Category Archives: Houses
Just a few blocks from our house this view presents itself. This view is looking southwest along Marine View Drive and Puget Sound. When I took daily walks I would walk along this section of Marine View Drive. One of the perks of living where we do; just a few minutes walk from a pretty cool view. Hasn’t changed much in the 60 years I have lived in Arbor Heights.
Since my range of traveling has been limited to home or close to home ( due to health issues: broken bone in right foot, fractured 8th rib and a blood clot causing edema in my lower left leg-phew!) and not in the usual interesting places I find to shoot, I have some images here from our garden window. I love plants from the desert SW, and besides, they easily adjust to my black thumb!
I’ve posted, in the past five years, images of this house that has been abandoned for years in the South Park area of Seattle. I made a trip down there a couple of weeks ago and took these images. Since I last visited the house it has suffered through two arson/meth related fires.
While I was taking these images a small, wiry guy came up behind me and said ‘Hi’. Through our conversation, I learned he was the night watchman for the owner of the Marina and storage facilities along the Duwamish River. We talked for about 20 minutes. He was quite a character. He has lived in the area for years. He gave me a history of the house or as much as he knew. He witnessed both fires, one set by a person cooking up some meth on the second story wooden floor. The house is actually for sale, as a tear down of course. I tried walking in the house a few years back and the debris was waist high and probably a mine field of syringes; I stopped after a few feet and bailed out of the window I came in from, which I think was the kitchen in the back. Besides, I really didn’t know if there was someone living upstairs-addicts or homeless people.
So, for a little history that was shared with me:
After WWII the house was used as ‘transitional’ housing for Japanese Americans that were interned during the war. They transitioned from the camps to this house in an effort to reintegrate; most of the property they owned prior to internment was lost, sold or confiscated.
Sometime after that a couple bought the house and stayed in it for years. The couple were a bit eccentric, but one of their hobbies was coin collecting. Apparently they hid this collection ( valued in excess of $100,000 back in the 60’s-70’s) in a box somewhere in the house. The man died first, leaving his widow to deal with the house, which soon became too much for her as she aged. So, she moved out, but could not find the box of coins. As time passed, for reasons unknown to me, the house fell into disrepair and ultimately declined into a mess. The lady would return from time to time, looking for the box of coins, to no avail.
After the second fire, the people living in the area( like the night watchman-old timers) went in looking through the debris to see if the box of coins had burned, surfaced or whatever. They did find the box, but it was empty. It was assumed that one of the homeless people who had wandered in, had found the box, after the fire, and walked away with a pocketful of dreams.
A rich and tragic history for what was once one of the better homes, with quite a view, in South Park.
In March of 2016 I posted a couple of photos of an abandoned house in the South Park neighborhood of South Seattle, near where I live. I resisted the location this past week and you can see the ‘changes’ that have taken place in less than a year. I couldn’t get in the house in March as it had about 3-4 feet of debris in each room-who knows what was in that mess? Now, the house has suffered a major fire ( arson, most likely) and it is mostly a charred ruin. The lot it sits on has been cleaned of dead cars and all sorts of other trash and is now barricaded off with huge cement blocks and cable. At one time this house had a great territorial view and was probably someones pride and joy.
Washington Cemetery can be seen from this elevated section of the F Train, as well as the yard where subway cars are parked and serviced. Coney Island is home to very large apartment complexes, something you don’t usually see in photos of the summer retreat.
I took this photo 6 years ago in NE Portland, OR. The houses were probably less than a year old at the time. This past summer I was contacted by someone in Mass. regarding the use of this image for an Urban Design and Planning Quarterly. Not sure when the magazine will be published. It was a bit of an ordeal getting the images transmitted. They wanted large res versions, as this is, and email didn’t work. I ended up loading the images to my Dropbox account and giving the contact person in Mass. access to that account.
All’s well that ends well.