frenchpony (frenchpony) wrote,

  • Music:

Welcome Back, Pony!

Today is the first day back at work since the fire. The damage to our archive wasn't nearly so bad as the head librarian had feared, and the charcoal filters that the school installed have removed the smoky smell from the air. Inside the building, everything is the same as it was before. Except that, out my window, there is a scene of devastation.

It's hard to describe, so I got a camera, and I'm taking pictures. I'll post them when they're developed. The wrecking crews are already hard at work, and much of the Dexter Building has come down already. The walls remain up through the ground floor, and one jagged spike on the southwest corner of the building. A hose squirts a jet of water into the air. Possibly, it is to dampen any remains that might still be smoldering. Behind the shell, the el trains lumber by, slowly, cautiously. Travelers to the South Side are treated to an up-close-and-personal view of the aftermath of a building fire.

Inside this jagged framework are hundreds of thousands of bricks. The Dexter Building was an old brick skyscraper, one of the first of its kind. It's difficult to imagine, when you look at one of those buildings, just how many tiny little pieces went into making it. Out my window at work, you can see all of those little pieces now. Hundreds of thousands of bricks, tumbled any which way, spilling out into the street. The liquor store and bartending school next door is closed, and its wall bears scorch marks. Wabash street just north of Balbo is a police zone, whithin which wrecking crews slowly carry all the bits and pieces away, after first hosing them down carefully to make sure they're cool enough to handle.

And yet, the fire didn't destroy everything in its path. Just outside the liquor store, there's a little baby tree in a pot. It seems to have lost a few branches, but it's still green and relatively healthy. It's alive.
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