Over at my other blog, The Backside of America, I chronicle the hidden elements of our world, from run-down mills and abandoned factories, to ghost signs, shuttered movie theaters and forgotten quarries. Of late, I've been consumed with putting together as full a picture of possible of the backside of my adopted hometown, Newton, Mass.
I spend a LOT of time poring over old atlases and maps on the City of Newton web site and conducting online searches to try and figure out what the 13 neighborhoods of Newton looked like a hundred years ago. I'm trying to ascertain which buildings from the early 20th century are still around, and how their uses have changed. I also want to know what buildings are long gone, and what's in their place now.
I also peruse Google Maps, as I look up addresses from old atlases and see where they are so I can take pictures. While looking at online maps today as part of an ongoing process to learn about an abandoned house in Newton's tony Chestnut Hill section, I came across this image on Google:
I'm used to seeing people walking their dogs on Google Maps, or just strutting along, but this image stopped me in my tracks. This property is a convent owned by the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth. I'm not religious in the least, but I'll take this as a sign that an answer will come soon about the nearby abandoned property....