THE SUNKEN LIBRARY
This small library in New Orleans still shows ample traces of being flooded by Katrina. Even now, the books on the bottom shelves continue to cling to each other from the damp, their pages coated with mold. The moisture has also affected the books above the water line, resulting in fascinatingly decaying cover boards and spines, revealing fragile layers of disintegrating fabrics and old newspaper backings. It's a shame that no one salvaged them. Among the mildewed finds were an ornate bible from 1849, a set of gorgeously illustrated scientific treatises from 1838, a French book with smudged annotations from 1841, and other rare treasures.
With its rampant fungus and partly collapsing floors, there's no chance that this library will ever be restored, but some of the books have been saved and may be exhibited down the road. They're quite lovely and unusual showpieces for the beauty that can be inherent in decay.
All images © Julia Solis