Maxxon Mills, Wassaic, New York, © Steven Willard, 2013
I have always liked old buildings, and I especially like buildings like this; strong, simple design that is based solely on its function, in this case a grain elevator. Starkly graphic, with no need for ornament or adornment on the outside with soaring spaces on the inside, its seven stories are hard to ignore in the small town of Wassaic just south of Amenia, New York on Route 22.
Maxxon Mills was incorporated in 1899 as a producer of animal feed but was virtually abandoned by the time the rail line was discontinued in the 1970s. The building, abandoned and decaying was nearly torn down but was saved when it was added to the New York State Register of Historic Places in 2005. The property remained unusable until it was purchased by Anthony Zunio and his partner Richard Berry who began work to renovate the building. Aided by historical photographs reference the integrity of the building’s design was maintained providing unique exhibition spaces.
Since 2008 it has been the site of the Wassaic Project, a co-operative art project that includes art, dance, film and photography. Last year it drew more than 4000 visitors and seems prepared to grow larger this year. This year the annual Summer Exhibition Preview Party on the porch is scheduled for June 15. For more information about the Wassaic Project and their schedule check the web site http://wassaicproject.org/.
Pentax K10D with 35mm f2.8 macro lens, converted to black and white in Photoshop CS4.