Anyway, I recently got inside a great building in Cleveland- the House of Wills.
It was one owned by one of the first black entrepreneurs in Cleveland. He opened the business (his last name was wills) as a funeral home back in 1905. They don't know for sure when the building was built- the blueprints inside had a variety of dates from the late 1800's to early 1900's. The building says 1905, but that reflects the year Mr. Wills opened his business. There were also parts of the building that were added on after the initial build. It is a huge structure now, about 1/8th of an acre indoors. He lived in the building as well as had it function as his business- he died in his bedroom. It was re-purposed over the years- being a bunch of different things, like a school, etc. A lot of the building didn't actually change, the inside still looks a lot like what it was originally.
You can obviously see how much it has changed over the years.
Here are two photos of the casket viewing room. The first being from a promotional booklet released back in the early 1900's for the funeral home, the second being a photo I took last week of the same room.
It was completely pitch black, so a lot of these photos are using light I created over a long exposure.
Assorted "now" Photos
Plans for this buildings future? Unlike a lot of the places I have been in previously, this one has plans to be restored, furnished in-period and lived in/rented out for parties, etc. After having the privilege of exploring this building, I am really glad that it's not going to waste and is being restored. There were a lot of beautiful rooms inside, and even more that I didnt have time to photograph. (the place is huge!)
I've posted here a lot, if you'd like to see previous places i've been in you can visit my website, Ruined Nation to see all of my locations to date.
Thanks for reading! :)