How Many Years Can A Building Exist…

There are multiple predictions about the future of the Earth after the humans are no longer populating it; scientists, writers, movie directors are guessing how long it will be before the Planet erases all the traces of our existence. These predictions are not very hard to make: there are multiple examples of abandoned and lost cities from the ancient times and not so ancient like Chernobyl.

And then there is former Benchmark Express Furniture store in Olathe, KS – a slowly deteriorating reminder of a failed business I drive by several times a day. The store closed around 4 years ago, when the economy was still doing fine and people still were spending the money they didn’t yet know they didn’t have. Recently one of the large signs fell down and I thought it was a good time to stop by and take a few photos.
Apparently the letter X is the first to go:

This sign crashed a month or two ago:

No one backed up to the loading dock for a long time:

Concrete is slowly converting back to its original ingredients:

Customers are long gone…

…and trespassers are not welcome:

Grass is growing on the parking lot:

This sign may last a year or two before it falls:

Formerly grand facade is sprouting cracks:

Even the parking lot signs are tired of standing idle:

Wind is blowing through the banner:

Soon after the final sale was over with and the store was closed for good, the developers promptly constructed more retail space across the street.