Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Old, vacant buildings, houses and, for some reason, movie theaters intrigue me. Left of the lives and businesses that once inhabited the dwellings are the memories that will live on forever. At the last ABS meeting, Jason Brown-new owner of one such dwelling on Texas Ave, shared findings of a demolished building in downtown, now a parking lot (sing it with me, "paved paradise and put up a parking lot"). Many memories are shared from that Nankings restaurant/building that once stood on Milam Street. Jason told of blocked off rooms that seemed to be "frozen in time" found in the upstairs portion of the building. There we no staircases that led to the rooms. Were they secret rooms? Hiding spaces? What was their original purpose? Jason spoke of archeologists digging in the ruins before cement covered up history that could date to a time before the building was even constructed, telltale signs of our past. What will future historians and archeologists find when we're gone? What was beyond that outdoor staircase that still remains on the side of the roads we travel in downtown and the surrounding areas? Whose memories are there? Somewhere there are old photos of such to be found, the faces may not be familiar in them, but they are an important voice of “what once was”. Our history is our future, preserve and protect!

1 comment:

Loren Demerath said...

Amen to that, Cynthia! There is so many beautiful, historical structures downtown, and so much history behind them. Under the direction of Caroline Majors, some of my urban sociology students are conducting a photo and street characteristics inventory of downtown buildings which they'll then publish as a pdf. Something that could help investors as well is standardizing and making into a cook-book the techniques used by Community Renewal to bring their downtown headquarters up to code inexpensively, and while providing job traininy; Caroline's firm, MHSM helped with that, btw. Thirdly, there's the idea of implementing a project that's been done in Los Angeles: people call in to a number and either record a message about some historical detail they know about a particular location, or listen to what's been recorded by others about a location. Presumably its all menu navigated. Imagine standing by that ruined stairway, calling a number on your cell, and hearing the stories about it! Cool, huh? I gotta find the source for that. Anyone know?