Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Aesthetics of A Holyoke Building

As the door creaks open, the aurora of old building greets us. Pungent at first, but as a few moments pass, the stench is replaced by the amazement of the conditions of the building. Left to sit for some 20-30 odd years, the building is a shell of memories, a time capsule to a dated past that no longer exists. The decor resembles a renovation that predates some of the industrial decline that can be seen throughout the city. Standing sad, lonesome, this building commands the attention of a developer that can provide more than just loving care. As we walked through the building, it was clear why it has sat for so long, effort of a collective set of helping hands is needed to make this building live again. With out the presence of human life, the building no longer lives, left to sit, soul-less, lifeless, suffocating. It would be a sincere shame to have this beautiful building become another vacant parcel, though, it would become a distilled space, a moment in time, a period of transition in which it would become another portrait in my series Vacancy. Below are photographs I have made from yesterdays tour. I hope, quite possibly, these photographs spark an interest in saving this building. A quick video will show some of the interior, beneath the photographs.

Video of 158 Maple St

When I am not walking around the inside of a building, documenting the conditions, I am running the day to day operations of our studio. Commonly people forget or are unaware that I run and own a studio with a business partner. It gets a little confusing when people only see one side of the work I do. The day before I went into 158 Maple St, I was working on a practice shoot, testing a space out for a much larger shoot to come. Here are a few photos from that shoot.

All photographs are copyright Jeffrey Byrnes and Lenshare Right click is not permissible.


  1. Mr. Man and I looked at that building when it was priced higher than it is now. We thought about one unit on the top floor (in which we would live), two units (condos) on the second and third floor, and retail on the ground floor. Four parking spaces in rear. But then we round our row house.

  2. In terms of being a condo building, it would be amazing. However, seeing and hearing the amount of work needed to go in, I do not think the price, even what it is at now, would be worth it with the cost of rehab, in this market, trying to gain back the initial investment is just not there. Nevertheless, it is still a beautiful location.