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Sherman Cahal

Sherman Cahal is a historian and photographer based in a small town in upstate New York.

Explorations

Walter’s Airplanes

Some time back, I was afforded an opportunity to view the private collection of airplanes of the late Walter Soplata in Ohio. Over the ensuing decades, he saved countless aircraft from being sold to the highest bidder and scrapped.

Explorations

Palmer Park

The Palmer Park Apartment Building Historic District is located in the Palmer Park neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan, and is well regarded for its ornate and varied examples of active and abandoned apartment buildings.

Explorations

Rise and Fall of St. Michael’s

Many churches in the Rust Belt region of the United States were built as a result of the development of domestic steel mills in the early 20th century. And many were closed with the collapse of the steel industry.

At the least, St. Michael’s didn’t share the fate of so many others in the Pittsburgh region, and has since been reused for an advertising agency.

In Focus

Waterfalls, Abandonments and Ithaca

These photographs are from the long-abandoned Van Nattas Pumping Station in Ithaca, New York, taken in 2016 while on a life changing, several-week-long road trip to the Finger Lakes.

Explorations

“Tunnels”

These long interior ‘tunnels,’ which were not buried in the ground, allowed patients to traverse Peters Veterans Administration Hospital without being exposed to the weather or having to share space with steam pipes and electrical conduits.

Explorations

A Sunrise at the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant

Many years ago, I night hiked into the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant (INAAP) in southern Indiana — the most substantial industrial abandonment in the United States. Sprawling over 19,000 acres, INAAP was overwhelming. An entire day could be spent just covering one power plant, for instance. But two power plants? Dozens upon dozens of pristine buildings that were unused after the Vietnam War? Katy bar the door, you know it’s going to be a long day ahead.

Accompanying me were two other seasoned explorers. Our goal? To camp atop Power Plant 401-1 and take in the sunrise.

Explorations

The Suwannee Belle

Driving home to upstate New York on a cold, blustery evening, I stopped to visit a childhood memory: the everlasting tourist attraction, Roadside America. But I arrived too late, and the building boasting one of the biggest model railroads in the nation and a kitchy gift shop was closed.

Determined to make the best of the waning evening, I stopped by next door to visit the ruined Suwannee Belle.