Steiff Silver Factory Building at Pacific & Keswick

Today’s bike ride found me in a whole bunch of layers–thanks again, wool!–and rolling up the hill to Druid Hill Park for some laps around the reservoir. A lot of the time I want traffic and all the thinking that goes along with it, but I’ve had a long week, and I have a long weekend ahead of me, so I just wanted some mindless circles. I stopped to take a picture at the top of the hill of the old Steiff Silver plant that’s now apartments, I think, and this AVAILABLE sign, though I’m not exactly sure what’s available, though maybe it’s the building itself. As I passed it I thought about a talk by Ruthie Gilmore that I showed my students in class this past week, about how the world we want is the world we need, and how people are making that world. There’s this bit where she talks about how that’s a bridge, and sometimes it’s a roof, or a barrier to keep some people out, a crossing, a gathering spot, a place to say no or a place to say yes–capacities are never fixed. This used to be a factory, but now it’s high end condos, I’m guessing (and I guess this only because I’d love to live right next to the park), but maybe it’s available for something else now. How will we repurpose our infrastructure in times of crisis? Or as Gilmore taught me to ask, what will be our geographical solutions to socioeconomic problems? Will we tear down these places brick by brick til we’ve got gardens again, make them rec centers, police stations, schools, nursing homes, greenhouses, more jails and prisons, or what? I got back on my bike and pedaled along, feeling grateful for the ways Ruthie taught me to pay attention to geographies, and that my bicycle keeps teaching me to pay attention to mine, this one right here in front of me, wherever I happen to ride.

3 thoughts on “Steiff Silver Factory Building at Pacific & Keswick

  1. I learn something everytime I read your blog – which is every day. Fortunately I am old and forget what I learn, so each time it is fresh and new and wondrous.

  2. I love Stieff silver and have sold lots of it through the years. How sad to see the factory like that though repurposing is what it is all about. Still Steiff created such beauty.

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