An architect lends character to the ubiquitous, blending functionality with an artistic identity. The more extraordinary a building seems, the more solitary it feels. Its nascent insides know a hollowness that is echoed tenfold in its abandonment—-time, along with human occupancy, has given the architect’s masterpiece a deserted narrative. Without the passage of time, without the wear and tear of our day to day lives, unwanted markings would not exist, wear on the walls would not show, and a history would remain hidden.
So what is it about architecture that matters? Meticulous structures are the framework of our everyday lives. They are the walls that surround us but somehow blend into a fading skyline.
Names like Irwin Thornton Catharine are swallowed by history, but the skeleton of buildings that once were remain.
Today, Spring Garden School No.1 still stands as one of Catharine’s many successes. Once a home away from home for students, the abandoned school is now an empty spectacle marked by its history. The halls which were once brimming with midday laughter, the synchronized closing of lockers, and student whispers are now cloaked in ghostly silence. School spirit has a new connotation in the hall’s empty remains.
Take a moment to stop and admire one of the many derelict spaces splayed across the city. Remember it was once full; full of teachers, learners, and dreamers.
On the inside…
Air drifts between hallowed out windows and roams the empty hallways much like a stampede of students on a Monday morning. Pieces of the ceiling sleep on the morphed floor that form a pattern of chaos. Parts that were once tucked away now make their appearance in open space- hanging recklessly and taunting whats below. The chalkboards that were once full of ideas, equations, and lessons now serve as a forever changing canvas for any graffiti writer to take over.
The long hallways borrow light from each vacant door frame, inviting a hint of golden beauty to shine in all the right places. Desks stand randomly on all threes, and surprisingly sometimes all four. Doors that are no longer supported by their hinge overshadow an even darker room from the last. Pieces of clothing, pieces that don’t belong, and pieces of those pieces create and erie melody underneath each cautious step taken by anyone who dares to enter.
A silence of education seeps from the walls and perfectly placed hooks suggest that a backpack once kept it company. Closets are full of books left behind; pages of crisp letters and numbers and pages that miss being touched. A place with structure, a place with balance, and a place with a curriculum is now not so much of a place at all. Stair cases lead up and down, dark both ways, yet hints of color stand prominent within every crack and corner. Up top the wind blows between the city above every flaw and and every beauty.
A roof court that once contained an energy anticipated by the recess bell now offers a lonely view of the city. Down below- where people only walk looking forward and where the presence of such a groundbreaking structure lacks positive energy.
This building left the hands of an architect and was engulfed by the hands of the city. A foundation now empty with unmatched clutter- a masterpiece once shaped by detail, by education, and forever by life. The space said bye to its teachers, its learners, and its dreamers.