Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain, Columbia Heights, Washington DC – 2021

Perhaps the allure of decay is its reminder of transience. Perhaps it stirs in us the feeling that we are among the last who will see a thing before it vanishes forever. Perhaps the appeal has nothing to do with aesthetics and everything to do with a sense of loss, or a feeling of privilege at seeing a creation in its final hours — the luck of having gotten in just under the wire.

Located on the roofline of a diplomatic outpost that is otherwise in fine condition, the sheet metal cresting above isn’t actually going anywhere. Sooner or later it will get taken down, sanded, cleaned, primed, painted and reinstalled. But the allure yet remains. This rusty strip of ornament rivets the eye in a way that the rest of the handsome and pristine limestone building can’t quite match.