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Monday, April 27, 2015

VERNACULAR OREGON FOREST SERVICE WAREHOUSE


Tucked up on a ridge in a forested area is a wooden structure that was once owned by the Forest Service. Now abandoned, its peely paint and sagging wooden beams tell us that it will soon be collapsing into a heap of hundreds of board feet of what once was, in all likelihood, beautiful Oregon trees.


I found this old warehouse by being curious. I spotted it from a nearby highway and decided to drive up to investigate it. When I reached the area I was met with a state trooper car sitting near it. 


I stopped and inquired about the building and told him I noticed a sign that said the property was under surveillance. He acted very official and asked me what I was interested in on the property. I told him I wanted to photograph the big old brown building. He said, being kind but still official, "oh the supposedly old Forest Service warehouse." Then he told me "be careful as the building is on the verge of falling down. Don't walk inside -- dangerous."

So off I went to gather the photos I bring you today. Thanking the kind but official state trooper for allowing me on the property.




These photos show the lovely patina the building has gained with age. But, unfortunately the building is beyond saving. 



I wondered as I drove away how many of these old Forest Service buildings are still around?


16 comments:

  1. A pity that no use can be found for these old buildings. The peeling paint looks so interesting in photos, so unattractive on my own house.

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    1. John -- Oregon is known for its timber industry here in the states. Many of the old buildings were built with virgin timber. I feel if a building with valuable timber, brick or other building materials is to be taken down a reuse for the materials should be a requirement. The seller/owner would need to find a company or individual to collect and recycle it. The result being a win/win situation. thanks -- barbara

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  2. Good for you, for saving a piece of the building. So much vegetation on the roof.
    Over several years I took pictures of the decay of a big barn near me. Now it's on the ground and I simply cannot take that last picture or post the series. Everything changes, of course time passes structures by.

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    1. Joanne -- Thanks Joanne. Photos can and should reflect the not-so-good and the good. At least in an anthropological sense. Footprints in the sand, one may say, so one can look behind and guess where we are headed. Our photos document how we lived and are living by showing us our surroundings. Do show your barn series -- it sounds like something that needs to be seen. -- barbara

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  3. Barbara, you have the curiosity of a true anthropologist or journalist or folklorist as well as the eye of an artist. (that's because you are all these things!) I was so struck by the green growing on the roof. i'm glad the officer let you take the photos and warned you of it's state. Perhaps the building is like humans, gaining a patine with age...and a facade that many people won't notice as they are conditioned to value only new & youthful beauty...Maybe the house & it's history are thanking you from somewhere in the spirit world...

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    1. Rita -- You are so kind with that opening sentence. The green moss flowing out from the roof line is very common in Oregon. Western Oregon (where I live) is part of a large coastal temperate rainforest. The land receives rain a good part of the year and as a result mosses and lichen can be found in abundance. Even on roof tops. All very interesting to observe. I like your expression of the warehouse thanking me from the spirit world. Who knows? This area has a flavor of spirit left from the many Native American tribes that inhibited this area. thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  4. I think you will find that kind of building in that kind of state in many countries around the world. Rurality isn't in more. You have to be urban with urban "values".

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    1. visualnorway -- I hear what you are saying about the state of rural-ness. I appreciate your tongue in cheek words, "you have to be urban with urban values." I have noticed that bias in many areas of our country. Rather a plastic outlook I feel. Where will we be ten to twenty years from now? -- thanks your comment -- barbara

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  5. Sad to see that this building was left to deteriorate. As so many buildings are.

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    1. Michelle -- If I were young again I think I would start-up a wood and brick recycle business. I see too many good natural materials being land-filled. Photographs can preserve the history of our land but I would much rather have the buildings preserved. -- thanks -- barbara

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  6. Off limits so someone doesn't get hurt or burn down the building, I guess. Good photos of a building that must house many memories.

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    1. Tabor -- I have no idea why the state trooper was at the warehouse site. Maybe they have had vandalism reports? Trying to capture old rural buildings is like searching a genealogy. thanks -- barbara

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  7. Glad to see comments, because I missed the little halo of green coming down over the eaves. I'm so glad you got to take these wonderful pictures that are a moment in the life of a building as it returns to nature. But I do have to wonder why the State Trooper was there in the first place? Surely not to keep trespassers from being injured going into the old building? That's a lot of tax dollars for a very low likelihood of need...at least to my thinking.

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    1. Barbara -- So you noticed the green stuff coming off the roof. Well I do believe it is lots of moss that grows in this temperate rainforest environment. I too wondered why he was there but felt I had better not ask that question. He felt perfectly sure that it was alright for me to take my photos -- maybe my gray hair made him think that I couldn't possibly be a threat to the property. thanks -- barbara

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  8. First of all, the header pictures makes me realize that only someone with a true photographer's eye would understand that old tires can be a very effective element in a photo.

    Having the police check the building (I suppose the fear law suits if people hang out there as teens or possibly homeless might) but it seems very inefficient. Government IS often inefficient. It would be better to call a selvage company to rescue those boards with the patina you catch beautifully, and then tear down the building. Ah, well, since when has common sense mattered in such situations?

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    1. June -- thanks for the comment on my header. I like your idea to call a salvage company to collect and save what wood and hardware that they could from the place. But I feel that would involve some red tape and like you said our government can be inefficient. Perhaps by the time clear title could be insured from the right parties the place could have tumbled from the mountain ridge. Government is not known for acting fast that is for sure.

      Now that you mention the police -- they could have possibly been checking on the place for vandals etc. This very well could have been the reason he was parked near the warehouse.
      thanks for the comment -- barbara

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