If these old stairs could talk, what do you think they would say?

Other than, “Why did you take the roof off the house?”

This image was taken at a site where a 17th century home is being disassembled by hand. The core construction appeared to be post and tenon style. The house is being taken apart piece by piece so it can be reconstructed at another site on a modern, new foundation. The foundation here was sagging under centuries of use, and could not be easily updated.

I’m happy with the photo, though perhaps a higher aperture would have made for less bokeh, and in this case, sharper focus on both the stairs and the rails.


  1. Karen says:

    Just imagine all the stories those stairs could tell ;) It’s such a shame that old houses have to be taken down due to neglect etc.
    Karen recently posted How To Customize The URL Shortener and Set Tweet Times On Dlvr It

    • James Lee says:

      I guess the silver lining is that this house, at least, is being reconstructed from its original pieces in a new location. Better than the bulldozer…

  2. Chelsea @ Down or Just Me says:

    I love this shot! I kind of enjoy the vintage feeling that they offer. I get sick of the “new” look that dominates modern architecture.

  3. Roger @ sell used books says:

    I love the photo, I might have tried doing a few over exposure shots to see how that would shape up. I have always loved taking photos of old things no matter what they are. and with Growing up in Richmond Virginia there is no lack of old structures to take pictures of.

    • James Lee says:

      I’m with you. I would have happily spent an hour shooting this house, but the owner was nervous about me being there. After graciously agreeing to let me enter the death-trap of a home, he stood watching me do my thing with obvious discomfort, so I squeezed off a few quick shots and moved along.

  4. Nina says:

    Amazing photo, great job and thank you for sharing !!


  5. Sara @ Walking Tours Rome says:

    It’s funny that you ask what the stairs could say if they could talk, because I often find myself wondering that about old buildings or even vintage clothes. I think these stairs would talk about their favorite feet to ever walk up them – maybe a barefooted child or a cat, something that wouldn’t step too hard. ;)

  6. I bet these stairs got a bunch of stories to tell. It could be about nice dinner conversations, crazy parties, and even a spooky urban legend.

  7. These stairs are possibly stairs to haven! =P

  8. Sophie says:

    If you tweaked the colors a bit it would look like blood was running down the stairs

  9. Nice shot! What lens did you use? I wonder how it would look at 16mm?!

    • James Lee says:

      Nathan, I wish I had a nice wide angle lens – but 28 is as far down as I go with my current arsenal of glass, and I’ll be buying lighting well before I purchase another lens.

  10. I don’t really know what I think these stairs would say, but I bet they’d have a raspy voice since they’re so old. Maybe they were a smoker?

  11. June @ Therapist New York says:

    I see what you’re saying about how the picture could have had sharper focus, but it still looks great. Kind of eerily beautiful, like a ghost is about to float up the stairs.

  12. Matt Clarke @ Funny Movie Quotes says:

    What a great shot. It says so many things with the strong lines and distinct shades. There is something serene and peaceful about the decay of the stairs. As if the house has been empty and quiet for a long time. A lovely piece of art. Thanks for sharing!

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