Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thematic Photographic 62: "Abandoned" v.1.0 - "222 N. Dawson"

"My Favorite Abandoned Building"
Raleigh, NC - October 2008 (Click to embiggen)

Thematic Photographic hosted by Carmi - Button Image by Smarmoofus Hosted by Written Inc.

This week Thematic Photographic takes on "Abandonment Issues" with the theme (wait for it) "Abandoned". And leading off my collection for the week is something pretty standard when I think of the word. In fact, when I heard the new theme is was just about the first thing I thought of. Over the last year or, I've photographed this building a number of times from virtually every possible angle. I don't know what it is about this derelict that attracts me so much, but there it is. Zoning restrictions will probably dictate that this building will never be renovated. There are ordinances that prohibit new construction within a certain distance of the street, and once the cost of renovation exceeds 50% of the value of the property, even renovations are considered "new construction".

The street no doubt came up to meet the building, rather than the other way around. As the city grew, traffic grew with it and the streets became incrementally wider to accommodate it. So when the building was originally built, it was probably well back from the road. the road however, grew and now the building can stand as is -- protected by grandfather clauses -- but even the renovations that would be required to bring it up to code would probably exceed the 50% mark.

The only possible avenue to explore might be protection as a historic building (it was apparently constructed in 1898 based on the date stamped into one of the bricks). There may be special provisions for rehabilitation of historic buildings that would circumvent the zoning ordinances. But even if that's true, the property is most likely owned by the state, and with the state's budget in the shape that it's in currently, the old girl could collapse under her own weight before there's funding for renovations.

A private concern might have the money, but the big drawback to putting a commercial property in this space is -- as is the case with virtually every downtown business -- parking. There simply isn't any. So sadly, the building will probably crumble to dust or find itself in front of the wrecking ball to make way for something newer.

Perhaps a parking lot.

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Quilldancer said...

The dilemma of old buildings everywhere. Too much of our visual history is rotting away.


Jientje said...

One of the oldest neighbourhoods in the center of Antwerp has been saved by an antiquair, when they had plans to turn it into a parking lot. Every time I go to Antwerp, I just HAVE to go there, walk on the cobblestones, and touch the walls of the old houses. Sadly, it does not always happen that way. Nice post! My entry for TP is here

SandyCarlson said...

Talk about being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea (or is that the bright red budget?). We see this kind of thing go on here. Obviously interesting and beautiful buildings to to ruin while their future is debated or put off or whatever. As you say.

Melli said...

This reminds me of another abandoned I will want to post this week! I like this shot! My building has similar complications -- and is a fairly famous building too. But that is for another day... TODAY I'm up here.

Vita Stunder said...

I truly understand your passion for shooting this house.

Forgotten houses holds the best stories...
And just by looking at your shot I hear the whispers from long ago echoes inside.

Elisabeth said...

Oh, how I love old buildings. They have much to say. Thank you for sharing.

Babooshka said...

Every possible angle sounds familiar. I wouldn't be able to leave this alone either. Abandoned but again for anyone who enjoys photography a boon.

Nikki-ann said...

I would expect that at some point health & safety rules would come into force and force something to be done, i.e. for it to be renovated or (most likely, but sadly,) flattened.

Thanks for sharing this with us :) said...

Lovely shot.

Here is Mine