The best part of Victoriansecrets has getting to know the people behind other vintage building sites on the web and watching their sites evolve. The sites linked below are personal favorites, as well as some promising newcomers with unique perspectives. To view a site, just click the underlined title.

I'm always interested in discovering new vintage building and preservation sites. If you know of a good one that isn't listed below, please email me at psefton@comcast.net.

Baltimore Ghosts-When touring Baltimore, Adam Paul often has the best seat on the bus. It's the one behind the wheel. Adam captures some of the most subtle charms of the Charm City, and his site design is probably the most vibrant of any old buildings site on the web. He has an extrodinary eye for the beauty of old advertising signs and billboards, and I got tear-eyed at his Memorial Stadium Memorial.

Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA) BAHA started back when "Jimi played Berkeley". Fast forwarding thirty-five years, people are still battling to preserve "People's Park", as well as the city's early twentieth century bungalow and shingle-style residential neighborhoods, its signature buildings by Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan, and even Cal Memorial Stadium. BAHA's site is very strong on architectural history, and I envy webmaster Daniella Thompson's ability to create such clean page designs and beautifully-lit photos of buildings against cloudless California skies.

The Watts Towers are an irresistable subject for anyone who finds themselves in Los Angeles with a camera. Luckily, the towers change personality with the sunlight and sky, so the web has a dozen photo essays that are unique as well as lovely. Believe some of these sites' historical information at your own risk. Spherical Panoramas reproduces the experience of slowly spinning 360 degrees in the center of the Tower site. The Bathtub Art Museum and Rich Pulchasky's LA Murals have photo pages celebrating "visionary art" elements of the Towers. There's also Rodia's Watts Towers, from our own April, 2008 field trip.


My symbol for present-day Detroit is a derelict automobile plant, but I've never found a site devoted to these.

Forgotten Detroit. David Kohrman’s site shows the remenents of the glamour and wealth that the Ford Fordor, Detroit Electric, Hudson Super Six and others created. His excellent features on the defunct great hotels and theaters of 1910-1930 Detroit include many fine interior shots. There are also some good shots of the downtown “Skyscraper Graveyard”.

The Book-Cadillac is an erie account of a solo 32 story ascent to the observation deck of the abandoned Book-Cadillac Hotel.

Abandoned House of the Week is a weekly photo feature in the Detroit Metro News. Some are amazing, some are scary, most are sad. The readers who complain about the wise-guy tone of the text that accompanies the archived photos probably have a good point.

Death of A City Block - In the summer of 2001, a Detroit News series traced the slow decay of the 1900 block of Elmhurst Street from 1950 to the present day. These stories are a model of coherent detail.

Forgotten New York-Kevin Walsh is an intrepid explorer who's ranged to remote corners of the outer boroughs and even a few islands whose existance is unsuspected by most native New Yorkers. And he does it all by bus, subway, and an occasional ferry. Kevin’s focus is on “survivors”—traces of the past that are sometimes literally beneath our feet- and he has pages on everything from the sidewalk clocks of Manhattan to the blue herons of Staten Island. One of the best features of Forgotten New York is that Kevin is a very thorough documentarian.

Lost New York City - The 1970s saw the clearing of many "old law" tenements in Lower Manhattan. Randall, a sculptor and organ restorationist, was on hand to chronicle their last stand. He even saved a beastry of stone chimeras and gargoyles as well as a pantheon of bas-relief Olympians from their facades. nicle the last stand was on hand to photograph the demolition

Lost Landmarks of Upstate New York - Our own upstate demolished building memorial page, with plenty of hometown input.

Lost Towns of the Mid-Hudson Valley Many vintage postcard views of New York City's equivalent of the Owens Valley; the towns that were sacrificed to build resevoirs for the folks downstate.

Preservation League of New York State Among many other accomplishments, they led the charge to save Camp Sagamore in the 1980s, Ellis Island in the 1990s, and a state income tax credit since the millenium. Check out their "Most Endangered Sites" of 2004.

MHT History -It's wrenching to see what's being casually uprooted in Manchester, and Joe Labbe's photos and text are a cry from the heart. His ongoing series on the methodical anhillation of the Goffs Falls settlement makes you want to shout "Stop!" loud enough to cause an avalanche in the White Mountains.

DC Preservation League While most of us are busy shouting "Fire", the DC Preservation League drags in the hose. A very active and crusading group, DCPL's site includes an annual "10 Most Endangered" List, back issues of "The Preservationist" newsletter, and a calendar of upcoming events.

The Silver Spring Historical Society has crusaded to save such art deco landmarks as the Falkland Apartments and Georgia Avenue Little Tavern. Their site includes an archive of Jerry McCoy's wonderful "Then and Again" column from the Silver Spring Voice. Looking at Jerry's "before and after" images can be jarring--so much has changed it's sometimes hard to believe you're looking at the same town.rical Society


Louisville Art Deco Louisville, Kentucky has always evoked white-columned front porches highly-engineered for the sipping of mint julips. Jim D. Patterson's site shows that the city is a treasury of industrial and commercial art deco. Jim also includes illustrated essays on deco industrial design and an excellent links page.

Urban Decay- Daryl, an urban planning student in Toronto, has put together one of the few continentally-focused vintage building sites on the web. Urban Decay has perhaps a hundred pages of streetscapes from Toronto to New Orleans and Los Angeles to Baltimore. In addition to the usual suspects, he covers some smaller cities, such as Cinncinati, Cleveland, and East St. Louis. Daryl’s interests aren’t limited to old buildings. He is also chronicling the passing of the old-line public housing project across the country. And he has the great taste to include some images from Victoriansecrets as well!

Forgotten Ohio gives a generic "spooky old house" treatment to abandoned farmhouses in the Columbus area. There are, however, excellent photos of a once-stylish Victorian nicknamed “Mudhouse Manor”.

Forgotten Scranton is a visual cemetary for coal breakers, railroad roundhouses, and all manner of heavy anthracite mining equipment. My favorite shot is an abandoned wooden passenger coach whose roof ripples like a caterpillar walking.

Alliance to Conserve Old Richmond Neighborhoods (A.C,O.R.N.)OA.C.O.R.N. has followed Joe Hill's advice from the scaffold and, rather than wasting time mourning, has organized. The A.C.O.R.N. website radiates activist energy, promoting renovation of Richmond's abandoned and vacant buildings with neighborhood directories, galleries of houses available for as little as $1.00, restoration finance information, and a directory of craftspersons. R