Czech Culture & Adaptation

The house that crackles

March 2, 2012
Crack in wall covered over by coat of paint

Finding character in aging

Watching your house crack after having just newly constructed it a few years ago wasn’t a sight I’d expected to witness, or appreciate. To me, the site of crumbling stucco and peeling paint belonged to a category of decrepit, rundown buildings that intrigue me from a safe distance. While the perfectly redone pastel row houses bordering Old Town square have added to Prague’s reputation as a city of architectural beauty, it is the other half, the crumbling, past-their-prime, half-falling-down structures that usually catch my eye. These masterpieces have character. In various stages of disrepair, they represent history, loaded with personality and a charm of their own. An artist’s dream, I suppose. Apart from the need for renovation funds, there is something compellingly intimate about peeling and cracking, as if someone had forgotten to draw the shades before turning on the lights when dusk fell.

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