Fire on Ice / Ice on Fire…

Haunting Beauty of Chicago’s Freezing Fire

On the night of January 22nd 2013, a huge vacant warehouse on Chicago’s South Side went up in flames. Fire department officials said it was the biggest blaze the department has had to battle in years and one-third of all Chicago firefighters were on the scene at one point or another trying to put out the flames. Complicating the scene was the weather – temperatures were well below freezing and the spray from the fire hoses encased everything below in ice, including buildings, vehicles, and some firefighting gear. The warehouse was gutted, but the fire was contained. The following hauntingly beautiful images show that nature is the best artist.The empty warehouse, surrounding tools, machinery, and vehicles enshrouded in a thick layer of artfully sculpted ice all look like scenes from a fairy tale that only exists on the pages of a book or our imagination. Chicago-Warehouse-Fire-Icey-1 I ce on fire Ice on fire 2 Ice on fire 3 JohnGressReuters2-640x436 tumblr_mh5e0nr6dG1r6q94do4_500 800_ufvbvxbuja8b71mrasqi6afgmohu09pk 1682379-inline-slide-2-chicago-ice-fire Burning-Warehouse-Icey-Chicago-4 Burning-Warehouse-Icey-Chicago-6-Olson-Getty-Images c08_RTR3CUQY c12_RTR3CUQE c14_RTR3CUMT
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Haunting Beauty of Abandoned Buildings

Matthias Haker’s ‘Decay’ series chooses to focus on the rare beauty of decrepit spaces. The German born photographer is a media computer science student who began taking pictures in 2008. He has since developed an expansive portfolio with images of landscapes, weddings, people, urban activity and architecture.

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Peeling, rusted ceilings and chipped floors laden with sawdust prove to be quite alluring. The abandoned scenes were once occupied by families, health practices and students, evidenced by the moldy cribs and dental chairs.

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While the rooms have long since been used, they have still managed to retain their charm. The Decay project proves that there is relevancy in even the most neglected of buildings, seen here in the magnificent colors, winding staircases, record players and collectible vintage furniture.

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While these dilapidated spaces bring on a sense of melancholy in the viewer, Haker’s pictures have also brought out their haunting beauty—despite the peeling paint and debris-strewn floors, the former grandeur of these buildings remains very evident.

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Many of these abandoned sites feature magnificent details like beautifully painted walls, ornate stairways and embellished domed ceilings—it makes one wonder why they were forsaken in the first place.

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