I knew they were gone before I got there. Yet, as I drove by that Thursday, I was in complete disbelief. They were favorites of mine. They some of my staples to photograph. When I had no idea what to take shots of next, I would come back to them. Every time I shoot them, even if I would frame them up exactly as I had done once before, I would get very different looks from them. Some of my best pictures yet came from their roof lines and siding edges, their wildly overgrown plants, and the angles from their collapsed awnings. I don’t exactly know when these houses were abandoned, by I do know it was around late 2006. I have pictures of them in better times to go with the pictures of their pathetic final days.
Oddly enough, I never knew the address for 12760 Woodford until soon before they destroyed it, and spray painted the number on the fallen portion of the roof. This house was more attractive to me once the vandals started getting in, and a “no tresspassing” sign was attached. By the time I got inside, there was no carpet, and everything was ripped and gutted from the place. You couldn’t take so much as a light switch. It was once a nice little place, but very little was done with the yard.
12764 Woodford Way was a bit more interesting. For starters, it was the second house on the street whose roof had collapsed. Debris from trees and the house itself were tossed onto the newly-formed gap between the pointed awning roof and home roof. The backyard also housed an impressive above-ground pool with one of the nicest decks I have ever seen for an above grounder. Even for the home to be neglected for well over a year, the deck was stable and in good condition when I photographed it last in January. The metal side of the pool had dents the size of boots in the side and the liner was barely stretched across gaping webbed holes. Trees three feet tall were growing from the middle of the pool. It didn’t take much to imagine people once having a good time in this yard, grilling some food and trying to enjoy the normally stiflingly intense heat St. Louis summers are famous for. The house itself was pretty nice inside and out, once. There were some interesting decorative plants here such as English ivy which overtook the garage side to the point that I dubbed the place, “the Ivy House.”
The longest street through Carrollton, only one house remains now on Woodford Way.