Buildings in the 20th century were built on visions of the future. Now that the future is here, many buildings sit abandoned with scrub and overgrowth threatening to overtake the rusting behemoths. The buildings were commissioned in a fanfare of progress, but when it ended, the owners pulled out. Inspired by the painting by Paul Klee, German-Jewish thinker Walter Benjamin described his vision of the Angel of History: “His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe that keeps piling ruin upon ruin and hurls it in front of his feet. … The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.”

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