On view through March 3rd
172 Main Street, Beacon
Beauty Among the Ruins,” featuring photos by Nancy Faulds of the abandoned Scranton Lace Factory. “My formal studies were not in photography but in Interior Design,” explains Ms. Faulds. “I worked in this field both on commercial and residential projects for 25 years, meanwhile gradually developing my eye and skills as a photographer. Over time my interests have shifted from landscapes and ‘found abstracts’ to the challenges of discovering beauty in spaces that at first seem ugly and decrepit.”
“These images were taken on three workshops with Abandoned America, a group dedicated to exploring structures that are no longer fulfilling their original purpose,” says Faulds. “There is an air of sadness and even remorse in these buildings, and it is always deeply satisfying to stumble across an area of serenity and balance that contrasts with the surrounding chaos.”
The Scranton Lace Factory was a fixture and major employer in Scranton PA. They were in business from 1897 – 2002 and at one time employed 1,400 people. They were quite self-sufficient, with their own medical facility, lunchroom, bowling alley and beauty salon. Some artifacts of these activities are found scattered around the space along with huge quantities of the paper punch patterns that were used in the Nottingham looms. When business decisions and changing fashion led to a decision to close the factory, the decision was announced to the workers in the middle of a shift. The transition was so abrupt that remnants of the lace that was being produced that day is still seen in the one remaining loom. Over the years vandals and scrappers have taken a toll on the integrity of the structure, which is now demolished.