Monday, August 21, 2023

Open Door to the Past...

As I was walking along my street, I peered into the doorway of one of the impressive late 19th century buildings that has long been carved up into student lets. Just by chance, the door had been left open, offering a glimpse of an unexpected fragment of the past. Given the style of architecture, this must be one of the very few edifices to have survived the assault on the city in the Great War of 1914-1918.
Although still beautiful, albeit with facade tarnished with urban grime and graffiti, the whole has naturally lost some of its former grandeur over the decades. I was taken aback to see just how elegant the hallway was, with the figure newel post at the end of the staircase, the decorative wood panelling and the tiled floor.
I wonder who lived here when the property was its prime. In what manner was it divided up when first built? Were there separate appartments on each floor or was this a vast family town house? Not sure how to arrive at any answers, but I do wish that I had the ability to write a book about the (imagined) past lives of this building and those who inhabited it before it was all given over to today's transcient tenancy which cloaks everything with anonymity and a certain indifference.

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