Traveling across Highway 84 in Ware County, Georgia, you’ll see a worn sign with red lettering on the side of the road in Ruskin, an unincorporated community in Waycross.
Off Highway 84.
Looking back down the dirt road and across the tracks (in front of the church).
The “Old Ruskin Church” intrigues a preservationist familiar with John Ruskin’s, The Seven Lamps of Architecture. Pull over, make a u-turn and turn down the southern dirt road, Griffin Road. Cross the tracks at the curve in the road is the Old Ruskin Church. This darling white church sits quietly beneath the picturesque canopy of long leaf pines, among the fallen pine straw. On a sunny day, it seemed to be one of the most serene spots to find.
Old Ruskin Church.
Perfect southern setting.
The steeple among the pines.
Beautiful detail on this little church. And also many bees nests. It’s in need of some maintenance.
One more for good measure.
The Old Ruskin Church, ca. 1899, belonged to the Ruskin Commonwealth, a Utopian socialist community incorporated in 1899. This community was founded by 240 people who moved near Waycross in 1899 from the Ruskin Colony in Tennessee (1896-1899). As the name suggests, the community was founded on principles of the English social reformer John Ruskin. See photographs of the community here. Unfortunately, the settlement lasted only a few years, disbanding in 1901 due to poor farming land, poor business ventures, disease and poverty.
Who owns this church? What goes on here? There was no indication. Do you know anything about it? Please share!
It’s not everyday that you encounter an octagonal stone schoolhouse; but drive on Route 22 through the tiny hamlet of Boquet in the town of Essex, NY and you’ll come across this historic 1826 structure. Designed by architect Benjamin Gilbert, the school served the population around the local, growing sawmills. The octagon was later popularized by Thomas Jefferson at Poplar Forest (read more here from AARCH). Today the building is owned by the town and open for tours by appointment. Many original features remain in this octagonal schoolhouse. The community is undertaking a fundraiser to raise money for restoration of the building. Read more here. And there’s an old set of swings, too. Take a look!
Boquet Schoolhouse in Essex, NY.
Stone & octagonal. The local heritage organization (ECHO) is raising money to repair to building.
And a bit of a historic playground to go along with the schoolhouse!
These old swings are made of a canvas-like material instead of rubber like you’d see nowadays.
Still functioning swings.
For years, I’ve been dreaming of Washington, D.C. When you think the top of the preservation world, you think Washington, D.C., right? (Well, I do.) Thankfully, a flamingo wedding just outside D.C. was the perfect reason for a mini-excursion to D.C. and for the annual flamingo reunion. It was a flurry of jaw-dropping architecture, good food, bicycling, and flamingo-ing. While a sort visit, the best way to use that time was wandering around, hopping on and off Capital BikeShare bikes, and just enjoying the sights. However, be warned, D.C. wasn’t all that bike friendly in terms of bike lanes.
Everything is beautiful in D.C., even the lamp posts.
The U.S. Capital.
The Washington Monument.
The World War II Memorial is stunning.
View of the Washington Monument from the World War II Memorial.
Lions at Judiciary Square.
Finally, I saw these in person. I’ve wanted to see these columns and capitals for years.
U.S. flags surround the Washington Monument.
Glen Echo Park, an art deco setting for a flamingo wedding.
This needs no explanation, except that it was handmade by the best man’s mother. Everyone gets in on the flamingos.
Riding the historic carousel!
Georgetown is gorgeous.
Near the White House.
So many cornices to photograph.
The White House, behind a fence.
The National Building Museum, the former U.S. Pension building.
Next visit, I need more time to see the museums and the monuments. What’s your favorite part of Washington D.C.?
Over the years, I’ve driven past this house many times getting that “abandoned” vibe from it, then noticing broken windows, overgrown brush, yet a mowed lawn. Maybe it wasn’t entirely abandoned, but certainly no one lived in this house. Finally I stopped to take some photographs. Considering how long it’s been neglected and vacant, it is in good condition. Who needs a house in Reading, Vermont? Advice for when you cannot information about a property (e.g. if it’s for sale): call the town offices.
Surrounded by trees.
The side of the house.
The rear of the house is a bit more worn. But the slate roof is gorgeous.
The porch has seen better days, and this rear ell.
Beautiful back porch (you probably remember this photo from an Instagram post).
The interior is not too far gone.
Seen through the back door, not in such great shape.
But it might need some plaster. This Rutland Patching Plaster is from nearby Rutland, VT!
Barn view from the porch.
Front of the barn.
The front of the house is hard to see from the road, as the road sits further behind this photographer.
What a beautiful property, isn’t it? It hasn’t been surveyed (that I can find), and is not listed in the State or National Register. However, I’m sure you could make a strong case for eligibility in Reading, VT. What do you love most: original windows, hardwood, wood details, doorknobs, slate roof?
An 1848 Greek Revival style church in the Weybridge Hill Historic District.
Vermont is filled with picture-perfect skies and beautiful historic buildings.
Fair Haven, Vermont.
The house of last week’s Preservation Photos #232. This 1867 house was built by the A.C. Hopson and is known as one of the earliest and most outstanding examples of French Second Empire style in Vermont. It was the home of Ira Allen, a prominent Fair Haven businessman. Today the house is the Marble Mansion Inn.
There’s a lot of detail in this photograph. Look up! A cornice, brackets, small window, patterned slate, marble curved lintels, marble construction, crossing roof lines. And that’s just a small piece of the building! Seen in Fair Haven, VT.
There’s entertainment everywhere.
Please note that this house is for sale, not abandoned. But I cannot answer to how long it’s been for sale.
House for sale can hold the appearance and aura of abandonment. Of course there are reasons for this. Perhaps a family member died and it’s an estate sale. Or it was a seasonal home, rarely used. This house in Brandon, Vermont gives that longing look, the look that abandoned or neglected houses carry. It strikes me as a house filled with relics of the last family to the live there; culturally interesting items, but not much that someone would want to truck back to his or her home.
Aside from that modern garage door, the house maintains much of its architectural integrity.
White house in the white winter snow. The windows look dark and cold, and the house immediately seemed to have that abandoned lure.
A beautiful ca. 1850 Greek Revival house.
For sale by owner, the sign says.
With a beautiful barn.
Cross your fingers for this house; all it needs is a new owner and some love.
If it’s snowing in Virginia (according to @umwhisp), it’s certainly snowing up north.
Sigh. What will we do with ourselves? Last week, I mentioned historical documentaries as a way to hide from the cold and not feel guilty about being inside. Are you sick of the glowing screens yet? Here’s another (mostly) inside adventure. Or at least something to make you feel better about being inside, dashing from one warm place to the next.
When you walk into a building, look up. Seriously. Do this everywhere. Most of us will scan the room to get our surroundings, and never look above our eye level. Do you know what you’re missing?
Okay, maybe this a form of entertainment only for preservation nerds. But hear me out. Preservation ABCs: C is for Ceiling as well as Battling Poor Lighting Choices begin to address the overlooked (or shall I say under-looked, ha) importance of ceilings and lighting and all elements above our heads.
Take note of where you are: residence, business, office. How high is the ceiling? What is the material: drywall, tin, plaster, tiles? What’s your immediate reaction when you look at it? What would you rather see? How do you define a good ceiling?
This exercise is not limited to historic buildings. Are you stuck with drop ceilings and florescent lighting? Wouldn’t something – anything be an improvement? Popcorn ceilings, aside.
Recently I was with a friend who mentioned she never thought to look up in places. And now, she has been noticing ceilings. Hooray!
Give it a try. Walk into a building. Look up. Once you learn to look up, it’s fun! And how you view your surroundings will be forever changed. Or you’ll think my love for good ceilings is verging on unhealthy.