Abandoned neoclassic building on Long Island, 1967

Neoclassic outbuilding - Nassau county, Long Island 1967. Architectural photography by Steve RossmanThis shot is among the oldest in my portfolio.
I know the date because it was the year I started driving.  I was 17  at the time.  A friend and I would head to the more rural areas of north-central Long Island to photograph architecture.

For years, I thought this shot was an out-building at Old Westbury Gardens, but having looked at all the available images of the mansion and it’s grounds on the web, either this building was torn down (doubtful) or the shot was taken elsewhere.  It’s a mystery…

In any event, it’s a great example of neoclassic  architecture, probably dating to the 1870s.

Made with a Rollie Twin Lens Reflex camera (which I dearly wish I still had today) on
Plus-X B&W film (the only film I used in daylight) and developed in the basement dark-room built by my father and I when I was sixteen. Let me re-phrase, he built, I ‘go-fered.’

During my senior year at high school, we suffered an electrical fire in our home that gutted the interior.  While the basement didn’t actually burn, the heat climbed to over 1500º, so what wasn’t destroyed by water damage, bubbled in the heat.  This was one of a handful of images (both the print and neg) that was out at a show at the time  so it survived.

My father, a real estate broker and appraiser by day, was an extremely talented oil painter.  Sadly, most of his art was consumed in the fire.  I was much more upset about my dad’s paintings than my photos.   I knew I’d do a lot more work.  He, on the other hand, lost his enthusiasm for painting.  He did a little more artwork later in life, but not nearly as much as any of us would have liked.

About 10 years ago, I started on a project to scan — at very high rez — more than 40 years worth of negatives, so I could preserve them and print them digitally.  I’m glad I did.

This entry was posted in Fine Images, Real estate, Travel Photography. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Abandoned neoclassic building on Long Island, 1967

  1. linda Wendfeldt says:

    Hi Steve, I love this shot. Well, I just learned a whole lot more about you from your message. Perhaps you told me this story long ago, but it didn’t click until now. So sorry about your dad’s paintings. How many photos do you have from 40 years? Give my love,love,love to Jonna. Thinking of you guys alot. Love, Linda

  2. steverossman says:

    Thanks Linda! We probably hadn’t discussed any of this before. It hasn’t been a secret, but I haven’t talked about it much, either. Pretty terrible at the time.

    I have something like 2,000 photo files going back 40 years, but only 3 or 4 images from my high school days that survived the fire. One of those is the first darkroom superimposition that I ever created (that won a prize in the competition.) It was Bobby Kennedy (taken from a TV image) superimposed over a weathered tower. There probably was some intended symbolism at the time (I loved Kennedy) but I have no idea today of what I was thinking. Could be as simple as the two images working well together.

    Jonna sends her love. She’s teaching this weekend, and the class is going very well. Love to both you and Steve. s.

  3. Jan says:

    Thank you for sharing this lovely, bittersweet story Steve. It makes me sad to think this building is abandoned. So beautiful, and majestic. Your shot captured the powerful architecture along with the emptiness. Got a cramp in my stomach over your father’s lost paintings, that must have been very hard for him. Another glimpse into the history of the person that is you. And I too loved Kennedy. Much love to you and Jonna.

  4. About 10 years ago, I started on a project to scan — at very high rez — more than 40 years worth of negatives, so I could preserve them and print them digitally. I’m glad I did.

    SO ARE WE!!!!!!!! Thanks for another glimpse into the fine man you are, Steve! Judith

  5. steverossman says:

    Thanks Judith! Hope to see you soon! s

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s