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The Arcade Building
Interior - Tenant Floors

The desolation continued as we climbed further. Floor after floor offered ruined tenant spaces: jewelers, doctors' offices, office space, a printing company. The jewelers were especially common.

All were filled with peeling paint (a great deal of it in shades of lime green -- must've been a sale some time after the War), falling suspended track, half-hanging light fixtures, broken glass, smashed partitions. Furniture was long gone; partitions were falling apart. Soggy ceiling tiles covered many floors, a few with moss or plants growing out of them. Mostly the rooms were full of rubble: broken plaster and lath, falling light fixtures from post-War remodellings, paint flecks, broken radiators, unidenifiable rubble. Some of the bay windows have lost their massive panes of glass and stand open to the elements; the walls around them are often stripped down to bare brick.

We discovered the hulks of several defunct typesetting machines in one of the larger spaces, a former printing operation apparently known as Law Publishing, along with numerous scattered legal documents from the late 1970s. Large gears and other massive spare parts were scattered about in decomposing boxes and on the floor. Printing fans have identified the typesetting machines as "Linotype Comets"; these contraptions used molten metal to cast the type used by printing presses.

Adding machines and a lonely 1920s-style wood office chair populated another office, along with a posted notice that part of the suite was a "factory".

Our host noted that interior demolition alone was expected to take six months. A few places have had some marginal cleanup work done. Taped notes and hanging extension cords bring direction and power up the stairwells.

The view into the conjoined buildings' light wells was sobering; they were filled with moss, bricks and debris. Most will require complete roof reconstruction.

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