The Long Way Home

At the Castle


You wouldn’t know it judging by no coat and full sun, but I took this batch of photos in February, on a day that teased us with spring. It was windy, but so sunny it blew out most of the shots. We drove around looking for junk, only to discover some places closed, forever – the effects of post-recession life in western Pennsylvania, or simply, nobody wants to drive miles out of their way, to tiny forgotten towns to search the unwanted. For awhile though, I’ve wanted to take photos at Westinghouse Castle, and since we were close, we stopped there. I found it years before by accident: going to a cousin’s baby shower, I had taken a wrong turn and pulled along a massive stone building with a giant clock tower. I wondered about the royal industrial family that once lived there and discovered it is actually the Westinghouse office building, dubbed “the Castle” for that giant clock tower that still keeps time. It was a museum, then closed (when the recession kicked in), and now it’s again an office building. The pavement surrounding the building was threaded with cracks, and small patches of snow glistened in late-daylight. I thought about how most of my generation has lived through one recession or another, how I have to find the beauty in what is ordinary – how eerily quiet it was as I looked up at a window, the curtain pulled back as if someone had just been there, watching.

four o'clock

four o’clock

spring tease

spring tease

test shot

test shot

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12 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hello Lisa! Cool blog you have, i really like the photos! :)

Actually got here when i was googling for the bed of nails stunt…It got me curious about that photo, who the guy/fakir in it was, or where you found it from? :) And who was the lady sitting on him while doing the interview?

Keep up your blog and hope you have a great day! :)

Love, Jack

Comment by Jack

Jack – Thanks for reading, I’m happy you found me :).
I’m not sure who the fakir and his lovely assistant were, it’s been awhile – but they performed at the Butler County Fair in western PA back then – I think it was 2010? I’m not sure if they are a regional (to our area) act, or if they travel all state fairs. They were a lot of fun.

Thanks again for reading – hope you have a good weekend too!

Comment by Lisa

Awesome picture, dude! As always! You have a great eye!

Comment by Bill

aw, thanks, dude- your support means a lot to me!

Comment by Lisa

Well these shots with their gold hue capture well February ordinariness. Fabulous spring tease–castle indeed! Love that prose of yours too–seamless and oh so complementary to the photos. Thanks again.

Comment by Michael Williamson

Thanks, Michael! I have been taking small breaks from blogging just because I feel as if I need to clear my head. I felt a little rusty in the prose area – glad to hear that it’s working out okay :).

Comment by Lisa

You’re reaching your dream of making photos like 70s horror film stills.

Comment by jschreckengost

Hell yeah!

Comment by Lisa

A few years back, a friend of mine had her baby shower in the Castle. It’s a very cool old building dripping with Mon Valley nostalgia. Dave remembers elementary school field trips to Westinghouse. It was such a staple of that community. Very cool road trip, my friend.

Comment by motherblue212

whoa,really? i want to get into that building! i have thought about calling someone there to give a private tour – or a place for photo shoots (yes? possible project for us?).

Comment by Lisa

thanks,lady! i am finally going to see this building before they turn it into (agggh) condos.

Comment by Lisa

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