Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ruins Wrecks And Rainbows

 via: Historic Structures Of El Mirage

The first four Images of this Post are of the 1937 Fieldstone Ruins of The El Mirage Motel and all Credit goes to the Talented Photographer of the "Historic Structures Of El Mirage" website.   This grouping of Rustic Ruins has fascinated me since the Seventies, I always envisioned making some Cool Commune Compound of it... well, it WAS the early Seventies after all and Funky Hippie Communes were all the Rage!  *Winks*

There are so many of the small Cottage Structures that have Survived, in various stages of Ruination and Abandonment, that I felt it had such Possibilities and Potential as a Salvageable Historic Property of significance!   Of coarse it had laid to waste and neglect all these years and nobody has ever even attempted to Sell it or Restore it, tho' they have fenced it off now to avoid Trespassers from causing more Vandalism of it.  

It always makes me very Sad, tho' I'm Glad they have never torn it down and razed it all... because some Ruins should just be left alone as proper Ruins of Historic significance.  There is something just very Mystical and Alluring about Ruins that I have always had a Weird Attraction, Fascination and Love Affair with.  Especially if Nature and the Ruin have become 'One' over Time and blurred the distinction of Man Made and Natural!!!   If a Ruin could be made Habitable ENOUGH, I would be Delighted to Own and Live in one!  I have actually seen that done Successfully Online and I Envy those Residents more than you'll ever know!!!  *Smiles*   Architectural Conversion they call it, I think it's Awesome when it's tackled!

Of coarse now I'm too Old myself to tackle a lofty Project such as this one... but I kinda Wish I had back in the Seventies been bold enough to.   When I probably could have bought it for practically nothing and made it into something Unique and Cool for it's Community!  Of coarse it's Community is one of the most blighted Barrios then and even now.  Tho' there are some new parts to the small Town that motorists have just traveled through without stopping mostly... on their way into the Metro Phoenix Area from afar.

via: Pinterest Architectural Conversions
Here's a Successful Architectural Conversion of something that likely was in complete Ruination and re-purposed into something absolutely Awesome!   They look like they might have been Silos of some kind of Factory Industrial complex originally... I would think this to be a To Die For Residence... I'd move into something like this in a heartbeat!  The Quirkier the Residence the more drawn to it I happen to be actually!  *LOL, Imagine that... me diggin' something totally Quirky, right?!  Winks*

Some Historic Structures have fared much better over Time and been the Rainbows of the Historic Architecture around the various Cities and Towns.  If continuously used and occupied, as well as taken proper Care of, they could probably last another Century or so if they remain in the right hands.   And if they can Survive the onslaught of Urban Renewal where Developers and Investors just come in and tear everything down to build something newer and that they can make huge profits putting upon the Land instead.

I am so Thankful for the Historic Registers some get put on, tho' that doesn't always ensure their Protection if they become laid to waste and neglect!   Where this Handsome Historic Church is, another equally Historic 1920's Church was razed just a few blocks over, not because it wasn't Historic enough and Beloved... but because it remained Abandoned too long.   And Vagrants and Drug Addicts began to break in too much and become a scourge and danger to the rest of the Community, which includes a lot of Small Businesses, so unfortunately it had to be torn down.

I had once taken this Image of one of the Old side doors leading into the now razed Historic Church.   I Wish I had Photographed more of it had I known it would soon no longer Exist.   It was an Amazing Structure and if not used for it's original Purposes, could have been an Awesome Unusual Business or Home conversion.  Now it's just an ugly vacant lot.   I wanted to look up Online and see if anyone Photographed it before it was demolished and I did find one lone Image near the end of it's Life... taken just before demolition when it had already been fenced off and ready to go down.

via: Glendale Historic Society website

See what I mean about the building lending itself Well to being potentially converted into a Residence or multi-use Small Business?   Too bad it never got that opportunity and they couldn't keep the riff-raff out that caused it to have to go down for Community Safety reasons.   I Hate when Vandals, Squatters, Addicts, Thieves, other Criminals and Vagrants Trespass upon Private Property and cause destruction and the cost of Preservation to become too high to Salvage a piece of Important History!  They have ruined it for all Present and Future Generations to Enjoy.  

Once I see High Security Board-Ups I do Worry for the Future of the Properties they are trying to Protect and keep Trespassers out of!    This structure is really Cool with it's Beautifully cut two story Stone construction... but the boarded Windows, not a good sign.  It means to me that the Owners or the City are having trouble keeping people out of it that shouldn't ever be going into it in the first place and are probably causing damage, indulging in illicit activities or stealing!   I don't even think it's just an Urban problem now so much as it is a Universal problem of lack of Respect for what doesn't belong to you! 

I wouldn't even Wreck or lay Waste to what DOES belong to me, intentionally, but it amazes me how certain segments of Society don't see anything wrong with doing so with no conscience whatsoever to destroying something that isn't even theirs!  I sometimes Wonder what lame Justification a person can make up in their own Head to think it's remotely Okay and not Care about the Cost to the Owners or Society in general?    Blighting a Community Costs everyone in that Community dearly... it has been the demise of many a Community in fact.  It's always so Sad to Witness, since so many of these Older Communities could be so Vibrant and have such Character and Charm.   If only... the undesirable element could be driven out so they don't ruin it for everyone and the Community can be taken back by decent law abiding Citizens!

Some Historic structures Luck-Out by being in Special Places that can more easily keep them Protected and Maintained properly.   The Desert Botanical Gardens for example has many such Structures from when the Gardens were first founded.  It's a Joy to see places that pretty much look as they always did and have had immaculate Preservation and Good Stewardship in the Past, the Present and Hopefully well into the Future!

Some properties did... and then something happened... my Friends CeeCee and Charles used to own this Charming Historic Property and kept it Immaculate and ran a thriving Business out of it as well as living in it for many years.   Charles was the most Amazing Gardener so the Grounds used to look Spectacularly Lush and well Maintained.   CeeCee ran an Antiques Business and Quaint Restaurant out of it in the Downstairs portions, while they lived Upstairs.   Then she got very Sick and they had to Sell it... the New Owners did not keep it up and now it is Vacant and quite a Mess, it breaks my Heart to see it's decline, I always Loved this Property!   My Hope is someone Saves it and brings it back to Life before it's too late?!?

via: Glendale Memorial Park Caretaker House 1895

I suppose I will always have a Soft Spot for Historic Homes, Ruins and Wrecks of Old Places... whether or not they became Rainbows over Time and are still Pleasing to the Eyes of most.   I still Daydream about Saving the worst of them, those that nobody else would dare to and would be completely Overwhelmed by the prospect of trying to Rescue.  For some reason it has never Overwhelmed me to dare to and even now, tho' I know it's not Practical and barely Possible, I still Dream about doing it... much to The Man's chagrin!  *LOL*   He knows that given half a chance, and once I get The G-Kid Force raised... I'd ditch The Dream Home in Favor of a Ruin, a Wreck of an Old Historic Substandard Structure... and be Happy as could be, never looking back!


Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian  


  1. I'm astounded by the ruined beauty of the El Mirage Motel. Perhaps all the more beautiful because of the ruins.

    1. I know, the Essence of the place is Hauntingly Beautiful and since the stone walls are so sturdy I feel it could be a candidate for an Interesting Architectural Conversion Project.

  2. Dawn, I always love looking at your blog. You share the most interesting things, and this is really amazing. The buildings at the El Mirage are so beautiful. . I totally get your idea of "saving" this, and if the right person comes along, who knows? It could be a destination place for people to visit. You have such a gift for seeing the beauty in unusual things. Thank you for sharing it!

    1. Awww, Thank You, I am always Delighted when someone else can also see the Beauty in unusual things that many overlook or don't find value in.


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

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