Wednesday, June 26, 2013

June 1 - 30th: Becca Green

Becca is my oldest friend.  This photo was taken at 184 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 2006, a few days before the building was vacated and turned into luxury loft condos.  Becca lived at 184 Kent for 3 years, until the tenants were asked to leave. 
The 1915 building, which takes up an entire block, was designed by Cass Gilbert, who also designed the Woolworth building.  184 Kent has been called an "eyesore", a "nondescript white box", "magnificent", and an historic landmark, a status which was at first revoked.  It is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
In the days before it was vacated, there was an air of abandonment throughout the building.  Photographs and personal belongings were strewn throughout the crumbling hallways,
and there were holes in the walls that looked into huge empty spaces to which we could find no points of entry. 

Becca and I have known each other since before we were born. 
You could say that our history together is laced with architecture, with accents on lost urban spaces. 
Becca in 2005 on the front porch of the Rokeby Mansion, which in April of this year, The Huffington Post described as "rundown, not unlike Grey Gardens".
On that visit to Rokeby we slept in this bedroom, which the article refers to as "unkempt".
Rumor has it that this room is still occupied by whoever painted the walls with crows and poppies. 
In 2010 Becca cut a hole in my kitchen wall that revealed 7 layers of old wallpaper, including the original horsehair stucco insulation. 
The hole is still there.

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