Thursday, January 26, 2012


by Drew Martin
Basements are scary places. It is where gangs of spiders hang out. In films, they are equated with unspeakable perversions - dungeons of death. When I hear about people like the Austrian man who raised an incestuous family with his kept daughter in his basement unbeknownst to his wife upstairs I am horrified but also curious about the actual space. Do they not have periodic house inspections for tax and code purposes? I have a reoccurring dream that underneath my house is an endless cavern or multiple levels of an underground structure. No one is ever in these spaces but me, alone, exploring. I have an interesting house. It is a bit of a shack that was built 130 years ago so there is an old, stone foundation, which has a couple newer crawl spaces with cinder-block foundations. The walls were falling apart last year so I spent six months rebuilding them with stone and more than 2,000 pounds of concrete, which I mixed by hand. One of the walls had a hole that went into the adjoining crawl space. I dug into it deep enough to get in and store things but I originally had ambitions to turn it into a gallery or speak-easy. Pictured here is an arch and "secret" door I made for the hole.