Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Sentries of Time


Old barns are among the most practical buildings ever built. One can read the logic in the layout of a good farmstead, but this utilitarianism often yields a beautiful mix of vertical and horizontal forms. Then time leaves its mark on old barns in a multitude of textures and colors which grow especially rich in dawn and dusk sunlight. Most farmsteads grew and changed constantly. Today most bear the marks of many generations.

I like trying to compose the textures into, "samplers." This sampler is also a gathering of generations. The green roof facing us is the latest addition. It was added this spring and replaced wood shingles. It's sad to see the old roof go, but good to know something of the original is now better preserved. The cupola was recently restored honoring the grandfather's design. Who was the practical-minded farmer that resurfaced one barn wall with black shingles?

With the right choice of angle and lens we can almost listen in on the conversation among the old towers. What do you think they are saying to each other today?