Really interesting video-essay on the Financial Times Arts page, prompted by an exhibit at the Tate gallery. Peter Aspden talks about the lure of urban decay and the appeal of ruins. He looks at lost London, post-Katrina New Orleans and Hitler's Atlantic Wall.
I was pleased to see Iain Sinclair, who says that ruins help us think about our own mortality.
It reminds me of a donated book I once put in the library collection, The Pleasure of Ruins, by Rose Macaulay.
We used to get teenagers coming in, asking about our file of clippings on Sunland Center, a hospital for the mentally and physically disabled in Tallahassee. It stood empty for many years before it was finally torn down, and was rumored to be haunted.
In February, I had an inquiry about an establishment called the City Hotel. Was it still standing? I discovered that it had been built around 1828 and had been the "best tavern in town". The Count de Castelnau stayed there, as well as the poet, Sidney Lanier. But it burned down in 1886, and the state capitol building and grounds occupy its former place.