Spent some time at Fort Hancock / Sandy Hook today, noting the accelerating decay of the fort's buildings. Seems every time I stroll down Officer's Row, I see another sign of benign neglect. Allegedly there's a plan in place to restore many of the buildings and make them into offices, or hospitality centers, but whoever's doing it seems to be taking their own sweet time. Meanwhile, I grow more suspicious as I see broad swaths of tar paper on roofs where the shingles have blown off.
And wooden porches continue to deteriorate to the point where they give, dangerously, when you put weight into your step as you trod on them. Probably worst of all, I'm seeing more and more windows whose panes are missing, allowing who knows what to get inside. And the upper half of one double hung window has dropped, its counterweight probably having snapped in the frame.
Kinda makes you wonder if they'll let them rot to the point where more than half of them won't be salvageable. Then, oops, well they'll have to just tear them down. The development agency that redid New Brunswick took the same approach to a host of old buildings in what used to be the wharf area of the city. Dozens of buildings that had been there since Colonial days were just shut up and left to sit until they were too dangerous to enter. They got torn down, conveniently, in favor of new townhouses. Call me cynical, but...
Meanwhile, I continue to notice things I hadn't seen before, mostly window dressing. Who moved out and left the curtains behind? And 30 years later, they still hang, faded and filmy, but still intact. I've never felt them to be haunted, but as I walk between the houses to check them out, I think about some sort of spirit peering out from behind those curtains, watching me. Watching something.