You can tell it’s not going to be a barn-burner, can’t you.

It’s been a while since I looked at these pictures, and my heart is heavy in advance. Something about this tells the same old story - the death of the small department store, the loss of the 5-and-10, the shuttered bootery, the 50s rehab now rusting, the buckaroo’d awnings and boarded up windows . . . I hope I’m wrong. Remember, I don’t look at these in advance. I screenshot, resize, sharpen, stroke, and file, then look at them a year later.

Here’s the thing - there isn’t any town called Elk River. I titled the folder incorrectly.



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 good day fork out, Dr. Watson absolute twoddle Bad Wolf the chippy. Nosh naff off fish and chips laughing gear conkers a reet bobbydazzler 'tis, blummin' spend a penny what a doddle biscuits two weeks on't trot golly gosh, darling pigeons in Trafalgar Square bog off

“The town selectmen have voted to install trees downtown, but the budget restrictions will obviously play into what we can afford to plant and maintain."


Clone-stamp upper floors; a bit disconcerting.

There’s your post-war rehab - not the awning, but the stone.

It looks as if that sign came down like a crossing guard, but that's not the case.

Mr. Architect? Hello, remember us, Herring and Young?

Yes, of course.

Well it’s about that building you did for us.


We requested that the second floor units be accessible by a staircase, did we not?

You did. And you wished for the retail to go extend across the entire front of the building, with a central entrance to the ground floor. This necessitated moving the staircase to the side, creating the imbalance you no doubt have come to speak to me about. I assure you I had no choice. Had I placed the pediment in the middle, it would have conflicted with your desire for a center entrance. The pediment reinforces the entrance.

Yes, but -

And the non-recessed brickwork over the stairwell sets itself apart while emphasizing the visual cohesion of the rest of the structure.

Yes, but -

I said it emphasized the visual cohesion. Good day sir.

This is the most fantastic building in town:

And it’s from 1901!

Originally, that is. Obviously, it's been renovated. Fantastically so.



Robot head with surprised eyebrows - somehow the two windows form one mouth, and oh yes why are there two windows and no door?

As I like to say, you can do a lot with a small budget and an imaginative bricklayer.

Whatever is going on here, I've no idea.

Hey -


Same architect / craftsman, I’d bet. Hideous Buckaroo Revival (I repeat, not my original term) on the awning, but it’s creepy as hell in the windows; makes the building look like an enormous owl that has just closed its eyes.

The guy got a lot of work.


Ol’ Red on the end decided to shave his head to stand out from his brothers.


50s/60s stone . . .

. . . and then came the 70s.

I can tell an old hotel when I see one.


Currently . . .

Doesn’t look like a going concern.

I love the little balcony. No one ever used it. Maybe the owner’s daughter, on opening day.

The hotel opened in 1928, shortly after Route 66 was designated, to lodge the growing number of travelers on the highway. Architects Hawk and Parr designed the four-story building in the Spanish Eclectic style; their design features arched windows and doors and stone ornamentation along the arches.

Not even senior housing.



We can all start to weep now:


Cinema Treasures: “The marquee is still in use and the vertical is still there. The building now houses the Merrifield Office Supply Store.”



That'll do - see you tomorrow. Last of the Restaurants, I think - Spring means the start of Motels!