. AFTER I published this post, Grammarly had inserted about 10 or 12 red lines under my proofread document. Most of the corrections were tiny things like commas, but I had spelled abandoned wrong once. The errors are real. I just don’t know why they don’t all show up the first time. I think I need to use Word or another platform to write my posts and them copy them to WP. The problem with that is the convenience of block editing and the fluidity of moving blocks without cutting and pasting. That technology is far superior to what is in a normal writing platform, in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow that one picture looks like a painting Marsha. Lots of intrigue with old buildings and some are so eerie to me. Happy belated birthday to you and Vince.
    🥳
    This made me laugh…. 🤣
    “When I started blogging ten years ago, I didn’t know what half those bullet points meant. Now I know that they are what Brian Tracy might classify as doing a great job at something not worth doing.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s true, though, isn’t it. How many bloggers do you know that honestly care about SEO or even key words. We write what we think and feel, not what some search engine might find interesting. 🙂 I spent my valuable time over the years learning a lot about all of the things my emailer mentioned and a lot more, only to realize that all they did was make me nervous and sometimes irritated because I couldn’t understand the jargon to do something I was doing for fun. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      • So true.. I hear it all and sorta try maybe.. 🤣
        That’s how much I follow it. Someone said just today. This was a short post for you. I want to see 2,000 words next post. I hope you are ok. 🤣
        cute and well intended but i have a life.. i think.. or is it just blogging.
        We’re a bit cra cra the time it takes. ❣️

        Liked by 1 person

        • You write what comes out. That is the joy of blogging. I used to pay attention to the number of words I wrote. I don’t do that any more. It’s one of those things that Brian Tracy would say is not worth the time it takes to do. There are times I need to watch, when I am writing to a prescription – a form poem or a short story limited to 99 words no more no less. Other than that, I don’t worry about it too much. 🙂 Why be cra cra if we don’t have to be? 🙂 Have a wonderful day, Cindy.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thank goodness! It does keep us busy trying to tame it, though. A friend of mine had a second home in a Phoenix. they sold it because during the monsoons while they were up here in cooler weather, the plants grew by feet daily instead of inches! They would go home to a jungle after six months.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You photograph abandoned buildings well, Marsha! I can’t seem to find even one to photograph–you have quite the collection! I’m sure your ghost hunts and other activities provided some vivid memories for you. That very first image looks vivid with all the colors and light in it. It has been a busy week for us and now we are in a major winter storm. Hans just measured the snow on our deck table and it shows 10 inches has fallen and it’s still coming down. I think we’ll see at least a foot of snow by the end of the day. Our outdoor furniture was abandoned in the snow and it looks a body is laying on the chaise, all covered with snow, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Have you ever found any abandoned barns in your area? I laughed when I thought about how fruitless our search was for abandoned barns. Then I wondered why we even consider them compelling along with all their rusted parts. I still don’t know why we find them so interesting other than we can usually go inside of them and see what is there. The other thing I wondered is how long it is before a building is considered abandoned. And can it be considered abandoned before anyone occupies it or is it just an abandoned project?

      Like

    • Thank you, Elke. Yours is a compelling story. I wonder whether the occupants will have their building repaired or move on. I guess it depends on how badly it is damaged, who is going to pay for repairs, and how safe the occupants feel living there. Some places don’t make safe homes – neighborhoods, geological conditions – like cliffs or flood or fire zones. Yet people continue to rebuild homes in strange places. Great post, my friend. Thanks for linking!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I actually did go ghost hunting at a State Historic Park in California led by the Park Ranger. The town was abandoned but preserved along with the ghost stories. It made for an interesting evening, but I didn’t see any ghosts.

      Like

    • Your people love you, Becky B. We don’t want you to feel abandoned. I had to take it easy on squares this month due to our busy schedule, but I thought about it. Have a wonderful last day today. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, it does. Keeping busy keeps our minds active and that is so important. With your vibrant personality and love of life, I am sure you are blazing a new trail, making new friends, strengthening old ones, and learning to smile and laugh again because that is part of who you are. Busy is a small part of that. There is another part that comes from spending time with your thoughts, memories, AND PHOTOS and enjoying the wonder in our pasts. Love you and think of you often, Becky B.

          Liked by 1 person

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Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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