August 5, 2015

Duck Mill Musings


A lot has changed in Lawrence since I started photographing the city’s mills in earnest a few years ago. I’ve had the bittersweet pleasure of photographing many locations or businesses that have been razed, relocated, or renovated. As well as a couple, like the Stone Mill, that are in a perpetual state of preservation. Three cheers for, historic preservation!

While I absolutely love photographing the remnants of Lawrence’s industrial past, I fully recognize the value to repurposing these glorious spaces. And one of those spaces in dire need of renovation is the Duck Mill.

The Duck Mill sits on Lawrence’s North Canal. I’ve photographed it several times. Once with my friend Brian Matiash back in 2010. The other two times with my friend and partner in the Mills Workshops, Steven Perlmutter.

We fully knew the property’s destiny — It was slated for residential or commercial property. We knew it was a blessing. The building is structurally solid, but in terrible disrepair. It badly needs a makeover.

So I should have been prepared when Steven forwarded an article to me a couple of weeks ago about the immenant construction at the Duck Mill. But I wasn’t. I was sad. So was Steve. We both desperately wanted to shoot the Duck Mill again.

We reached out to the building’s ownership group and got their blessing. After meeting with the constriction supervisor yesterday morning, Steven and I explored and photographed the Duck Mill again, but with a renewed sense of urgency. Within a few short months this building will be completely transformed into beautiful residential and commercial space, further elevating the profile of the revitalized North Canal District.

Here is a shot of Steven doing what he does.

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