The abandoned property of the Rutherford Stuyvesant estate...
Modern times leave but a few left-over scraps from what was, not too long ago, a beautiful and influential homestead.
The elegant past of this property has long been cast into shadows. Overrun by gripping ivy, twisting thorns, and the forest itself.
Nowadays one could drive right past the old estate, never even knowing that they did so. The only clue given is a
gnarled dirt road bearing the name of the family who's estate once stood in what is now thick forest.
The grand mansion (pictured above) surrendered itself to flames many years ago, leaving only an overgrown field
where it once proudly stood. Orphaned, the remainder of the buildings on the property sat, and slowly sank into ruin.
To me though, it was always more about how these houses adapted to unmaintained life in the woods, than the history behind their being there.
As with most places that become abandoned; once left alone, these places can become something else entirely.
Gone are the pristine lawns and manicured pathways; replaced with tall grass, weeds, and thorns.
The bright washes of the houses exteriors, faded, stained, and ensnared by the growth of the forest.
The bustling of life within the walls has long since passed, all that endure here are the hushed sounds of slow decay.
Now, we have been here before, filming this property in the warmth of the summer months.
During that time, when the forests are full of green and life, these houses seem almost content in their fate.
Slowly returning to the woods, and doing so in a peaceful and harmonious way.
However, the timing in which you document something can completely change your perspective of it...
Snow and ice cake the grounds, and all in blanketed in white. Seeing the houses like this paints an entirely different picture.
No longer are they surrounded in green, hidden by the foliage, and visited by whatever animal may be passing by.
The winter marks these old houses as outcasts, foreign bodies in what would otherwise be fields, streams, and trees.
Hard-angled shapes among the bending organic forms which stretch out in all directions.
Of all the words with which to describe these houses, the one that comes to mind over and over again is "alone".
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