An abandoned restaurant beneath a dark monochrome sky

An abandoned restaurant that is scheduled to be demolished. This building has stood outside my hometown for longer than I’ve been alive, and has changed owners several times throughout those years. It wasn’t until the final owner that deterioration swung out of control, and standing vacant for years prior to taking this photo fueled many areas of structural degradation. At this point, the building stands right off the freeway as an embarrassing eyesore, and as a fairly honest introduction to the town it belongs to.

Standing before this building made it painfully obvious how far beyond salvaging it was. Multiple gaps for water and large vermin intrusion were clearly visible, rot marked any surface that could be rotted, and a roof leak was actively draining into the parking lot despite there having been no recent rain. The lot itself was completely overgrown and littered with garbage, and the fountain – a source of pride for one of the previous owners – was made inaccessible by wayward saplings. The windows were surprisingly intact, but the sheer darkness beyond spoke of an interior beyond imagining. Of course, an imaginative mind wasn’t needed to grasp the neglect all throughout.

One of my earliest memories is of eating cereal inside the building with my family, which probably says something about that particular restaurant’s quality of food. While it’s sad to lose the source of that memory, I’m not blinded by nostalgia. This building stood on the outskirts of town in anticipation of prosperity and expansion that never came, and gradually came to reveal the decay and stagnation that was just further down the road. It never provided gainful opportunity to the town residents, and never helped draw those who may strengthen the community from an endless stream of daily motorists. Unfortunately, it will be replaced by a generic gas station and corporate hotel, which will just intensify the cycle of hopelessness for decades to come.

It was easy to see the lost potential when I stood before this building. After its soulless replacements are finished, any sense of possibility will vanish from sight.

Mamiya RB 67 Pro-S
Mamiya 50mm f/4.5 C
Rollei Infrared – ISO 400 – 6×7