This is an absolutely rotten spot on the southwest side. I’d had my eyes on it for close to two years now as it sat near-abandoned, occupied by some clever squatters with Rube Goldberg booby-traps on the entrance. I never did get to figure out their story, but judging by the signs of life I’d seen, and the possessions left behind, it must have been a fascinating one. Last summer’s occupant, who we came to call “Mr. October,” made his presence very well known by keeping a boom box on the roof blasting baseball games seemingly every day. After a few weeks biking past it every day and hearing no play-by-plays anymore, I gave the door a try, and heard almost a minute straight of clanking and banging and crashing metal through the place, punctuated by four-lettered footsteps. I ran.
This time, the loading docks in back were wide open, revealing the building and its contents to the spring rains. The wreak of mold and mildew was incredible in here, which we soon found to be coming from the ruins of a moldering library upstairs. The entire hallway was filled with collapsed bookcases and writing desks filled with rotten literature.
Who is Tim Wandtke? Why did he leave a pile of name tags here?
78rpm records are almost indestructible. Put these through the dishwasher and they still play!
Nate setting up a shot in one of the “apartments” in the building. Whether these were residences for a while or built by the resourceful squatters remains unknown. What is obvious is that the building’s present state is a terrible place to live, and the encroaching water is probably what drove the last occupants out.
This stairway was in the other ‘loft’ space.
This is the water that is slowly ruining the place. The third floor is well flooded already, with a steady drip-drop-drip sound throughout the building, even a week after the last rain. A few half-hearted buckets and tarps remain, but there is no hope of containing the water any longer.