Recently we were in an uber driving through Bulfinch Triangle in Boston and snapped this photo. At first we weren’t sure why we did – just something interesting about the collection of buildings. In a flash it was gone, but we kept looking at the photo of this 3 story brick building sitting defiantly alone like a leftover in a way we don’t often see.
Often these ‘leftover’ or remnant buildings sit amidst shiny newer developments or in decimated neighborhoods surrounded by parking lots or overgrown weeds. Instead here, we find it sitting diminutively amongst a brick collage of slightly newerbuildings. A century ago its neighbors were bulldozed but somehow, fortunately, it was saved – but never glorified.
We like its grit, its gusto. It’s not a monument or memorial, it’s an old building in a sea of other old buildings, but it has presence despite its size and sparks a level of wonderment many buildings don’t provide. Our urban fabric is not made up of just old and new, it’s made of many layers of old, and the new quickly becomes another layer of old. When these leftover gems stand out amongst these layers of old, it brings a smile to our faces and architectural intrigue to our cities. Lesson learned – don’t throw away the leftovers!