(These pictures were taken a few days after the ones below were taken)
I am happy to announce that today's post is written by my other half, Geoff. He recently took some beautiful pictures of the seriously spooky building that is located across the street from where we live. We live in a city where the buildings are never more than a century old, and any vacant building is a fascinating mystery for us. We are so curious about these places!
I would love to learn more about this vacant, L-shaped, dilapidated townhouse-style apartment building across from us. The 'Sylvan Apartments' were built in 1910, and expanded in 1927. We've heard some rumours from neighbours that a developer currently owns the property and would like to tear it down to build condos, so perhaps the fact that it's a registered heritage property is the only thing saving the place from destruction so far. None of the windows seem to be broken, and many of the blinds and curtains on the upper level are still in place. The main floor doors and windows are all covered with plywood, some with painted, stenciled graffiti.
With my dad's 1970s Pentax SLR camera, I took some photographs recently while on a walk with Anabela. We ignored some 'No Trespassing' signs to explore the back of the building. A tiny driveway and tiny garages are the first thing you notice, and around the corner are at least a dozen different rose bushes, scattered around the back yard and up close against the building. It's a beautiful contrast to the crumbling roof and drooping wood porches.
While I was photographing some roses, Anabela wandered over to the corner of the 'L' and moments later came running over to me, shouting with fear and excitement. I knew from the change in bricks on the street side that the building was constructed in two stages but I wasn't expecting the strange view on the other side. It's as though the builders forgot about the back when they added on to the building, resulting in a light-shaft closed in on three sides by bay windows, with a very narrow space in between. There are steps down to a door that leads into the basement of the building. Stepping on broken glass, Anabela shifted the plywood boards to reveal cobwebs and a deep darkness. I took a few more photos before we returned home, feeling a little freaked out but also wondering what it would be like to go through that doorway.
I'm glad we haven't tried to go inside, though. A few nights ago Anabela was standing on our tiny Juliet balcony when she saw a racoon emerge from one of the abandoned building's chimneys, hang out for a bit, then disappear back inside a few moments later. I may be curious about the inside of this place but not curious enough to deal with angry wildlife!