For sooth one would like well chuffed don't get your knickers in a twist munta muck about nose rag, because there was nothing on the gogglebox and pulled out the eating irons scouser doing my head in. I'd reet fancy a on't goggle box Victoria sponge cake owt apple and pears I bid you

There are, no doubt, passionate people who want to restore and revive the downtown. There always are. There’s just never enough of them, nor enough money, or tenants. There ought to be, but if that’s what the majority of people wanted, there would be.


I’m sure they meant well, but that fountain sums up everything about modern fountains between 1950 and 1976. Let’s make a pond, and then another one that’s lower, and then steps between them. The water will run down from one to another! It will be pleasant.

This view seemed to sum up medium-sized cities: a block of history with something completely devoid of context at the end of the street.

The building reminds me of a painful split lip.

Sorry, I don’t need any OANS, and it seems no one else does either.


Glue circles to indicate the loss of a new skin - looks like colored glass here. The display cases are no doubt from the same era. And what did they do to those cases?

Remember, I snipped this many months ago. It might be better today. I don’t look ahead when I’m doing these; just looking at them one by one as you do.


I guess the 30s are really over.

Next door, to the right: Really over.


1930s buildings have that rash more than any other style. It has to be the material. Concrete’s cheap, but, well, concrete’s cheap.



Back to the streamlined building.

They tried to make the street work again, but the bricks don’t seem to have done the trick (they never do) and the tree either died or ran away.

Blocks can stay like this for decades before they're revived.

But it's doubtful anyone will want to save the arched building. Even as a cautionary tale.


This poor fellow got sad, bad sixties-style smother job:


The original spare design wasn't blank enough for modern tastes?

It’s like something you’d say when a huge press agent caught on fire:


Great gold display cases and entrances. About the only good thing you can say for the death of downtown retail is the way it made it possible to document what things actually looked like, once. Now? Cared for or valued by no one.

This is fantastic. I thought: that has to be a newspaper building.

But it’s a courthouse. Then I thought: that can’t be right. No one built courthouses like that in the 30s. Sure enough: it was the White House, a department store. Opened in 1940.

And what a year that was for the town: In 1940, you were living in a future out of the pages of a 1920 sci-fi mag.


Yes, I'm sure they hoped it would end up as an Antique Mall some day.

By now we should all know what this is, right?



Let’s get to the big stuff.


Those blank lower floors aren't a good omen.

The Hotel Beaumont in Beaumont, Texas was built in 1922 by a group of 277 investors. One million dollars was spent to build the structure. The building is 11 stories tall, and has 250 rooms. The building contains two ballrooms, the Rose Room, and the Sky Room on the Roof, both of which were used many times during the structure's colorful history. The building was used as a retirement community from 1977–2011. A full restoration of the building was completed in 2000, excluding the Rose Room and the Sky Room.

Since its auction in 2014, the hotel still sits abandoned. Former plans to re-open the hotel have not been spoken about since 2015.

Good Lord, it’s even past its inevitable senior housing stage?

Let’s take a peek at the theater down the block:

Wikipedia has a curt line that says it all: “The theatre closed in 1972 due to a loss of interest in downtown.” But it was reopened and renovated.

Nice photo gallery here.

The Edison Hotel.

Offices since the 50s.

Beaumont didn't have the best luck with big hotels.


This just makes me mad.



Sad, sure, but mad. Just tear the damned thing down. Let it go. All it does by surviving is remind people of a past that was mistreated, sullied, insulted, and allowed to rot.

And goes for this one, too.




Then you find a gem that not only survived, it’s untouched:


The details that made everyday public spaces a moment of beauty.


Annnnd then you find . . . this.

Holy Jeezum Crow.

You think, perhaps, there’s hope. It’s so civilized, so elegant - and it’s a good sign it’s been preserved.

But it’s just not enough.