Doing a little Internet research before visiting the Washington State capitol building in Olympia, I came across a surprising picture of an old building which seemed so out of the ordinary, I instantly felt like I was thousands of miles away, somewhere in Europe, in Italy perhaps, in a place I've never been before.
It did not take very long to discover that it was an abandoned brewery. Looking at the photos, I was taken with the ghostly beauty, amazed that such can be found so near me (just a few miles down south), and sad that for whatever reason people let this beauty fall apart.
I found a couple of parks near Olympia which were, as my father put it, unexpectedly gorgeous, and we were happily exploring them all day yesterday. The sky was so high and blue, without a single cloud. We brought a bazillion photographs from our little adventure, and I might write about those other places we discovered some time in the future. But my main focus was this abandoned building.
It is actually visible from I-5: if you're coming from Seattle, it will be on your left just before the Tumwater exit. The brewing company was opened in 1896, shortly after this whole territory became a state in 1889, and was in business for over 100 years. I'm sure you beer lovers have heard of Olympia beer.
Olympia Beer Vintage Poster, 1907
Somehow wearing a dress which I found at Goodwill just a couple of days before that, seemed appropriate. Doesn't it have a somewhat Victorian era vibe with its rich texture and deep red color?
I paired it with another Russian platok from my collection (also my parents' gift) - it's the smallest one I have. If you'd like to read more about Russian shawls from Pavlovsky Posad, you may want to check out my old post here. My jewelry is also traditional Russian craft. Both the ring and the earrings are made of melchior. The earrings are hand painted enamel (I have had them and a matching ring for 20 years already), and the ring has emerald crumbs for the rock setting. I bought it over 10 years ago on e-bay. (Update about my ring: the rock is officially called uvarovite and it's of garnet group, as I learned thanks to the beautiful blog from Denmark Highly Irregular Style.)
I spotted the dress in our local Goodwill, really loved the color and texture, but thought that it would probably not look right on me, and hung it back on the rail. A few days later, I was reading a post by Elle of My Daily Costume, admiring the whimsically mixed textures she created in her outfit (read her post Textures Complete an Outfit). Elle is a very artful dresser, with a great eye for detail, and amazing collections of vintage purses, costume jewelry, some of which is created by her; and she is such a genuinely kind, thoughtful and simply gorgeous woman. Both the color and the texture of her coat immediately brought to mind the image of the dress I saw at Goodwill earlier. My only thought was... if only the dress was still there, waiting for me. (I really try to be mature about such things and keep my heart still, thinking that if it's not there, then it's in other good hands.) I jumped off my seat and told Justin that I had to go to Goodwill. "Now!?" - "Yes, now." It was 8:15 pm, the store closes at 9 pm, and it's about 15 minutes' drive. I called on my Mom to keep me company. We arrived, and... the dress was still there! It seemed even prettier than I remembered. You know how sometimes things grow on us. I put it on. And that's how one abandoned beauty was saved.
The beautiful Italianate brick building was built in 1906 (source)
The brewery was closed due to Washington state Prohibition in 1916. Later it got reopened in a new building - when Prohibition was brought to an end in 1933. The beautiful building on the water was too expensive to repair after such long years, but it was still used for storage. In 2003, the Olympia Brewing Company was closed.
The old abandoned brewery today (February 28, 2015)
Photos by Justin
The history of Olympia Brewing Company here.
Linking with gorgeous Judith's Hat Attack
beautiful Sacramento and Rosy's Share-in-Style (free topic). See you there!
Dress - thrifted (Goodwill)
Beanie - Lane Bryant
Boots - Born
Purse - thrifted (antique mall)
Shawl, ring, earrings - traditional craft from Russia