Posts Tagged ‘Urban Exploration’

Unnamed research facility

i would love to tell the story behind this place but doing so would reveal its location. its a nice find and although there is some graffiti its pretty untouched and I wanna keep it that way. Plus its highly visible and highly illegal. All ill say is that it used to be a farm and later became a research lab.

all the Flickr pictures

Williams Grove Amusement Park

Williams Grove Amusement Park is located in Mechanicsburg, PA, right down the road from the Williams Grove Speedway and the Williams Grove Steam Engine Association. The Williams family began hosting picnics here in 1850, eventually becoming the Mechanicsburg Fairgrounds. The first rides were built in 1928 and the Speedway opened in 1938.

The biggest change came in 1972 when the park was purchased for 1.2M and many rides were imported from the defunct Palisades Amusement Park which closed that year (the year after I was born!) The park continued entertaining locals thru the 80s when a steel roller coaster was built, and received various face lifts and changes in rides as many parks do. By 2005 attendance was dropping and the owners decided to invest in the speedway instead. The park closed in 2005 and there have been various attempts to sell the property since then with no luck. All the rides except the Cyclone roller coaster were sold off. The Cyclone was built in 1933 and was considered ground breaking for its day with a 60 foot drop and top speeds of 45 MPH. Now the coaster is overgrown with vegetations, and is in a state of decay. The grounds are still maintained and in good condition though most of the buildings are not in very good shape are 10 years of non-use.

See all my pictures here

Here is Roadside Americas page about Williams Grove

HolyLand USA (Waterbury, CT)

HolyLand USA was a biblical theme park in Waterbury, CT. Built in the 50s it features numerous… what i can only describe as large scale dioramas, depicting various famous events in the Bible. The park sits on 18 acres on a hill that overlooks Waterbury, and its main focal point is a 58 foot cross, replaced in 2008 with a steel cross 50 ft tall. The park has been closed for 30 years and the passage of time has not been kind to the exhibits. In fact they look better than one would think after 3 decades of weather and no upkeep. The property is owned by the mayor and is still … i wouldn’t say maintained, but they try to keep the brush cut back and theres recent memorial bricks in the newly constructed cross base. For more details read about it at the link above on wikipedia. All my pictures are here

a giant auto graveyard in central jersey

I came across this location thru a friend. he was kind enough to tell me the location on condition I not reveal it. So I won’t. So don’t ask. This place is unlike any place I have ever seen. it has all manner of vehicles including RV’s, ancient pickup trucks, jeeps, numerous types of trucks, construction equipment, fire trucks, flatbed trailers, bulldozers, even asphalt paving machines. There are easily 60-70 vehicles here in a variety of states of decay.

Then there is the debris, refuse and construction material. It really is a junkyard, a dumping ground. i did some research into the place and it appears to be an old farm that was later bought by a large corporation for reasons unknown. I am researching ownership further to try and determine the history of the place.

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all the pictures on flickr

Sussex County Farm

One of many abandoned farms in Sussex County. Located on a main road it was an easy find.

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Abandoned townhouse complex in Florida

I was on vacation on Florida in 2010 and was visiting one of the many attractions outside Orlando when I noticed this place. I excused myself from the family and poked around. There wasn’t a whole lot to see and the buildings were fairly secure. Was I going to risk injury or arrest while on vacation 1000 miles from home? No, no I was not. I wandered about, took a few pictures and returned to my wife and son. Some research was done once I was back home but there’s nothing really interesting to say about this place. Florida is full of developments that either never got finished or which briefly flaired to life and then died. This is one of many…

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What one explorer found in the basement

This post written by an urban explorer named Cabel is amazing. Not just for what he found but for his amazing writeup. What he found is what I always hope to find when I go checking out a place. How he felt is how I feel when I find something like this. It’s one reason why part of me prefers to explore alone or with as few people as possible. I like to linger. I like to go thru what I’ve found. Even something as boring and dry as chemical orders from 1962 can be fascinating to me.

I remember going exploring on North Brother Island several winters ago. I paddled there in a canoe with a guy I’d never met before. Maybe I met him once. Sorry, it’s been a while and I can’t remember his name. The night before it had snowed an icy rain/slush and the roads were treacherous. The temperature was below freezing and here we were, about to paddle on the Bronx River in a section known as hell’s gate, so named by the Dutch because of the horrible currents. Even with a life jacket, if we went into the water, hypothermia would set in quickly.

On the island was a hospital and sanitarium. it was made famous because it was where Mary Mallon was a nurse (Typhoid Mary to you). The place was steeped in history. Now it was a nature preserve, and being winter it was cold, quiet and you felt alone in the world. You couldn’t hear the traffic from the nearby streets because there weren’t any streets nearby. It was 1/3 of a mile from shore and only a half mile or so from Riker’s Island. That day it had that eerie post snow storm silence, as if the the weather had sucked all the ambient noise away.

In one building we found the kitchen and in it I found recipes and purchases orders from the 1950’s.

Something as simple and mundane as this was to me, a treasure. At the time I believe it was still a hospital. So in this gigantic kitchen meals were made for hundreds and hundreds of infirm patients. The purchase orders showed not only the kind of food that was ordered but the prices as well which of course seem laughable to us today. Many of the recipes were on index cards and in excellent condition when you consider their age and the passing of time.

I also found a phone book from the early 50’s. I’ve seen in movies where someone turns a page in an old book and the page crumbles and disintegrates and I always thought it was a cheap looking SFX. Turns out pages can actually crumble as if they were glass shattered by a hammer. The book was so incredibly fragile it took great care to be able to look at it without destroying it. Every phone number was along the lines of KL5-6682. I doubt anyone under the age of 30 wouldn’t even understand how that could be a phone number, unless they watched the Honeymooners or I Love Lucy. Looking in the yellow pages at the business listings gave an insight into the economy of the time, and I saw many business types that don’t even exist any more and this was just 50 years ago.

Who knew a phone book could be interesting. As we move to an age where people google everything when they want business info and phone books are not even delivered unless asked for, one day this type of find might be impossible. I can imagine in 30-40 years if Grand Central terminal is replaced and perhaps part of it is not destroyed, some urban explorer might find a way into the old sections and have to look up to find out what a “phone booth” was.

Sometimes the greatest finds and the coolest treasures are the simplest of things.