Lost Castle: Jan Stel

Located in a park near the center of Lede, Belgium, the Castle of Mesen dates back to the 17th century where it served as a home for various lords before a conversion to an industrial site. Throughout the 1800s the complex was used as a gin distillery, a tobacco factory, and a sugar refinery. In 1897 the castle was then sold to a religious order who constructed an impressive neo-gothic chapel and turned the entire facility into a boarding school.

Although it was still in use up until the 1960s, a tragic storm of abandonment, looting, and a failed attempt to designate the castle as a monument lead to a decision to demolish of the entire castle just a few years ago. Lucky for us, photographer Jan Stel of Past Glory managed to sneak inside and capture a few amazing shots before it disappears forever.


Villa on the Wing by Milligram Architectural Studio

Staggered composition of two fractured volumes over a slope, alternately reveal or conceal program with layered bands of glazing and board-marked cast concrete walls.

The Past and Future of Cemetaries


Alexandra Lange on mausoleums old and new

"How might modern-day magnates translate the look of their home or office into the afterlife? … Olsen told me that, from railroads to polished granite and from embalming to lasers, cemeteries have always followed trends in technology and culture. Cities of the dead aren’t disconnected from cities of the living but are rather extensions of them. Technology does not separate us from the past; it democratizes public memorials, whether in stone or in pixels."

Above: 1921 aerial view of the Woodlawn Cemetery. Photograph courtesy Avery Library, Drawings & Archives, Woodlawn Cemetery Records.