Okay let me explain you a thing about little inner-city apartments, about little slices of domesticity hewn out of old brick and DIY plaster, filled with rag-tag people that you have assembled as a family unit, with indie music on low and laughter and dwindling bottles of wine. Where the cat is always asleep atop your computer and your best dress and stockings are tossed on the couch and your faulty window opens to a planted box full of herbs and the steamy buzz of the city below. Where take out from your favorite deli awaits you in the fridge and work is only a bus-ride away and the city comes right up the meet you at night, swilling in with the night wind and tugging at your hair and sweater until you venture out into it. There’s something truly magical about a tiny well-kept apartment filled with treasured people, something more exquisite than anything in the world, I think.
Space observatories are among some of the most magnificent buildings devoted entirely to science — because their windows look out on the universe. And their distinctive shape makes them into poignant ruins. Here are some observatories whose views onto space have been lost to time.
Cointe Observatory, Liège, Belgium, designed by Lambert Noppius and built in 1881-1882.
The Mohon del Trigo, built in 1902 in the Sierra Nevada, Andalucia, Spain. Abandoned since the 1970s.
Warner & Swasey Observatory in Cleveland, Ohio, constructed in 1919 by Worchester R. Warner and Ambrose Swasey. It had a 9.5-inch refractor after its opening, but later a 24-inch Burrell Schmidt and a 36-inch Cassegrain telesope were installed. Due to the growing light pollution in the city a new observatory was built and the complex was sold in 1983. It’s abandoned since then.
The castle-like Pip Ivan Observatory, on the top of a mountain named Pip Ivan in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. It was erected in 1937 and it was used for only a year by Polish astronomers. The Red Army captured the building in 1938 and used it as a meteorological station. The complex is abandoned since 1944.
Innisfil Observatory, Innisfil, Ontario, Canada, built in 1975 by Heinz Lorenz, closed in the 1990s due to growing light pollution. The equipment was removed in 1997, and the building was converted to a house. Now it’s abandoned.
“You are enough. Paint it on your mirrors, on the back of your eyelids, drown it in your stomach, sing it in every word you say. You are never too much. Eat your food, sleep eight hours, walk like you love yourself. You are enough. Say it in your sleep, mantras to carry you through your day. There is never enough of you. You are a thirst that is never quenched. I crave you when you’re away. I love every piece of you. But I cannot make you love yourself.”