This morning Johnny and I decided to go for a tour of East McKinney. Just across McDonald street there is an eclectic industrial area full of history, colors & creativity. Everything an artist could possibly dream of!
Our first stop was the Cotton Mill where Darla, the facility manager, welcomed us before giving us a great tour of the building. I was absolutely amazed by so much beauty. The natural light pouring in from those huge and often fragmented windows was just perfect. I could have sat there all day and just meditated. Sadly, this is something I’ve not managed to do in 3 years, since my children were born. And the wait goes on!
A great deal of work has been put into renovating this once important Texas Textile Mill which, in 1960, was the largest denim mill in the world and whose success played a major role in the McKinney we see today. An amazing overview of the History of the Cotton Mill is available to read on their website (mckinneycottonmill.com). I just read it to Lucy as a bed time story (which she loved) as I’m tired of reading her fairy tails every night. The author, Steven J. Lackie, did a wonderful job explaining how this facility went from periods of prosperity to extreme hard times after the tornado damage of 1948. Even then the community showed a very strong connection and sensitivity to try to get the town back to its feet.
The Cotton Mill is available for various events including weddings, receptions and photo shoots and has available spaces for lease. The surrounding outdoor area is as interesting as the indoor and an amazing background for photography.
We left the Cotton Mill very excited and extremely recharged by such a dose of creativity. Johnny modeled for a 3 second shoot before we took off to the next destination.
We drove down the train railway, into the industrial area. Watching every day activity from the eye of a child makes everything look so much more interesting and fun.
The Flour Mill, another great destination, is also still active and we were able to witness it at its best.
This area of town also houses little vintage store gems, usually busier on the week-ends and offers a larger outdoor flea market during the same week-end of “Third Monday Trades Day”.
There are some fascinating, seemingly ready to collapse edifices in this part of McKinney. Constructions that were once successful businesses and are a major part of the History of this community, now create the perfect stage for my photos and stories. I’m excited and curious to know what the city and the developers have in mind about this obviously blooming part of town where history meets creativity.
More photos are available on the blog’s instagram account @onthesquareblog.
We had a good day, Johnny and I.