Cheers to 2015 & now to 2016!

Happy New Year, friends! Are you ready to say farewell to 2015? What are you looking forward to in 2016?

I’ve had a fun and busy year of travel, a new job, general happiness and exciting adventures, and I hope that 2016 continues in such good fashion. A few favorites of 2015, in instagram form (as was the theme of 2015, it seemed):

Travels to New York City, Toronto, Quebec City. Montreal, and Washington, D.C.

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Central Park, NYC. #presinpink

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Doors of Montreal, part 2. #presinpink

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And of course, exploring my beloved Burlington and all of Vermont.

Professional preservation highlights include starting a new job as a Preservation Planner with VHB in April, and leading the Emerging Professionals session at the National Trust for Historic Preservation conference (#pastforward) in Washington D.C. in November.

For 2016, I’m looking forward to writing more essay-style posts, short and long, as opposed to the photo-centric posts of this year and revisiting important topics that I’ve touched upon throughout the years. I’m also hoping to continue to meet more of you and grow our preservation connections. Sound good? Is there anything you’d like to see/read? Have a topic you want discussed? Let me know. I continue to blog because of the community I’ve found in all of you and the friendships that developed, and all of the knowledge that you share with me and each other. When someone makes a new connection to historic preservation, it warms my heart and soul. That’s why we preservationists are here, isn’t it?

What are your favorite accomplishments of 2015? What do you hope for in 2016? Big plans? Adventures? A quiet year?

Enjoy the holiday. Hug your loved ones. Call your parents. The usual well wishes. Cheers to a healthy and happy 2016!

Here is what instagram says about 2015:

best92015

xo, kaitlin

A slightly less noticeable John Roberts house in the Old North End of Burlington, VT. #presinpink

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Robertson Hall, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, NJ. Designed by Minoru Yamasaki, 1963-66. An attempt at a new form of classicism with an entablature and reinforced concrete pillars. One of the most recognizable buildings on campus. #presinpink

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A break from buildings to share Fuzzy, the Christmas cat. He has yet to move from this spot. Better hurry up and finish that shopping, Fuzz! #presinpink

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With Your Coffee

 

Good weekend morning! How are you? What are you up to? Sipping coffee, staring at your Christmas tree? That’s what I’m doing. Turn on the Netflix fireplace, too, and I’m set. I love Christmastime, even though we have no snow in Burlington. And, it’s 35-50 degrees. Well, at least I’m not frozen yet! Have you finished your shopping? I have not, as per usual; but I enjoy the hustle and bustle of the final shopping days before Christmas.

If you are sipping coffee (or spiked eggnog), need something fun to read while the Christmas music is playing? A few links from around the internet:

Cheers!

Revisiting an Abandoned Vermont property: Fair Haven Depot

I’ve been photographing abandoned and neglected Vermont properties since 2011. This year I’ve been revisiting some of these properties to find out if anything has changed. A few have found better fates, but the majority remain vacant and neglected.

The Fair Haven Depot is located just outside the center of Fair Haven. The train depot is on the Clarendon & Pittsford Rail line, formerly owned by the Delaware & Hudson Railroad, and now owned by Vermont Rail System (VRS). Until 2010, Amtrak stopped at this depot, though the stop was not inside the building. Passengers waited in a small shelter across the street. The building was surveyed in the 1980s by the Vermont Historic Sites & Structures Survey, at which time it was vacant and not used as a passenger station. That’s 30+ years ago. From what I’ve learned, the railroad is not responsive to any town or historical society attempts inquiring about the building.

Additionally, the 1930s concrete bridge that leads to the depot has been closed for a few years. There is another way around and not much traffic, so they fate of this bridge does not look good.

Interested in a walk around the depot with me? Read on.

View from the bridge. The depot looks pleasant thanks to yellow & green plywood painted to look like doors and windows. 


Vegetation and evidence of backsplash.

  

The trackside of the building. If you look closely at the foundation you can see water damage. The water pours down the hill (to the left of this photo) and flows into the foundation. 


Foundation and damage to the bricks, from water and deferred maintenance. 

  

Closer view of the damage. 


Cracks in the bricks. Critters can easily fit under that door. 

  

More brick spalling and the stone holding the bracket, which holds the roof, is not long for this world. 


More of the same. 

  

Foundation damage. 


Vegetation next to a building foundation is not good for long-term building health. 

  

The precipitation splashes from the ground to the bricks. And, as evident by the moss, there is not much sunlight to dry the ground. 


  

The side of the building that you see from the bridge. 

Something about this building breaks my heart. It must be my fondness for railroad depots. Depots are such valuable buildings to communities: transportation hubs, meeting places, often architectural gems in the town. Railroad buildings were built to last. There are many success stories of railroad buildings throughout Vermont.

What a shame that the railroad neglects its history and its beautiful, historic buildings throughout Vermont and the rest of the United States? Restoring a railroad depot always benefits the community – socially and economically and in all realms.

Do you have a similar story from your community? What advice can you offer? I’d love to know. This depot deserves to be saved. Have some thoughts? #savethefairhavendepot