What better to do on a day when the ambient air temperature is 0F and the wind whipping through “the Lockland Canyon” is being fanned by the trucks and the cars that race down I-75S in the mad rush of the day.
The building is slowly being demolished as men in HAZMAT suits roam around the site that is active but soon to be only a memory. The cold weather seems to inhibit the process little and the ice and frost formations turned out by a giant water cannon, are beautiful in some winter wonderland kind of way.
Once again as we toured around the outside perimeter we were asked by someone to whom’s property we were on, could they help us? As always honesty is the best policy as most of the locals seem sad to see the old eyesore being carved up before there eyes. There does seem to be a melancholy atmosphere around the building, as an era of American industrial and commercial power is revealed layer by layer and then destroyed.
As we were able to zoom in with our cameras we could see artifacts of industry and economical competition and might inside. An occasional blackboard, cork board and even a couch could be seen. All these left inside to suffer the same fate as the building that housed them for so long.
It was a bracing day and we had a limited amount of time before dark, the end of the work day and the cold took its toll on us but we found it not only exciting but essential to document the death of not only the Sterns & Foster building but an era as well. HINT: when you go out to do an investigation dress properly for the weather, it’s hard in such bitter cold but layer up, hats, scarfs, gloves and a good pair of waterproof boots are essential for you to have on, you could be injured without them and it’s no fun when the weather drives you away.
There is plus side of our little foray into Lockland are many on this cold day and it seems every time we visit. The HAZMAT personnel were very cool, even taking poses on the rubble so we could get some apocalyptic shots…thanks guys!! We are also given the opportunity to learn local history, visit the few open shops that remain, such as “The Glass Menagerie,” a cool little antique shop right across form the police station and make new friends and reconnect with our cool past!
The building is now 3/4’s gone and is in its final death throes. I asked one gentleman who was interested why we were out there, how long he though the old girl had? To my surprise he thought mid-March. Lets hope they leave something standing, like the gothic smokestack, as a reminder to us all of what once was the life blood of a prosperous community and the promise that it can be again.
We will hopefully have the chance for a couple more trips before its all gone and then come back and see what the future has in store so watch for our updates………