Silenced Livestock

Image of the Day – Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Inside the Brown Stockyard in Baton Rouge

Inside the Brown Stockyard in Baton Rouge

Last Friday I passed an old building on Airline Highway in Baton Rouge and the structure caught my eye enough to cause me to make a u-turn and go back to the building. Located in a blighted area of town where there’s the potential for danger around any dark corner or blind turn I parked near the front of the abandoned Brown Stockyard building. With parts of its tin roof peeled back and windows broken the building showed the wear and tear of abandonment, abuse and the ravages of surviving Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav in the past four years. Brown Stockyard is old, outdated, heavily damaged and abandoned and it looks every bit the part.

I know I’ve passed the building literally hundreds of times and I can’t say I’d ever noticed the nondescript building. At first I had no intentions of entering the stock areas of the yard but found myself doing so almost right away. With a flooring of slimy mud and the fermented stench of untold tons of manure and littered with trash of every sort the maze of stalls and broken timbers exposed in places to the elements through the partially destroyed roof created a most eerie environment. Being fond of urban and street photography I feel as though I have a pretty good sense of street smarts and awareness but this place gave me the creeps even in broad daylight at mid-afternoon.

I stepped carefully as the thought of used hypodermic needles laying exposed on the ground passed through my mind. I didn’t wander far into the sprawling complex but did notice the scene you see today. It was the only part of the stock area that seemed to provide anything that was of photographic value as far as composition goes. I almost didn’t post this picture but a few people have commented on the clutter leading out to the sunlight was interesting so this image from a strange somewhat scary place makes the cut for today’s image of the day.

Though I didn’t stay long as there were sporadic rain showers mixed with sunshine this day I can’t help but feel the urge to return one day and get more shots of this odd place. If or when I do return it may well be the first time I’ve gone to shoot something and make sure I’m armed when I go!

~ by rfoxx on August 25, 2009.

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