May 26, 2012

Abandoned at Hycroft

Having previously visited and photographed the Hycroft China Factory, I wanted to return to capture more of the details.  Specifically, I wanted to showcase the abandonment that currently looms over the site and focus on the array of textures present.  Rusting metal, broken slip casts, discarded shingles, shattered bricks, rotting wood, chained fences, and overgrown weeds create a visual and diverse playground. 

I also feel like there's a sense of urgency behind documenting the location.  There are already plans (albeit slowly in motion) to restore/preserve the factory and turn it into another museum, much like what has already been done with Medalta (or at least utlize the space in some capacity). In fact, since I shot my original photos of the site, most of the smashed windows have been boarded up to protect the contents inside and a lot of the loose debris has been piled up. There's clearly a long way to go, but I figure these pictures could become even more defining once the area has been restored. Here's hoping it happens.

May 25, 2012

Medicine Hat Courthouse

Arguably one of the most beautiful buildings, not just in Medicine Hat, but in the province of Alberta, the local courthouse is a rare example of Beaux-Arts architecture in the area. Constructed in 1919 the building exemplifies many classical elements including an overall symmetry, twinned columns, arched windows, an elaborate stone carved entrance, and contrasting embellishments created by mixing brick and stone.

What was also noteworthy of the original courthouse design was that the building was 'L' shaped. This was unusual for courthouses at the time, but the layout was mimicked in other parts of the province. In 1986 an addition was constructed onto the back of the building that filled in the empty space, giving the building a rectangular shape. 

Designated a provincial historic resource in 1978, the building has been in use for over 90 years now and has been refurbished several times. It remains a focal point of the city to this day and shines as an example of Medicine Hat's early regional prominence.  

Convention delegates at the Courthouse sometime between 1923-1925. 

Courthouse ca. 1935

The courthouse in the early 1950s.