Twelve thousand souls. History: flashpoint for 1960s Civil Rights strife. (It now has a Black mayor and majority-black City Council.) Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane crashed nearby.

So . . . the town’s been abandoned for, what, 40 years now?

Let’s start on the right side. I assume the Jacob’s / Falstaff is a palimpsest . . .

. . . and the building is cold storage.

Someone cared to make this a handsome and civilized addition to the street.

The person who did the lower floor in the 50s / early 60s had other ideas.

The meeting hall for the not-so-secret societies, with a nice little shop next door.

In its prime, this was an impressive block.

Well, that’s an unusual effect; looks as if the various segments should go up and down like pistons.


Before its demotion, a picture of an ancient sign and the building’s original purpose.

The building on the right would be good as new after a sandblasting.


The one of the left has that hideous late 60s / early 70s swoop awning, and you can see the crude blinding of the storefront window.


OUMB in its marrow, in its DNA.


You know it was the local department store.

The ground floor renovation had the decency to harmonize with the upper floor. Alas, it looks as if it’s fire-damaged and ready to go.

Held together with screws. Lovely facade; shame to lose it.

Just put this one out of its misery.

Here’s another example of a “modernization” that ended up making everyone unhappy. The cornice was stripped, and the ground floor . . .

It just doesn’t fit.

And it looks cheap when the old building asserts itself.

It was modernized once, long ago. Those black dots indicate glue, and I’d guess they held panels of metal or Vitrolite. Some new modern style.

The mausoleum:

Love those inlaid shop fronts. Come in, ladies, for all the latest smart styles! Oh right, you’re all gone.

I don’t know why, but I want to say . . . grocery store.

The two doors would argue against that, but the style, the arches, sometimes says grocery store.

That’s a nice refit, and shows it’s a going concern.

Unfortunately, it’s a pawn shop.

Time is the fire in which we all burn. Also, fire is the fire in which we all burn.

Just knock it down. Let it go.

The motel we’ll meet tomorrow.


If you have to tell people “no, that’s not a prison,” you’ve hired the wrong architect.