After a another midwest winter filled with overcast and cloudy days, it is nice to get out of the cold and enjoy the warm sunshine and blue skies here in Phoenix for a few days of meetings. Even though I spent all day in meetings, I was able to get out for a walk before dinner to enjoy this beautiful sunset.
Wow, I am realizing just how long it has been since I was outside with my camera. After many grey days this winter, we got an unusually warm day last Saturday. I needed to walk a little bit, so I grabbed my camera and decided to take a short walk with my son-in-law, Manny, at Lake of the Woods. There wasn’t much color, so I decided to switch the Fuji camera to the ACROS black and white setting. What I came back with was a number of close up images of things I saw along the path. This one of the milkweed pod on the stalk was interesting. I was very impressed with the amount of detail and the texture my 50-140 lens was able to capture.
Today was a beautiful fall day for the first of November. We may not see any more days with temperatures in the upper 70’s, so we better enjoy it while we can. The fall foliage here in central Illinois is a few weeks behind the normal schedule this year. I made a detour on the way home through the Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve. There was great light and the color reflecting of the lake was beautiful this evening.
The transformation to the exterior of the Traverse City State Hospital, now knows as The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, is quite remarkable. The stately building is home to shopping, dining and condominiums. The Village is a relaxing place to spend a few hours eating a meal, visiting the shops and walking around the grounds. The restored building 50 is adorned with stately red spires that stand out against the sky. Below are a few closer photos of a few of the spires that top this building.
Much work still remains. As you saw in earlier entries in this series, a number of buildings on the grounds are still decaying and in need of serious attention. In my previous posts, I chronicled the interiors of these structures. Below is a sampling of the exterior of buildings not yet restored.
It is sad to see the state of these old buildings. In time it is hoped that all the remaining buildings will be renovated. One day, I hope to see all of the remaining buildings on this Traverse City State Hospital campus restored. With this post, I conclude my set of images of this historic site. This place is full of history as a part of the Traverse City community. As it continues to be restored, it will continue to be a vital part of life in Traverse City for many more years. This series of post has been quite different for me from a photographic perspective. I have tried to highlight color, texture, lines and shapes in this place from an artistic perspective. While there is sadness in the decay in these buildings, potential to restore this place to its original beauty is everywhere. I hope that you have enjoyed not only the photos in this series, but the information as well. It is worth spending a little time here if you visit the Traverse City area.
By now, you must be wondering how long I spent in the Traverse City State Hospital. The photography tour was actually only 2 hours. In this short time, I was amazed at the number of interesting photos I was made. The tour concluded in one of the tunnels that ran under the grounds. The tunnel was perhaps my favorite scene to photograph. The texture, color and lines of the rows of brick converging as you look through the tunnel were fun to photograph. My favorite photo of the tunnel is the one above. The viewer is left to wonder what is beyond the door at the end of the tunnel.
Prior to entering the tunnels, we toured the basement of one of the buildings. It was extremely dark in the basement and we were given flashlights to be able to find our way around. The photo below is a very interesting display of light and shadows entering this hall from window in the rooms to the left of the hall.
This is one of those rooms to the left of the hall above where you can see the source of the light streaming through the doorways into the hall.