Halfway through the room, the floor drops out. The gaping holes in the brick walls create accidental doors. There’s no glass in the windows. And no ceiling. There’s ash in the fireplace, but likely not from a relaxing night in front of the flames. The building burned twice.
Hotel Mudlavia, once a high-end spa enticing the likes of famous boxer John L. Sullivan and writer James Whitcomb Riley, is now a pile of rubble off an Indiana country road. It’s just one of the many buildings across the Midwest that, after decades of serving locals and travelers alike, have been turned over to the elements. From the mills that created Minneapolis to the biggest brewery in Iowa, many of the buildings that shaped the Midwest have been abandoned for decades. Some are left that way. Others are being rebuilt and their history restored.