11 August 2011

Ghost buildings

Rattlesnake carved on porch post, Fairburn, South Dakota

The photo series I am calling "Architecture of the Open Places" has topped 1000 shots, most of them taken in the past three years. The focus (so to speak) is on small structures in vast landscapes, tiny blips against endless horizons. I look for the buildings that have held on to an essential character in spite of the ravages of time, weather, and broken dreams. 

South Dakota has always been a hard place to homestead, to farm, to ranch. It is pitiless and merciless. These structures have stood up to the harshness in many ways. Wood has lost any vestiges of paint, metal shows rust in all colors, glass has aged and broken...but something is still there. 

Some entire towns out here are deserted or nearly so, having lost whatever economic driving factor they ever had. The buildings are the last witnesses. I don't know if I find them or if they find me. 

Skulls and masks carved on other porch post

Fairburn, South Dakota

Stove on abandoned hotel porch

Hotel, Fairburn, South Dakota

Church, Pringle, South Dakota

Cabin, Custer County, South Dakota

Storefronts, Ardmore, South Dakota

Cabin, Pringle, South Dakota

Shed, South Dakota

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