Sunday, January 27, 2008

Round Robin Photo Challenge: Landmarks

"So," Hubby says, "Landmarks, huh? What'll it be this time? Air traffic control tower? Nuclear power plant?" (He thinks he's funny.) "I'm going out to the old beer brewery in Mishawaka," I reply. He, shoulders sagging: "Well geez, that's no fun at all." Me: "Stop talking to me ... "

Visible from a mile away, an ornate smokestack marks the spot where the Kamm Brewery stands on the banks of the St. Joseph River. The original wooden structures were built in 1853, and the brickwork was added around 1880. The complex consists of the main building, warehouses, an ice house, malt and yeast rooms, quarters for the workers -- and, they say, a huge vault deep underground where charcoal was made to filter the beer. There was a major fire in 1950, and the brewery ceased operations in 1951. It has since been salvaged to house shops, studios, restaurants, and offices. Why the windows on the right are half a floor higher than the rest of the building, I have no clue.

They don't make 'em like they used to. The smoke stack is a masterpiece of old-school masonry, culminating in a mosaic flourish.

Here and there around the grounds, machines that once clattered and spun stand like sentinels in the snow.

For my money, though, the best part of the place is around back. Narrow lanes wind between massive walls of brick. Above are equal parts steel and sky.

Maybe it was the quiet of the place today, or maybe just the pleasure of feeling sun on my face after a long illness, but I really enjoyed this assignment. Thanks go to Carly, author of the blog Ellipsis, for a fun challenge and a great afternoon of shooting. Please be sure to click over to the main Robins link to see what everyone else found: Round Robins Photo Challenge: Landmarks.


Carly said...

Hi Vicki :)

WOW! Wonderful new photos! I snow gives a beautiful old building quite a glow. :) Tee Hee. A beer glow. :) GRIN. Glad you are feeling better, take care pumpkin. :)

Hugs, Carly

Carly said...


Of course the second sentence should be, The Snow gives a beautiful old building quite a glow." Sheesh. ;)

Karen Funk Blocher said...

I'm glad you were able to get out and do this (and, I hope, not take your life in your hands this time). As usual for you, this is an excellent series of photos, and I love the running commentary. Well worth waiting for!

mjd said...

When you mentioned the St Joseph River, you got my attention. Then, the mention of Mishawaka had me looking for your profile. I am in Indiana too just down the road in Merrillville. Since it is close, maybe someday, I will get to see this interesting-looking brewery. If not, I can enjoy your fabulous pictures.

Sandra said...

I love old brick buildings and the masonry. I love that old buildings aren't demolished but re-used. Great recycling, I think. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos. And tell hubby to just "shush!" LOL

MyMaracas said...

Hey, Carly. :-) Yes, the light was really gorgeous on the brick that day. I wish I could have captured it; the pics don't do it justice.

Thanks for the compliments, Karen! The encouragement keeps me going. It was a nice, safe shoot this time. Although, if I coulda found a way down into that charcoal vault... ;-)

Mjd! We're practically neighbors! Give me a heads up next time you come up this way, OK?

And Sandra, I agree. I love to see old buildings reused, especially factories.

Thanks, all, for your comments!

lisa's chaos said...

I love how places like that put old parts out for us to see instead of getting rid of them. I also love the old smokestack! And the little area in the back with the boards going across. Looks like a great place to wander around.