Abandoned architecture has always interested me on both the visual and philosophical levels. Some years back I came across this modest but beautiful abandoned mansard-roofed house in East Machias, Maine, and just had to shoot it. At the time I was there the house was still in relatively good condition with a lovely weathered patina. The detailing of the house was very good and someone had gone to the trouble of installing some porch supports since the original posts had been removed for some reason. Those supports indicate someone’s intention of coming back to fix it correctly someday. Abandoned houses are particularly fascinating because of the unanswered questions they pose. Who lived here and why was such a house allowed to deteriorate like this? Did the owners plan to return or did the cost of continued maintenance eventually become too much? Who knows? What I do know is that not long after I shot this image, the house was destroyed by fire and is gone. The questions remain unanswered …
(This house is included in my book on abandoned architecture, entitled RUIN, Photographs of a Vanishing America)
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Agreed John. Where I grew up, upstate NY, these are only saved by money made elsewhere. They're a dime a dozen and are often snapped up and restored nicely - only to be abandoned again once the 'small town adventure' has past.
Love these small mansards, they're rare here.
It is a shame that economics is such a forceful reality to the outcome of homes like this. But the fact is that, if the local economy and the local infrastructure cannot support a class of citizen that can maintain a home like this, it will fall. Think about it...if this home were in a rural area 20 miles from the nearest town, it would take a person with considerable means to restore it and maintain it all alone in the country. Not a very pleasant scenario for most folks. Beautiful elevation none the less...