For keeps.

I’m disappointed that life has recently gotten in the way of photography and blog posts. But I couldn’t let today pass by without a tribute to the Mr. – a guy who barely even raises an eyebrow when I suggest we spend our anniversary touring abandoned buildings. And who doesn’t even complain when I order him to pose beside various busted windows.

More than ever, Mr. – for reasons far deeper and more plentiful than I’ve mentioned here – I’m so grateful to have you by my side. Happy anniversary đź’•

 

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Ship in a bottle.

I tried a bit of night-time photo-making for this week’s Thursday Doors contribution:

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The public library (branded as Idea Exchange) in the Hespeler community of Cambridge, Ontario currently stands as an uncommon blend of old and new – the outer shell of this structure is constructed with glass, encasing the historic brick building within while also housing the modern extension.

The renovations, completed in 2007, received mixed reviews from locals, even though the design was granted an Award of Excellence by Canadian Architect magazine, among other honours.

As you may know, I’m a sucker for historic buildings, and part of me would’ve liked better exterior visibility of the original structure. However, I’m also a sucker for bright, airy interiors (and libraries in general, of course). The glass, the height, and the clean modern lines create a unique and comfortable indoor space. When inside, being able to circle the original building – to view and touch and appreciate the exposed brick up close – provides an odd but pleasant feeling of being both indoors and outdoors at once.

Today’s main entrance is located on the northeast side of the building:

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If you squint through this sheet of glass, you’ll be able to view the location of the original entryway, round the southeast side:

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It looks a tad different than it did back in 1923:

Hespeler Library_Cambridge Archives

Photo courtesy Law Photography via Cambridge Archives, c. 1923.

Idea Exchange is currently working on another overhaul of a historic structure in the Galt area of Cambridge – the old Post Office – and I understand there’s also a fair amount of glass involved in this particular re-imagination. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

 

Jail time.

A few weeks ago, the munchkins were happily sent off to their grandparents’ place (thanks, Mom and Dad) so that the Mr. and I could wander around town looking at old stuff.

It was during the Doors Open Hamilton event in May that I fell in love with The Cotton Factory, a block of historic industrial buildings now transformed into a vibrant arts community, full of artsy people and their creations.

This time, Doors Open took place in Waterloo Region. We began our outing at the Pioneer Tower (c. 1926), climbing an enclosed 50-foot narrow staircase to the observation deck. Well… it was actually more ladder-ish than staircase-ish. I managed to avoid having an acrophobia-related panic attack. Barely.

In Cambridge, we toured the renovated interiors of the former Galt Carnegie Library (c. 1903). (I spied no ladders in that building, and though there were stairs, they weren’t the panic-inducing kind.)

The old Waterloo County Jail (c. 1852) had an intimate landscaped stone courtyard – a former “exercise yard” for inmates – with arched entrances. No ladders or staircases here, just benches. Good for play-it-safers like me, especially those whom have recently averted height-activated anxiety attacks.

Here, then, as an addition to the collection of interesting entryways found at Norm’s Thursday Doors weekly feature, are a few shots:

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