Today’s post is co-hosted by my other blog, Forgotten Plants & Places.
Like many small towns, LaGrange is full of photo opportunities. The Hillside neighborhood, in the southwest part of town, is particularly interesting. Over the last decade, DASH for LaGrange has rehabilitated several dozen old “mill houses,” saving them from destruction while revitalizing a shrinking community. Doc Speer’s Place, the wall of which is pictured above, is among the buildings DASH has salvaged.
The green paint still clings to Doc’s brick wall, decades after the last business vacated the premises. The floor and roof of the old store rotted and fell years ago; by the time DASH came along, six-inch-thick magnolia trees grew through the foundation and up the inside walls. But the basic structure was in decent shape, and it was a shame to tear down one of the last old-fashioned store buildings in LaGrange.
So the DASH team and community leaders decided to transform Doc Speer’s Place into a sort of open-air meeting place. The vines still grow up the walls, along with privet hedge saplings nearly 20 feet high, but now they hang over picnic tables and chairs set about the 1,500 s.f. space. It’s a strangely peaceful place to have a bake sale or street fair.
More photos of Doc Speer’s to come, after I post final grades next week.