Monday, July 5, 2010
Rebuilding the Lost City
From Dave Brigham:
The long-abandoned Haartz Mason Coated Fabrics factory is located in Watertown, Mass., in an area that my wife's brother-in-law dubbed The Lost City. Located along Pleasant Street, the complex, which comprises several buildings, sits amid a mix of industrial buildings, thrift shops, office buildings and residential neighborhoods. Less than a mile from the hustle and bustle of Watertown Square, the old factory has featured a "Sale Pending" sign out front for the last several weeks.
I'm fascinated by the extent of decay and ruin at the factory. There is a giant smoke stack in the middle, surrounded by buildings that have been partially torn down or fallen apart, all covered in graffiti. There is a walking/biking path that runs right behind the complex, hard by the Charles River. With the advent of spring and summer, trees and bushes on the perimeter of the dilapidation zone obscure the mess inside.
The Lost City has been treated of late to some upgrades, such as new blacktop and sidewalks. Right next door to the Haartz Mason building is a new condo development that was originally going to be an office building. The developer evidently couldn't sell the space as businesses, so he converted it to residential.
Given that built-in audience, logic would dictate that whoever knocks down these buildings would put up some retail space. Whatever goes in there, it'll be a vast improvement. I can only imagine the nasty clean-up that lies ahead.