Monday, October 4, 2010

Oil City Brass Works

A high school pal of ours, Michelle Templin, recently treated us to a walking tour of downtown Beaumont, Texas. Pounding heat and imminent rain quickened our pace, but I had to stop when I saw the Oil City Brass Works on the corner of Crockett and Neches.

The Brass Works resides in the Beaumont Commercial District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The city's downtown presents a swell collection of early twentieth-century architecture from a time when money flowed as oil through southeastern Texas.

Throughout our tour we walked alongside confident art deco buildings and peeked down narrow alleys. But nothing really spoke to me until I saw this building a few blocks away. Summoning up my best Liz Lemon catchphrase, I assured my friends: "I want to go to there."

I don't know anything about Beaumont's City Brass Works, but I love this building. There's a stark, quiet sadness to the place: the spirit of a relic that somehow affirms my appreciation for life. While Jenny and Michelle chatted, I stumbled about in search of pictures. A few minutes later the rain began to fall.

Not technically at the Brass Works,
but close enough...

(Photographs by Andrew Wood)

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