Today I visited two old buildings downtown. One has a beautiful 3rd floor that used to be a ballroom with massive windows that overlook the fountain square of downtown. It has been vacant for probably over 25 years.

The second is the oldest building in downtown, constructed around 1836. It is currently being renovated, which is awesome.

I am amazed at the potential of these downtown buildings and the incredible value they hold that seems to go untapped, which I’m sure is like many old downtown’s of small southern towns.

There’s a building downtown that apparently was a skating rink, and it’s on the third floor! But it is also vacant.

I know I have a great deal of naivety about a subject like this, but it’s hard to restrain my imagination at what an incredible added value even these two buildings would be to such a small downtown. Think of having a beautiful banquet or wedding reception with 15′ tall windows pouring in soft light on the third floor overlooking the downtown fountain. Meanwhile, straight across the square there’s a roller derby event going on 20′ above the ground in another restored building.

As pie-in-the-sky as that dream may be, that would be incredibly unique that could not be replicated in our current linear way of building and expanding towns. I applaud people like Mayor Elaine Walker who strive to preserve and restore charming downtowns like the one Bowling Green is so lucky to have.

The back side of the door peep hole. This thing is awesome, press the latch at the top and the wood slides down. I can imagine this would be useful during private parties back in the day.

The front of the peep hole door.

The old ballroom with massive windows overlooking fountain square downtown.

Some timber framing in the attic of the oldest house in downtown

A true craftsman, preserving and restoring the windows in the oldest building.

See the 4 notches in the wood? That was because in 1837 each window was custom made. This is window #4 in the room (hence 4 notches).

Antique Water Heater

Have you ever seen a water heater like this? I'm sure this was an incredible luxury at the time when it was first installed. You can see the burner at the bottom that heats up the water in the coils.

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