Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Looking for the Past

The demolition of Tacoma's Scottish Rite Temple/ Bible Presbyterian Church about which I posted here and here, is complete and as I drive by the space once occupied by the building, there's just a fenced hole in the ground.  The heavy equipment is gone and the site will soon be busy with construction.  For a few weeks, I stopped by every day after school to see the progress.

This feels a little like watching the garden shutting down for the winter.  (Although, we know that winter is a busy time for plant life but most of that activity is happening underground.)

Kitty corner from the site is this beautiful older apartment building and a new 175 unit apartment building nearing completion.

What songs were played, what joys and pains expressed and  shared at this keyboard? 

I was very tempted to "accidentally" push through the fence to rescue this fragment of the building facade.

The heart of the building? 

Even this rubble is now gone.

Death makes way for rebirth in our gardens and in our communities. 

These fragments were carefully set aside.

Second Use Building Materials has some of the salvaged bits from the building including a couple of really interesting masonic pieces and beautiful tongue and groove flooring.  Someone also rescued some incredible old growth huge beams.  Being in the mood to look at salvaged materials, I stopped by Earthwise Salvage the other day.

For me there's a wistful feeling looking at these fragments that were for many years part of lives, loves, events.  Pieces of places called home.

I'm totally in love with this sink but am not sure where it would fit in my garden.  There is an upstairs bathroom in our house that needs to be rescued from a 1970's remodel & this might work there.

Fabulous in a huge loft apartment as a functional room divider...

Those light fixtures on the top shelf back there would be interesting planters.

What would Loree do?  Really big saucer planters?

Sometimes, it's best to let go of the past.
Have a good weekend all! 


  1. Too bad that lovely building now visible will no doubt be hidden again with the new construction.

  2. Yes you should have rescued that fragment! But it's nice to see that some where saved, as it should be. I really wanted to stop at Eathwise when I was in Seattle a couple weeks back, sadly it was pouring and cold and I wimped out. Otherwise you might have found out exactly what Loree would do!

  3. Peter, what a forlorn sight to see. I would have been tempted to grab that fragment, too. The light shades would really work well as planters, I can attest to that. :-) It's a shame to see buildings torn down, makes me melancholy, too. Especially while dealing with the demise of my parents and their property and now Carl's parents, too. Indeed, what do we do with all the dishes and mementos of other people's lives that up until just a moment ago were cherished by their owners. Life goes on, but still, it hurts.

  4. It could have been worse: you could have not seen the demo and come back in a year to see the new building. Or is that worse?

  5. It's really sad to watch demolition like that unfold. It's good that there are organizations that rescue the architectural scraps, though. I hope that keyboard found shelter too.

  6. I was eyeballing those building fragments too. I am surprised you could resist tucking one of them under your arm and running. ;)

  7. I take comfort knowing that care is taken with the demolition to make sure some parts are salvaged. I'm sure its not about sentimentality but profit, but I'm glad we are at point where reuse and recycled items are in vogue.

  8. It's gotta be bad form to have a favorite demo photo, but I do, and it's the fourth from the top, showing the wall with light through the windows and the big monster scoop in the foreground. So true about that invaluable old growth wood that's at the salvage yard now. It's the only reason our house has withstood termites for 100 years. Even redwood from the big box stores for decks or fencing is chewed up like candy.

  9. I really wish that you had reached through the fence to rescue that piece of the facade. I would even have been tempted just to grab some big chunks of concrete to use in the garden. What fun to go shopping at Earthwise. I need to check that place out.

  10. A poignant series of photos. Always sad to see an old landmark torn down.

  11. Those cone-shaped shades look very much like Laura's rescued highway lights. She painted them purple and planted them up. They look fabulous! I would have grabbed those lockers as well - so cool! Thanks for the fun shopping trip!


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