FORBIDDEN FRUIT, LOW HANGING
Last fall, a Tompkinsville neighbor--an admirer of Walking is Transportation's Vertical Life series, I'm pleased to report--told me he's always wondered where a particular flight of stairs leads. It's clearly visible from Victory Boulevard, just down the hill from Silver Lake Park.
To which I replied, conspiratorially, Me, too.
What made each of us hesitate to investigate further is that the staircase is on private property, church property. Still, the thought tantalized. Just a few big strides from the sidewalk and I'd be there.
Last week, on my first long-ish walk of the season, I put my caution aside and strode confidently onto church property, toward the staircase at the back of a large parking lot.
I tried to look like a parishioner. It didn't come naturally.
What the stairs led me to was this--a macadam parking lot, slathered over what probably was a lawn, some simple perennial beds or even beds of ivy.
The covered-over windows are the perfect accompaniment, completing a setting that manages to be grim and dreary even on a sunny spring day.
Then I walked through the parking lot, unprepared for the part of the building that faces the street.
It's what I believe must have been the original Our Lady of Good Counsel R.C. Church, a small, charming, beautifully sited building with a school building or rectory attached.
But it seems the original complex, located on Austin Place between Victory Boulevard and Chester Place, wasn't big enough in the church's estimation, and so . . .
. . . in the early 1960s, the church replaced its original building with this brick and poured concrete structure on Victory Boulevard between Austin Place and Louis Street.
Some day, it may be obscured by that generous planting of fruit trees lining the property. So far, so good.