The red building next to the “R.E.M. Steeple” caught fire sometime early this morning, according to the Athens Banner Herald. The fire is currently under investigation but a call about it was placed around 3:30 a.m.
Those who have been around long enough probably know the building as the old print shop. You could look out from the Steeplechase apartments and see it sitting out there, looking all mysterious and worn out. Once upon a time, it had some apartments in it as well, if memory serves.
And yeah, many of us have gone inside that building to poke around a bit. Something about an abandoned building with an open door invites a visit, no?
The steeple was not harmed at all but this fire is a sobering reminder of how little time is left to protect and preserve buildings around town. All it takes is a small fire to burn down a lot of memories.