To the Carriage House that once stood at the corner of Auchentoroly Terrace and Gwynns Falls Parkway
I realize that you are gone, but I just wanted you to know that you were appreciated while you were here. Even with your collapsing roof and the plywood in your doors and windows, you were admired, even loved. I only saw you on occasion, in passing, while headed to further destinations. I never took the time to stop and admire. To take a picture. To offer assistance. And now you are gone, merely a shell; your graceful, curved, slate covered roof removed and lost. All that I have now is an outdated Google Streetview photo. It may not show you as you once were when you were maintained and solid, but it does show you in the condition in which I noticed you.
And you were noticed.
You were not alone here in the city of Baltimore. Other grand structures have fallen. Some were grander and more recognizable than you, but many were not. Many were just as simply elegant as you were in your prime. They, like you, were hidden behind larger buildings, but when found, induced silent smiles of appreciation. But with the passage of time and the years of rain and snow comes wear and fading. Even as you grayed and gained the lines of age, your grandeur endured until the end. The fishscale slates, the deep dormer pediments, the curve of your mansard.
Many more like you still stand. Some are on the verge of the same fate that befell you. Please know that in your loss, you have served as an inspiration. Know that those of us with the power to help are, indeed striving to do so. And that, while we may not be able to save all, your loss will push us to save more.
Godspeed fair Carriage House. And Godspeed to all of Baltimore’s lost treasures, the mansions, the garages, the factories and the theatres. And to you, and all of your sisters and brothers, know that, while you were here, and even in your waning days, you were noticed and you were loved.
Matthew K. Hankins is the Restoration Shop Manager for Worcester Eisenbrandt, Inc.in Baltimore, Maryland.
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