Thursday, December 9, 2010

Beautiful Faded Grandeur

Illpadrino

When I was a child, I used to hang out out with my friends in a run down, derelict, Victorian Gothic Manor, at the bottom of our road, it was great, it was really easy to get into, the gates were long gone, the entrance was over a bridge and the driveway went all round the property and was covered with red gravel, great for skidding bicycles on.  The building was magnificent, resplendent with gargoyles and lead paned mullioned windows, we easily found a way in and we spent many happy hours there, playing hide and seek, learning to smoke and playing kiss chase.  

The building was owned by an absentee owner who was planning on doing the place up, it had originally been the home of a wealthy family and then was a junior school for a girls boarding school, in fact when we played amongst it's walls it still had dormitory's, with the original iron beds in it, a gym complete with climbing bars and ropes and a stagnant swimming pool, from which we collected frog spawn to take home and nurture tadpoles.

Sadly the absentee owner decided it was too costly to do up he sold it to a property developer, the original building was knocked down and was replaced by twenty smart houses, marketed to upwardly mobile folk,  rebuilt from the freshly sandblasted Yorkshire stone, purloined from the original building and all with smart little gardens in a lovely setting with a gated entrance, over an imposing bridge.


In Space Locations

I am sure this story resonates with many, there is just something wonderful about old, derelict properties, especially for children, maybe it's fairy tales such as 'Sleeping Beauty' or books along the lines of 'The Secret Garden' that gives us an inbuilt sense of romance and nostalgia for old property.  Whatever it is I still possess it.  I have been into some horrors accompanied by friends, relatives and estate agents who think I am clearly mad but I love old, derelict properties and always long to breathe new life into them on a sympathetic level, unfortunately, dreams cannot always be realised and head overules heart, words like 'money pit' and 'bankruptcy' come to the surface, snapping you back to reality and away from the dream.


In Space Locations

 I am satisfied that I have had the opportunity to do a few up on a modest level and I take my hat off to individuals, organisations and charities who do things up on a major level, saving beautiful buildings from destruction or decay from the elements of nature and preserving them for future generations to enjoy.

Still there is so much beauty in a building in peril, it's like they are crying out to be brought back to life.


 In Space Locations


 Rosita Moekins


Daniel Cheong


Rosita Moekins

All the following photographs were taken by the wonderful Michael Eastman, all shot in Cuba.
 


 































To see more of Michael Eastmans work go here.

16 comments:

  1. These are amazing! I would have guessed Europe for sure. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous images. Where do you ever find them?

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  2. I dare not let Mr. Fly see these!
    He would be on the plane tomorrow!
    He falls in love with derelict houses and wants to bring them back to life...while I have to live in them while he does so!

    Wonderful photographs.

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  3. Thank you Fly, Mr Fly sounds like a man after my own heart!
    XXX

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  4. Beautiful pix yet again Dash. I am about to climb onto my soap box, so look away now....

    I think more people would be prepared to take on old derelict buildings if various Heritage groups didn't get entirely ANAL about renovations.

    When we found out that our newly acquired home had just been granted B status, we were thrilled - until we discovered that it meant we had to put everything back in place, as was.

    Windows were to be repaired with the correct window putty (victorian) and so on ad nauseum.

    No wonder people just let them deteriorate to the extent that they are permitted to demolish them!

    *off soap box and away for a soothing gin*

    lotsaluv

    Ali xxxx

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  5. Hi Ali, I have been in through this loop, with various heritage groups, not to mention planning departments,(always fun in France) I would always keep the integrity of a building in tact but sometimes common sense has to prevail.
    XXX

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  6. gorgeous pics!!! truly breathtaking... looking forward to all your posts

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  7. Oh, I just love the faded grandeur of that Daniel Cheong one - I have taken pity on it and want to bring it back to life .... when I win the lottery.

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  8. Oh I love these images..I think that is the saving grace of living in an old house .. we desperately need to decorate but somehow it looks ok.. shabby chic.. where as if it was a new house it would look awful

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  9. Faded grandeur, so melancholy yet reassuring that life goes on and on.
    Perhaps this is why I feel so at home in Venice late at night when the only sound I hear is that of my own footsteps.
    I was never frightened as a child by films depicting Dracula's castle or Miss Havisham's sitting room, I wanted to live there.
    Homes, like a painting, reveal pentimento over time which echoes the laughter and tragedy of it's past inhabitants.
    I do however require a working toilet, romanticism has it's limits.
    Thank you Dash for these haunting and lavish images.
    X David

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  10. HI Dash I saw some of Michael Eastman's image at Paris Photo this year and have to say they were my favourites. I love his style and his taste in interiors. beautiful images. thanks for the collection. carla

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  11. I love these pictures! We played in a derelict Victorian house when I grew up and I've lived in a few too.

    Hope you're feeling a bit more into Christmas... I haven't got there yet. Soon I hope! xx

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  12. I love these photos, they are both haunting and romantic.
    As someone who has remodeled a house I can admire anyone who has the patience and the money to do so keeping the integrity of the original building. Not only is it challenging, it is expensive!
    I so wanted to re-do an old country house in France, but my life didn't work out that way...

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  13. Love all the greens in these images!

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  14. Oh--I just saw that the images are from Cuba. I was there about 6 years ago and saw so many stunning buildings like these . . .

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  15. GORGEOUS!!!! I too was a youngster who played in an abandoned house, not Gothic, but still with its creepy charm!

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  16. This post is one of my very favorites. I have kept it on file and visit it often. Thanks everso!

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