Warner & Swasey sittin in a tree
K I S S I N G
First comes love, then comes marriage
Then comes a telescope that can see into the dark folds and crevices of the universe
Also your soul.
You tell me what had more imagination: Democracy or the invention of the telescope. In this building, they built things that let you look into the stars. In this building, they carefully crafted glass, bending it in just the most precise way as to allow you to magnify light coming from billions of years ago, to feed it into your eye and convert that starlight into electrical impulses that will live on in the hallways of your neurons until you die.
And now all that's left of the Light Farmers are some reams of insulation, a few old filing monsters, and a very very sturdy building of concrete and steel and brick. They built this factory to last beyond them. Good solid poured reinforced concrete, with the shells of wood floors curling off them like dried glue.
This is a building that gets friendlier and friendlier as you get to know it. It's starts off terrifying, walking into a pitch black hole, into a pitch black loading dock. But as you make the decision to go up the stairs (well, you make your friend go first), your excitement grows with the level of light. There are giant vistas all around you of Cleveland, out of every punched out window a new source of smiles. Trains and industry, churches, the ice cream factory, Downtown, other abandoned warehouses in the distance and far far away maybe more smoke stacks.
The metal roofs are laid out in front of you like puzzles, hangers for giant diesel trucks, hauling shipments of sand to be burned into glass. The vent stacks stand like soldiers, lookouts at attention. You search recklessly through the rooms looking for industry, and finally brave being spotted to explore across the empty concrete dance floor, to find the place where the chemicals used to be. The staid, inherently useful machinery filled with intriguing switches and burnt out lights. You can hit as many buttons as you want now, but the machinery would be offended.
Parts of this building are begging for people. Other parts, in their hurt and rejection, are laying themselves open like a girl who likes her boyfriend to hit her.
The graffiti should get up off the wall at night, and have parties, where they decide important issues like our mayoral primary, and healthcare. The graffiti knows whats up, America. It scoffs at you. It says "no pet squid here mother, we don't stand for that kind."
If someone were smart and had more money than me, they would buy this telescope factory and turn it into a looking glass.
They would lead groups onto the roof and force people to see the relationship between cities and those model train sets their uncle was really into. They would make them stare at the street below until they understood the flow of traffic and the fragile timing of it. People would come away inspired to spend their lives always at least 5 stories in the air, counting boxcars and viewpoints. They would start kite factories, and commercial space travel, and hot air balloon tours.
more pics here.