Pitchfork & Pen—Cherry Hill House—If a House Could Talk


I love architecture. I have no desire to be an actual architect, I just have a love of the art behind it. Or rather the product of an architect’s work.

I enjoy viewing all old buildings, including businesses and houses (my favorite). The older the better.

There are a few in my neighborhood that are well over 75 years old. Some I remember Cherry Hill 2
from my youth are well over one hundred.  The windows are long gone, and the doors (if they exist) hang crookedly. One house I pass on a regular basis has upper story windows you can see through from one end of the house to the other.

A few months ago, a friend on Facebook remarked on a picture posted by one of his friends of an old home in Virginia. When I lived there I passed by that house regularly. I commented on the post and soon a conversation was going. Stories were told about the people who had lived there and what the inside looked like. This house had seven porches. It was rumored to have a chandelier in the front entry made of ruby-colored crystals.

I think the thing that fascinates me the most about these old homes are the events that happened in the house. It sparks my imagination when I think of the stories the house itself could tell.

The old, weathered abandoned house sits idle; the history of births, deaths, and love still live within the walls. Children grew and played, grandparents told stories of their own youth over coffee at the kitchen table. Meals were cooked and consumed, holidays were celebrated. These houses are not living beings, but life flowed through them.

I love watching HGTV and seeing older homes renovated. Even if the house loses a lot of the original fixtures, life will continue to fill the rooms. A new home is brick, board, nails, and screws. It waits for its history to begin. Older homes continue to add to their history every day. They are the lucky ones.

The next time you ride down a country road and see an old house, abandoned and decaying, don’t think of it as an eyesore. Imagine a young woman waiting for her husband who was away fighting in a great war, or the man who sat anxiously in the parlor while his son or daughter came into the world in a bedroom above.

Can you see them? Open your mind and imagination. You will.


Read more from Tamara Hartl!


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