by Kelly Landrum

homestead seeking critique kelly landrum

Gallery: House That Could Not Stand

Tags: seeking critique

Category: Architecture

Published: Saturday 9th of June 2007 11:01:35 PM


Liz Weisiger
Gosh, Lannie, you know this pulls on me. Such a lovely structure, beside huge, old cedars. The BW makes it seem forlorn, not as warm and comfortable as your color images. I wish I knew the story behind this. I bet it is a great one.

Landrum Kelly
Brian, the old house came down a few months after this was taken. If I had a figure in this picture, I think that I would personally choose a care-worn woman in a simple but threadbare print dress. --Lannie

Sue Foll
Great image The shape and nature of the trees help this a lot too

Marie-Thérèse Faidherbe
nice composition for this B/W. Congrats.

Landrum Kelly
Thanks, Marie-Therese and Sue. Sue, I never thought too much about the trees on this one except as a way to balance the composition. I never thought about their "shape" in the sense of "condition," but they, too, show the ravages of time. --Lannie

Landrum Kelly

I shot this house three times: February, March, and April, 2002. The next time I went by, some months later or perhaps even the next year, there was nothing there but a field and a few trees which had been next to the house. The grass was so perfect that one could not--apart from the trees--tell that there had ever been a house there. I was devastated, and I could have kicked myself for not following up sooner.


I just did Google Street View a few minutes ago, and nothing is shown as having been built on the plot where the old house once stood:




I had thought that, over ten years later, someone would likely have put up a more modern house overlooking the pasture and pond. So far no one has--or at least not as recently as the last Google pass by that area. In fact, one of the Google shots of the area shows it as having been planted over for timber--hardly worth a drive by.




Landrum Kelly

When I Googled the address by state road numbers rather than by street names, I got a   different view of the property.  In fact, what I got was an image (made from Google's camera truck) of the property AFTER the house had come down, but BEFORE it had been allowed to grow up as a pine plantation--a "plantation" being defined as a tract devoted to one "crop," in this case pine trees.  (Before that, I can only imagine that the "one crop" grown near the old house was King Cotton.  I don't think that the house was ante-bellum, but the culture might well have been.  Slavery no longer existed during the heyday of the early twentieth century Old South, but legalized segregation and the deliberate subjugation of African-Americans had perpetuated the survival of cotton plantations which survived by what was only one step removed from the era of slave labor: largely poor black labor.  (If that sounds presumptuous to assume, consider that the majority of the population of McCormick, SC where I lived in the early 2000s was still African-American.  Yes, I know that poor whites also picked cotton, but only when they had to--and most African-Americans had to.)


Although the attached Google shot (made at wide angle into the sun) is not the very best, it s special nonetheless to me and perhaps to a few old timers who lived in that area all of their lives (as I certainly did not).  Even so, for the brief time (August, 2001-January, 2003) that I lived in McCormick, SC, the opportunity to purchase a digital camera (after shooting a film SLR since 1977) and to be able to go around those little towns and environs, trying to capture the Old South, was hardly meaningless.)


In any case, here is the shot that I recovered from Google.  As you look at it, made after the house came down, consider that the entire area has now apparently reverted to a scrubby-looking "pine plantation" for commercial purposes.



Landrum Kelly
Homestead Thanks for viewing and commenting.


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