Looking Back at Faber's Bicycles

Over the weekend I dug through my files, looking back at the time I spent photographing Faber's Bicycles. In my ongoing photography project, I try to document life and the things I see perched on the edge of forgotten suburban dreams, overlooked by the communities where these places and people live. I have seen countless landmarks disappear and replaced by unimaginative strip malls, plastic signs, and housing developments. I try to not let it effect me, but it's difficult when I spend so much time visiting and documenting these places, knowing each year less of them will be around. If you share my passion for history and architecture, please consider joining one of the organizations below: 

Preservation Action Counsel of San Jose

California Pioneers of Santa Clara County

Society for Commercial Archeology 

If you're interested in donating money to save the Faber's Bicycles building a campaing has been started on Fundly


Faber's Bicycles Lost to Fire

Late in the night while editing through some recent work, I found out that the former Faber's Bicycles Shop, the iconic and historic building on First Street in San Jose, was engulfed in a 3 alarm fire. I snatched up my camera bag and jumped in my car hoping to find some piece of the structure still left. While I drove over I couldn't help but think that yet another piece of San Jose history, reduced to nothing more than a real estate deal, had been mysteriously lost to a fire. I made a list in my head while waiting at a red light of every building that I've seen burn down, but decided to not think about it.

When I arrived, the fire was out and the building slumped awkwardly on the corner, smoke drifting from every opening. I took what photos I could, staying out of the way of the fire and police, sharing my disbelief with the group gathered across the street, the whole time thinking about all the photos I had taken of the building over the years, all the photos I still wanted to take, all the memories, all the potential the building had and what the building meant to the neighborhood, what it could become.

It's now 3:00 am. My clothes reek of smoke, and I have to be at work in a just a few hours, but I wanted to get just one shot up of another icon lost, so here it is:

This weekend, I'm going to dig through my archives and unedited images to pull up some of the photos I've taken over the years to share. Stay tuned