Saturday, February 28, 2009

Do You Believe?

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned an adventure I’d had exploring an abandoned convent. I’ve just heard that demolition is going to start on that convent on Monday (3/2) so it seems fitting to talk about the building today.

How did I end up in a convent? Well, there’s a question for the ages! Actually, I ended up touring the place because I’m incredibly nosey and because I have good friends who are understanding. Here’s what happened:

I was doing a book signing and Roger and Russell stopped in. As we got to talking, I learned that they had bought the rights to an old convent. The place was empty and abandoned. What they did was pay to take anything out of it that they were able. Of course I was intrigued! And of course, Roger and Russell being the nice guys they are, invited me to visit.

What they are doing in the old building is simply amazing. They have removed fireplaces, doors, crown molding, floorboards, shelves, cabinets. They are using much of it to restore their own home, they are selling some, storing some more. It’s a major project and I’ll tell you what, if someone told me I could have the building for free and take it apart, piece by piece, I would have say "no thanks, it’s impossible."

Not so Roger and Russell! They’ve got keen eyes for detail and they aren’t afraid of hard work. It’s also obvious that they love history and they’re doing their best to preserve as much of it as they are able. They told me that the convent was built in 1917 and at one time, it housed 48 nuns. It’s five stories of offices, bedrooms, and bathrooms. There was once a library, a dining room, a huge kitchen and eating area, and laundry facilities. The place is a maze of hallways, had its own elevator and even included a little chapel. Amazing. And I feel lucky to have had a look at it all.

Once the building is gone, the neighborhood will use the lot as green space. It seems fitting. But I’ve got to wonder about some of the photos I took inside the convent. Do you see what I see? And if what we see is really there, where do they go when the building is gone?

PS--it was cold in the building. Really cold. Those misty shapes could be my breath . . . maybe.


Zita said...

Maybe, when the building is gone, they'll finally move on?

And if that's your breath!!! What are you, a dragon in disguise?

Casey said...

I was wondering the same thing, Zita. When haunted buildings are taken down, where do the spirits go?

Ann Aguirre said...

I've read that the destruction frees them to move on, but if you're trying to remodel a home, not a destroy it, it only serves to agitate any resident spirits.

Casey said...

I hope this bunch does move on. They deserve to rest in peace.

azteclady said...

I love the images!

And I'm always torn about restoring or razing old places. I mean, yes, sometimes the old spirits should be encouraged to move on (and leave the living to the living, so to speak), but I know I wouldn't be able to take down something that has stood for generations.

Angie Fox said...

Great pictures! And I hope those ghosties don't decide to follow any of their old furniture.

Jess Granger said...

Okay, so I've seen the matchmaking ancestor ghost all the time in Romance, but wouldn't it be cool to have a matchmaking, (and at the same time morally scolding) nun ghost? That would be awesome!


Ann Aguirre said...

If you want a lovely read with a ghost for a hero, check out The Ghost and Lady Alice by Marion Chesney. I was quite amazed by it.