Building Ghosts

Click for larger image

Admittedly the title is a play on words, as it is not clear whether this building is a ghost or the absence of the building has created a ghost. Nevertheless, they are basically the same thing. When structures are built together and one of them goes away, we see its impression and imagine what may have been. More often than not, that which remains can be quite interesting as an abstraction of the past.

The idea of the impression of the past is driving the initial prints in the Braddock project. For most of these buildings, the story is over, but what was that story? What were the plots and subplots that formed the whole? Much of this can be envisioned, correctly or incorrectly, as can be the ghosts of our imagination.

This general idea began for me in 1991 when I spent three weeks in Wales. My primary interest there was to visit the castles built by the English in their domination of the people of Wales. When in Harlech I was the first person that day to visit the castle, and walking by myself, could almost feel the soldiers of hundreds of years ago brush past me as I wandered the empty hallways.

When I look at these places in Braddock I wonder about the stories that must have been formed. I think about the joys that accompanied the openings and the disappointments that accompanied their closings. As with all things, many of these will go away and be replaced either by another structure to restart the cycle, or by the progress of nature.