Now and then I pull up the stuff I snapped a year ago and wonder: why? Why did I decide to wander down Lorain Avenue? Probably looking for something on a matchbook.

For example:


Why? There’s nothing there. Perhaps I just liked the abstractness of the image; you wouldn’t think it was abstract if you were there, but when you see it on the Google Street View, it’s odd.

Okay, there was a plague?

Are the buildings full of mutated people who cannot bear the touch of sunlight? Was this ever a lively corner with stores and folks who knew their neighbors?

Yes, plague, but with cool strange linear aftereffects.


Opened in 1931, part of the Publix chain. Yes, Paramount owned them.

The interior: gah.

Ah! A human:


Looks like vinyl siding in the doorway. Note the different colored bricks, which suggests . . . what? A window, removed? Some sort of signage? What was this thing?

Whoa: from vacancy to immensitudinous:


The details:

You wonder how poorer the streets would be without churches; they're often the only intact remnants of the early 20th century.


Again, I ask myself: why did I snap this?


Because it has stories. For one thing, the upper-floor windows are original, and the style suggests the glass blocks may have been original. For another thing, the top looks as if it was lifted up and moved over to the right, confounding any sense of balance and symmetry. The bricks on the ground floor seem newer, or perhaps they were just tuck-pointed - but look at those faint lines coming down from the two windows, suggesting it used to be a store front.

You have three seconds to identify the building’s original purpose:


I feel bad for the second story.

The slight difference in brick hues tells you it was built in two stages:


Consider the order in which they were built, and make the case; your brain starts to smoke after a while.

"What did your architect do before he started offering cheap remodels?"

“He sold vinyl venetian blinds”

And then:


A perfect little modern church. Next door, the original building:



Interior pictures of the newer part: the 50s design is unchanged. I grew up in one of these churches - the Pastor in the Grey Flannel Pulpit era, restrained, with fashionable wood hues. I have great affection for the style.


Finally: a hopeful sign . . .


Inasmuch as the front looks good, but you don't know what condition its condition is in, as the saying goes. Cinematreasures says it’s being rehabbed, but the process is slow.

The pictures of the interior may be the saddest and most noble thing you’ll see this hour.