Monday, January 30, 2017

The Mighty Platte

This is a view of the Platte River near Grand Island, Nebraska. The photo was taken from the US 34 bridge over the Platte. The Platte is a major waterway, but it is also what is known as a braided river, and as such is too narrow and meandering for navigation. However, this same attribute makes it a perfect environment for Sandhill Cranes and other migratory birds on their treks north and south each year.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Disappearing Chanute: Part Three

I'm posting this week about the old Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Illinois, which was founded one hundred years ago in 1917, and closed in 1993. Many of the building on the base have not found new uses, and are falling into disrepair.

In the photo above we see the entrance to Faktor Hall, once a large dormitory for service members. It is now almost completely overgrown with trees and weeds.

Above is an old building on the base whose function I don't know. It isn't labelled in any way. It almost looks like a bank, which I suppose is possible.

Finally, here is a view from several years ago down Pacesetter Drive. The old White Hall, now demolished, is on the left, and one of the huge base hangars is on the right.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Disappearing Chanute: Part Two

White Hall, on the old Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul Illinois, was the largest U.S. Military building in the world before the Pentagon was built, and was the second largest afterwards. The massive building was 500,000 square feet under one roof, and was the center of the base.

No good use could be found for White Hall after the base closed in 1993, and as you can see from the photo above, the building fell into disrepair.

In this photo White Hall is on the right, sitting behind the base headquarters, and across the street from the base's hangars. White Hall was roughly triangular in shape, and this view is looking toward one end of the triangle, making the building look much smaller than it was.

Last year White hall was torn down. The project took almost an entire year. The place where it stood is now an open field, as you can see in the photo below, taken from the same spot as the one above in January of 2017.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Disappearing Chanute: Part One

This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Illinois, in May of 1917. Meanwhile, next year it will be 25 years since the base's closure. The base is now part of the village of Rantoul, but unfortunately, since it's closure in 1993, much of the base has fallen into disrepair. This week I will feature pictures of the current state of the old base.

Above is the view down Borman Drive toward US 45 and one of the main entrances to the base. An air force missile still stand proudly at the entrance.

The three huge hangers on the base still stand, having been put to various uses since the base closed. Here is a view of one, with the entrance to what was once a sports arena.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Back Range Colorado

Here is a nice classic view of James Peak in the front range of the Colorado Rockies. This great view of the peak was from Pinecliffe Mountain.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Countryside in Black and White

This is a moody shot of the East-Central Illinois countryside just south of Urbana.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Summer Storm

This is a photo of a small storm over an Iowa highway. It was taken on film in 1986. I know that it is in northeast Iowa, but I have forgotten exactly where.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Cemetery Week: Montparnasse

If you love visiting cemeteries, as I do, the Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris, France, is definitely worth a visit. I have blogged more extensively about Montparnasse in the past. This is a beautiful and moving grave statue in the cemetery.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Cemetery Week: MHI

The Independence Mental Health Institute in Independence, Iowa, was built in 1873 as an asylum for the mentally ill. Referred to locally as the MHI, in its early days patients suffered the horrors of mental health treatment at the time. Those who died there were buried in the MHI cemetery in nearly anonymous graves. As you can see in the photo above, graves only had the deceased's initials and a number. Such was the societal shame around mental illness at the time.

The cemetery was closed many years ago. The Institute is still open in its original buildings as a modern and progressive inpatient mental health facility.

This photo was shot on film, using a Yashica-Mat 124G medium format camera.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Cemetery Week: Sendai

This is a manipulated photo of part of the cemetery attached to the Chiyotokuji Buddhist Temple located in Sendai, Japan. I love the mood evoked by this shot.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Lake Michigan Painting

This is a photo from my November trip around Lake Michigan, rendered as a painting.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Prairie Architecture

Living in the flat fields of East-Central Illinois, I find myself fascinated by the architecture of crop based agriculture. Substantial grain elevators like this one in Fithian, Illinois, dot the plains, usually along rail lines. This elevator stands alongside the former Peoria & Eastern rail line, long shut down, but the elevator still thrives in an era of trucking grain.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Old First Church

This a view of Old First Church in Bennington, Vermont. The church building was built in 1805, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It's quite a sight on a beautiful, crisp early-summer day.