upstate new york

10

A visit to the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.  Facing the street is the Eastman residence; adjoining it at the rear is the Museum of Photography.  It’s like seeing two museums on the same property.  Eastman Kodak was a brand name synonymous with Rochester; accordingly the Eastmans were prominent members of Rochester society.  The portrait of George Eastman (1854-1932) was painted by Seymour Millais Stone circa 1920. My photos from August 20, 2015.

Play it Again, Sam - Hotel Empire lobby, 2012.  Shortly before sunset, with the sun ablaze in a brilliant pink, I wandered down the stairs of the Hotel Empire, the least-vandalized and most-intact of the abandoned hotels in Sharon Springs.  The dingy old piano, topped by an ancient AM/FM radio and accompanied by a chair in lieu of its missing bench, had taken on a lovely glow in the evening sun.  Oddly, the next time I saw it some two years later, someone had pinched the radio.

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The Murals of the Westholm Great Hall, 2012.  In stark contrast to many of the derelict Borscht Belt resorts which have received attention from hordes of photographers, scrappers, vandals, and so on, the Westholm Hotel in Stamford, NY has more or less been forgotten over time.  Sadly, this means that the beautiful murals which adorn the great hall have also been forgotten, and are starting to peel away from the wall.  Stamford’s native son, LaMont Warner (1876-1970), painted the incredibly detailed compositions, pictured here shortly before sunrise.  The exact date of the artworks appears to be in dispute; it was likely during the 20s or 30s, but records keeping here seems poor.  Hopefully, sometime soon, someone will drop the $88,100 necessary to buy this lovely building, in order to rehabilitate it - and restore its murals!

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