Blog Update: Sunday February 9, 2020

Abandoned Columbus Ohio Highway

On a particularly dreadful hot and muggy summer night, I found myself wandering the city streets of Columbus Ohio, a recovered rustbelt metropolis best recognized as both the state capital and most populous city within the state. Although, I understand, Columbus is perhaps more renowned for some State University campus and football team. Fortunately, football does little to excite my mind...

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Update: Sunday November 24, 2019

West Philadelphia High School

Located within the tiny neighborhood of Walnut Hill which can be found in the far larger West Philadelphia section nestled inside The City of Brotherly Love, a former high school with historical roots dating back to 1912 remains standing to this day. However, the bygone school is now better known as West Lofts, a private residential housing complex, incorporating many of old West Philly High's architectural pleasantries into the complex's current amenities. Prior to the building being restored into its current day living space, the school served for one year shy of a century as a massive secondary public school for the City of Philadelphia's boys and girls. Originally constructed during the days of single-sex education, the massive high school is really two schools within one large brick building, having been split up for separate male and female learning spaces. As the United States progressed toward more integrated education curriculums, the school found itself with a plethora of unused space as-well-as haunted by dwindling enrollment count. "Where Every Student Thrives!" rang the motto of WPHS, and while such a slogan ran true, the physical school building itself seemed to be neglected from the mantra, and in 2011, WPHS closed and all classes were soon transferred to a more modern structure operating under the same West Philly High name. I was sneaky enough many years back to have been able to take a look inside WPHS before it was renovated. This high school was among one of the largest schools I ever had explored to date, and was absolutely full of all sorts of supplies and surprises inside. It's neat to now know much of the original building has since been restored into apartments, thus dodging the wrecking ball swinging from the machines of progress.

Update: Monday September 30, 2019

Cherryville Inn

Perched within the overgrown crotch of two busy intersecting Lehigh Valley county roads, a centuries old inn rots. Dating back to perhaps as early as 1767 the Cherryville Inn of Lehigh Township, Pennsylvania, remains forgotten and dilapidated, decaying away within an overgrown lot worth more as a parcel of real-estate than historical value. The inn served many functions over its two-hundred plus years in existence, from a bar, then restaurant, and finally even an art studio where one could purchase elaborately decorated and painted eggs. However, in recent years the Cherryville Inn has transformed from art into eyesore. Vines snake their way up the cobblestone-like facade reaching their way up to a trio of collapsing dormers which let in the natural elements as the only remaining guests. The wrap-around deck out front remains on the verge of collapse and faded wooden boards defend broken windows. However, as of the Summer of 2019, I received word that the Cherryville Inn is no more, demolished in order to widen the intersection it once occupied, its footprint redeveloped to make room for a new turning lane as-well-as convenience store. While there was not all that much to explore within the inn, I had figured because of its long seeded history the structure would be immortal. Yet progress proved me wrong indeed, thus in retrospect I am glad I took an hour or so to photograph the remnants of the Old Cherryville Inn before it was wiped off this planet to better the flow of traffic for all.

Blog Update: Friday May 3, 2019

Grandpa's House

"Mommy, where's Grandpa?" "Oh Jake, hunny, Grandpa is no longer with us." "But Mommy, what do you mean, is Grandpa sleeping again, he's been asleep way too long, maybe I can wake him up, will he sleep forever?" "I'm afraid so Jake. Remember when everyone in the family got together the other week, remember, we had that party, well that was to celebrate Grandpa and all of the things he did for us and for you over his life...

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Update: Sunday March 3, 2019

Westborough State Hospital

Situated along the northern shore of Chauncy Lake in Westborough Massachusetts, a commingled mess of vacant red brick buildings rot within various stages of decay. A rough chain link fence sagging with depression and riddled with holes like a slice of Swiss encapsulates the abandoned structures; a mere legal obstacle at best keeping at bay the incurious. Outside, a white security vehicle makes a quick pass by following the rutted asphalt road, the single orange blinking safety light adorning the roof alerting even the most inept of security's presence. The car soon rounds the corner, its driver returning to his shanty no doubt to catch a snooze before shift change, thus presenting the perfect opportunity to sneak into the 1887 dated asylum buildings, better known as Westborough State Hospital. Rather than adhering to the more traditional Kirkbride or cottage style institutional plans, Westborough exists as a hodgepodge of deteriorating brick facades all interconnected by a labyrinth of ancient steam tunnels and frail wooden corridors seeming to almost exist as a set for a cliche horror film. Inside, the hallways and collapsing wards reek with age; 100-plus years of time has taken its toll on the former asylum, which is slowly collapsing back into the ground from which it was sowed. In current days, a murder of excavators and bulldozers smash away at the red brick, forever erasing the history of what happened here.

Gallery Update: Monday February 4, 2019

Essex County Isolation Hospital

A small gallery update including a handful of pictures taken from a rooftop adventure years ago atop the shuttered Essex County Isolation Hospital. At the time of this exploration I had no idea that it would be my last, thus I only managed to capture pictures of the view from on top of the roof. Sneaking into the old isolation hospital used to take a bit of skill, as half the building was still being used by a cancer research facility and so a large portion of the building could not easily be explored, if at all. However, after the cancer research center unexpectedly closed, the building was left 100% vacant. Unsecured and unwatched, it became relatively easy to find a busted window or blasted open door to just waltz in through. But with the ease of access and close-by, on street parking, also came the deluge of local kids and multifarious riff-raff exhibiting various degrees of idiocracy. The large imposing main brick building rising up like a skyscraper became quite the illicit attraction. As the popularity and allure surrounding this modern ruin increased so to did the negative press and police patrols. Eventually it became too difficult to risk dashing across the expansive front lawn just to explore a relatively unimpressive building, sans its mere size. However, I do have very fond memories of hanging out on the roof top watching the summer sun set and attempting to boat the massive flooded steam tunnels within a plastic turtle sandbox. Today the building is in the process of being restored into residential space; although a quick trolling of the Instagram proves that children are still sneaking in.

Update: Tuesday December 4, 2018

Embassy Theatre

About forty-five minutes north west of New York City, situated within the small yet densely populated village of Port Chester, New York, although more closely representing a Connecticut town due to its bordering proximity to the Constitution State, the Embassy Theatre currently rots. Its construction can be traced back all the way to 1926, the theaters opening year. With a seating capacity of just one more body over 1,590 the interior of the auditorium was certainly no small space. The large centerpiece chandelier within the theater still remains adorned with its numerous lightbulbs and electric fixtures, however it now appears to be hung from a mess of cobwebs which strangle and completely obscure the massive support chain connected the the high valued ceiling above. The Embassy Theatre was originally constructed for the showing of vaudeville, but with the passing of decades and the changing of the times the space evolved to become that of a movie theater and finally a dance club in 1986. That same year the theater was shuttered for good and has remained vacant ever since. Time has taken its toll on the old theater for the decorative plaster has begun to crack and wither away as the red stage drapes absorb the surrounding decay. The 1,591 seats within the theater have long been removed creating a dark cavernous space, alive with the sounds of echoes of anyone who dares enter the forbidden troupe.

Update: Sunday September 23, 2018

Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital

Situated upon a 594 acre plot of rural land within Marlboro Township, New Jersey, Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital opened its doors for "care" in 1931 as a classic Tudor designed, cottage plan institution. However, I use the word "care" loosely for within years of the hospital opening it quickly became overcrowded with patients and with such overpopulation the condition of the hospital as well as the quality of help the patients received quickly deteriorated. Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital is perhaps best remembered for the 1993 investigation initiated by then State Senator Richard J. Codey concerning allegations of rampant greed, corruption, squandering of taxpayer money, and patient abuse crippling the institution. In classic New Jersey fashion all of these allegations were proven to be true and Marlboro was ultimately shuttered in 1998 at which point it remained abandoned for nearly twenty years to follow with demolition of the ruinous buildings commencing in 2015. People often tend to focus on the stories of various suicides and murders that occurred during Marlboro's tenure as an operating hospital. While most of these descriptions hold truth and can be interesting, I think the real damming shame of Marlboro was the flagrant corruption that seemed to be embraced by all of the institution's employees. Corruption and greed seemed to be the underling theme at Marlboro, with everyone from janitors to highly paid doctors partaking in the extortion. Marlboro was a place where not only patients but money went to be wasted. Tax money being poured into the hospital was rarely used as intended and the patients suffered while others made financial gains from it. This type of self righteous, egotistical, greedy behavior is all to stereotypical of New Jersey State Government to this date. While the Marlboro wave of corruption was busted early on, the greed has not disappeared from government by any means, instead it has just moved on to infiltrate new opportunities. Pay on taxpayers, pay on.