Riverview Florist, Alone

Riverview Florist. Photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images.

Riverview Florist door. Copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images.

In a now-quiet Ohio Valley steel town—right around the corner from the famously abandoned car dealership—stands a building so grand for its purpose, it’s difficult to believe it was simply a greenhouse and florist. The English Tudor-style building is so very handsome it seems to have been plucked from one of Britain’s verdant fields and plunked in the centre of fields of concrete instead; that it is flanked by massive, overgrown greenhouses made it an even more outstanding sight.

Riverview Florist. Photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images.

Riverview Florist. Copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images.

This is not the original Riverview florist and greenhouse headquarters (nor the last); that caught fire in 1935. The Tudor edifice in my photographs was designed by East Liverpool architect Robert Beatty, with the admonition he include pieces of the old greenhouse building—specifically, charred beams rescued from the ashes of the original. These Beatty integrated into the French doors leading to the greenhouses. Presumably, there they remain, future success built, as it nearly always is, on the success of the past.

Riverview Florist. Copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images.

Riverview Florist. Copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images.

You’re probably thinking this enterprise must have been at least a little successful for such an impressive structure to serve a florist & greenhouse during the Great Depression, and you’re right. It’s such a marvellous story, too!

Riverview Florist. Copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images.

Continue reading

Abandoned WV Route 88 Cottage-Style Gas Station & the Uglification of America (again)

Mystery Station, photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved. Pinning to this page is okay.

Recently I mentioned an abandoned filling station spotted during a trip to see my physician in West Virginia. More pressing projects kept me from posting my photographs of the crumbling building, but I have them for you today.

Mystery Station, photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved. Pinning to this page is okay.

This is a spot I’d seen before, but it rests just beyond a very sharp curve in the road; the first time I saw it the skies were already darkening and it was so hidden by brush I nearly missed it! You can imagine my happiness at being able to photograph it in spring, before it half-disappears into the wood again.

Mystery Station, photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved. Pinning to this page is okay.

I’m not sure what oil company originally built the old filling station, though my guess is Pure Oil. Continue reading