Book Review - Ghostly Ruins: America's Forgotten Architecture by Harry Skrdla
I find these types of book irresistible... Ghostly Ruins: America's Forgotten Architecture by Harry Skrdla. It's the comparison between then and now, then being when the building was full of life and utility, now being filled with ghosts and decay. And if you do the pictures in black and white, I have no defense...
Skrdla splits up American buildings and locations into eight different categories (transportation, industry, commerce, public works, home, amusement, reincarnation, and epitaphs. For each location within the categories, he tells a brief story behind the pictures, how the building came to be, and how it's turned into the abandoned ruin of it's current state. In a number of cases, he's able to get the same before/after angle for the photo, and it's like looking into the past, watching the ghosts of generations wandering around. In other photos, you simply see the amount of decay that has occurred over the years. Places like The Danvers State Hospital just flat out look creepy at *any* time you view it. :)
Some might find Skrdla's stories and descriptions overly dramatic and "mystical", when all you're really doing is looking at an old building. But as he notes in the introduction, it's not the building that fascinates, but the story behind it. It may not be the best pre/post photo book you've ever read, but it's well worth reading if this area is an interest of yours.