They Paved Paradise

I thrill at the sight of old houses, no matter what condition they’re in.  I think they’re beautiful with their weathered siding, vintage bubbly-glass windows, original hardwood, old-school weather vanes, all of it.

Here in Mayberry, I go out of my way on daily walks to drool over some of my favourites.  One in particular has always spoken to me.  It is painted crisp white, with a red brick fireplace on one side.  It stands tall and stately; right on the edge of town, it welcomes drivers as they enter, and bids farewell to those who leave.  It is a beautiful house.  Do you want to see it?  Well, it’s your lucky day—I just walked past a few weeks ago and snapped some photos.

Hidden Driveway StreetsignThe home is situated on a huge plot, completely surrounded by hedges and giant trees; it boasts a wide, circular driveway leading up to its front door.

I’m so excited to show you—I have coveted this house since the first time Poor Kyle drove me around town on our very first date. Here it is!

Nestled in the TreesDoesn’t it look cozy, nestled in the trees?

What’s that?  You can’t see it?  Here, I’ll zoom in:

Wreckage1There.  Is that better?

It is an original house.  It was built in the late 1800s, as a club house for the nearby factory—the lifeblood of this old town.  When the factory closed in the ’50s, the house was auctioned off to the highest bidder, and changed owners many times during the next many years.  Later, a new, modern factory came to town, and opened just across the street from the old clubhouse.  The homeowners fought and complained against the stinky factory, claiming their quality of life had been seriously compromised, and that living downwind from the factory was detrimental to their health.

The new factory was too big, too important, for the homeowners to fight—they could not win.  Instead, they sold their home to the factory owners, who refused to ever sell it again.  That was years before I ever dreamed I would move to Mayberry.  The house has since fallen into disrepair; it is plagued by bad air, or at least the claim of it.  Every time I pass, I see its vacant windows, and wish I had known it in its prime.

That is, I still liked looking at it until it was demolished altogether.  I suppose it was completely worthless to everyone who mattered.

Wrecked Red Brick ChimneyRed brick chimneys are my favourite—don’t you think they’re sweet?

Original Stove Pipe WreckageAnd look!  The original stove pipe!  Mint condition!

Vintage Curtain WreckageThose vintage curtains could probably stand to be updated, but I’m sure they’re sweet in their own way.  Someone probably really loved them once upon a time…

Original PlumbingI’m no expert, but I’d venture to guess that plumbing is original.

Vintage Bottle Label Wreckage“1837 Jubilee—Winnipeg, Canada”  That could be an indication of the year the home was built, or maybe the builders just liked their liquor aged…

Vintage Cupboard Door WreckageLook at the bright blue and white cupboard doors!  I’ve always wanted a cheerful kitchen like that—if I owned this house, I would keep them just like they are.  But of course, I don’t own this house.  Pity.

Poor Little Twig WreckageHmmm…looks like this poor little tree, next to the house, has seen better days.  I can’t imagine what could have it bent out of shape like this.  It’s almost like it’s seen some sort of massive devastation recently.  Poor fella.

Radiator WreckageThis heater looks a bit out of place, too…

Old Wooden Chair WreckagePeople don’t see the value in an old wooden chair anymore.

Is there something wrong with this picture?  With all of these pictures?

Salvaged WindowsAt least someone thought to salvage a few windows…

Salvaged Window Wreckage2

But somehow, that doesn’t really make me feel any better.

Mad About the WreckageIn fact, not only is my heart a little more broken than it was yesterday, but also, I’m a little mad.

A lot mad.

You?

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
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24 Responses to They Paved Paradise

  1. These pictures are fantastic!!
    What a beautiful house it once was….
    I say you convince them to sell, and then salvage the place!

  2. mameelynn says:

    Oh My Goodness!! I used to live in your little town of Mayberry and I lived just up the road from this house and LOVED it! At that time it was for sale but you had to move it to your own land. That makes me so sad! I’m glad to know that I wasn’t the only one that loved that house!

  3. Christal says:

    Oh my heck Camille first of all right house yummy cookies thanks so much!! You didn’t need to do that but thank you so much!! Back to the omh I loved that house ever since we moved here too. I was so so sad when I saw what they had done!!! I love old houses with history and antiques!! I love this post kind of like a farewell to our favorite house!!!! I wish they wouldn’t have destroyed it. Think we could go get the chair and old windows there are great things we could craft with them eh!!! Thanks again for the cookies and post you are the best!!!!

  4. Well that’s horribly sad. (Except… I do like pictures of decay).

    Sorry. There’s a couple houses here in Mesa that would cause me to be irate if they were ever torn down.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Please tell me you salvaged everything that could possibly be salvaged. I know exactly which house you’re talking about; the one right near the bend heading to the City, right? This makes me so, so sad. We never even got to snoop and break in. Heartbreaking.

  6. mameelynn says:

    Anonymos….. hahahaha…city…hahaha

  7. the mother-in-law says:

    mameelynn…depends which way you are headed. Leaving town, it IS the way to the city…

    I GOT COOKIES TOO!!!!!! And they were deeeelicious.

  8. Leann says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few days and decided to de-lurk (Lauren referred me).

    I LOVE old houses, especially antebellum (which, in Canada, I guess they wouldn’t be called “antebellum” since the Civil War was in the States).

    Sadly, many of the older houses are being torn down due to development or because they were not given the TLC they needed to continue being a good place to live. When I was a little girl, there was this old, white, two-story house on the way to my cousin’s house in another town. Every time we passed by it, I would mention that I wanted a house like that when I grew up (I sort of had an obsession with houses and house plans when I was a kid). But a few years ago, it was demolished and it broke my heart. And my mother-in-law and the pastor’s wife broke in the house to see what it looked like on the inside since they knew it was abandoned. Haha! I wish they would have taken me!!!

  9. Chloe says:

    Too sad… :(
    It’s a pity. I’m sure it once was a beautiful house.

  10. Geneva says:

    Sad! That makes my heart heavy.

  11. Kimberly says:

    Wow that was a really sad post. I wonder when it was built? The curtains picture is what got me.

  12. HeatherPride says:

    Oh, it makes me very sad. A few years ago my parents bought the old, broken down house next door so they could have more space. What did they do with the house? My dad took it apart piece by piece, by hand. It took him like 3 years to get it down, but you know what? The cute old bubbly-glass windows became the windows to their new shed in the backyard. The brick chimney became the little shed’s brick patio. The original hardwood floors became my parent’s kitchen ceiling in their newly remodeled kitchen. Other pieces of the hardwood floor were made into a butcherblock countertop in their new kitchen. I’m so proud of my dad for being so resourceful, and so sad for the poor house in Mayberry.

  13. raygon says:

    I hate to see old historic things like that go to waste! Along with the curtains!! What a shame. The stories those old houses could tell. Oh, I am a little sad at this story. And those blue cupboard doors would have been awesome in a kitchen. Why didnt they reclaim the old windows and doors and cupboards? Wasteful people.

  14. Katie says:

    Is your town really called Mayberry?

  15. Shalynna says:

    I LOVE old houses. That would break my heart to find a favorite torn down.

    Have you ever been to Sacramento? There is an area downtown called the Fab 40’s (street names: 40th, 41st, etc) and they are all older homes with gorgeous yards. I also love the old homes in Mesa and the ones on Center Street in Provo (have you seen those?).

    I dream of buying one.

  16. Cristin says:

    That is very sad. I wish that every old home could be renovated and restored, but obviously there isn’t enough money or nobody cares enough to do it.

  17. Sarah says:

    I bet once upon a time that house was a fairy tale dream. I’m still curious what Mayberry is supposed to be? I must have missed that post.

  18. Deemarie says:

    That is so sad!! I love old houses too (which is why I bought one that was build in 1926– not super old, but old enough to have character!). I love the built-in units, my claw foot tub, and the care that I know was given over the years.
    I’m so disheartened to see that character just demolished right before your eyes… what a waste of history.

  19. Jami says:

    That makes me VERY MAD! It is my dream to live in a “historical” home! And with people pushing them down, that makes my dream harder and harder! What jurks!

  20. Joel says:

    Yeah, I get attached to old things sometimes, too. There was a HUGE tree on the southeast corner of Southern and Higley up until a few years ago (gosh, maybe more than a few now…). One day somebody decided that it would be better to have a stupid shopping center there then to have a tree that had rightfully been there longer than 98% of the blasted “Arizonans”. (People coming from the east coast ruining my desert to make it look like “back home” which is exactly the kind of crappy look that some people liked that AZ didn’t have.)

    Maybe we’ll live in Montana. Nobody has ruined that state yet.

    No, I’m not mad. Nor bitter…

  21. niki says:

    i couldn’t even read on.

    i was too heart broken.

    you know this cuts me to the core!

  22. Tisha says:

    I, too, loved that house and am broken hearted that it is gone. However, did you know a large part of the reason it was sold originally and then never purchased again was because that big new factory caused the ground in the yard of the house to become toxic? The owners at the time were offered a settlement to move the house or sell to the company and they chose the latter! Crazy, hey. Good ol Mayberry! ;)

  23. afton says:

    i want to salvage every little thing you took a picture of. that old stove pipe? i’ll take it. all the windows and cupboards? i’m sure i could find something wonderful to do with them. the plumbing? well, maybe i’ll pass on that. but really those curtains?! maybe you could ship the fabric to me? even just a scrape of it would be fabulous! i wish i could have seen the house whole.

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