Railroad Alley is actually 2 different alleyways, one north and the other south. It's the northern one that has more access to it, more daily use. The southern one has many areas that are blocked off or are now private areas. That's OK, there is still plenty of territory to cover. With the exception of one block, the portion between Howard and Wall Streets, one has a straight walk from Washington St westward to Adams St.
Along that path, you'll find bits of our mining and logging history in the form of offices and building that formerly housed those offices, stylish new condos and lofts, modernly renovated offices and ones that look as if they're still from the early part of the previous century. You'll also find countless portals that go between the open alleyway and the inside of the buildings
Many of the doors and windows have been replaced yet many seem to be the originals from their era. Many others have been covered in one way or another. Where the paint is chipping, you can see the numerous layers and the different colors attempted over the many years. On the bare brick, the scars of graffiti and its removal ... and RE-vandalism show. How many taggers have "owned" part of the alley at one point or another?
This isn't some quiet back alley, though. It's an active thoroughfare for folks getting from the street to the business to make deliveries and for the many tenants that make their homes in the cool lofts and condos that dot the path.
Every color and texture imaginable is on the walls. Brick, wood, stucco, concrete all have their space in this gallery. Though the newer designs are present, the bulk of the doors and windows harken to older days. There doesn't seem much point in replacing the old ones with newer designs. They're still quite functional and have lasted this long. Thank goodness because, like many things from past eras, they're much more interesting to look at than a solid collection of new steel and glass.
Go on! Go take a walk and what you can see!