Walking past old buildings in Denver I hear whispered voices speaking all at once; trading cattle and dust, mourning lost babes and loves, planning a future for the irreverent, energetic young Denver.
Beside the voices ghost doors bang and creak. Ghost children pound muddy boots on stairs, pencil marks climb door jams like growth rings. Private, quiet, secret walls now share their scars where headboards rubbed, vanished staircases etch zigzag signatures on remnants of walls pocked with fist holes, peep holes, bullet holes.
The only completely silent building I knew was called the “Trucker’s Terminal.” It stood against Denver’s bright, windy sky – a pop-up rectangle that was its own tombstone. Quiet and pale, most folks didn’t even recognize it existed at all, until it didn’t… until its absence let a little more light onto Wazee Street for a few months… until the next monolith arose – a new baseball field was planned.
One Wednesday a demolition rig appeared. Belching and roaring it attacked The Terminal. With each huge swing of the wrecking ball a tiny chip of concrete fell onto the weed-webbed patch of pavement below. Rebar sprang from the wounds in silent, incomplete sentences.
To compensate, explosives were arranged and a celebration planned. History was to be made. At dawn, people filled fields and parking lots surrounding The Terminal. Tables went up. Silver coffee urns and trays of muffins kept the watchers busy for a time.
Late morning arrived and a rumor ringed the crowd, becoming truth; there would be no implosion that day. Refusing spectacle, The Terminal was choosing a more intimate passing.
The eventual destruction was attended by only a few small clusters of admirers. Afterward, as gigantic dust clouds rolled eastward in the implosion’s aftermath, watchers shouted, triumphant. The Terminal’s upper half stood intact, defiant, silent.
– Sharon Feder, sfeder.com