Broken

It’s time for another look at Alviso, a historic San Francisco Bay Area town. It’s a small community of about 2000 residents and has a mix of time-worn and well-kept vintage homes, authentic Mexican restaurants, decaying abandoned factories, and long-gone businesses. Silicon Valley development goes on around the town but not much in it. Despite its worn appearance, the unchanged character of Alviso draws me back time after time.

A missing door at the Bayside Canning Company.

Earlier this year, I posted a story about the Bayside Canning Company you can read about here. In that post, Bayside Canning Company Blues, I had focused on the street-front wooden structure of the cannery. On this visit, I explored the exterior of the dilapidated warehouse and backside of the cannery from a safe distance behind a chainlink fence.

Time has taken a toll on the cannery which closed its doors in 1936. What’s left today is the shell of the warehouse, missing and broken doors, a collapsed roof on the wooden structure, and signs that nature has taken root in the empty spaces. Yet, I see beauty in the soft golden colors that cover the cement structure, in the geometric shapes that take center stage in the hollow space, and in the soft brown patina of the wood siding. Wouldn’t you agree? Or, do you scratch your head and wonder, what’s up with beauty in decay?

Alviso 21L
Roof slowly collapsing at the Bayside Canning Company.

Just down the street from the cannery sits an abandoned houseboat rooted to dry land. While still intact, the boat is showing signs of stress with cracking, peeling, and yellow discoloration of the wood siding and railings. The soft orange-colored door with the stained glass feature, on the other hand, seems to be still holding up. With Alviso located about 13 feet below sea level, it wouldn’t take much flooding during the winter rainy season for this houseboat to be back in the water and I’m not sure it would still float.

I’ll be back to Alviso in the near future to explore more of this historic town in the South Bay.

Inspiration: Thursday Doors.