One of the Mountain State’s best-kept secrets, Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is a former mental hospital turned tourist attraction in Weston, West Virginia.
Uplands is a 42-room Victorian-style mansion that was constructed in the western fringes of Baltimore, Maryland in 1850.
Housing 155,000 inmates over its 104 years of operation, the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio commanded attention. Designed by Levi T. Scofield in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, the exterior of the prison resembled the appearance of several castles in western Europe. Aptly, it received the nickname “Dracula’s Castle” for its gothic presentation.
The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish contains an abandoned church, school, and parish house in the Newburgh neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio.
The first impressions of the historic Proctor’s Palace Theatre included several floors of debris, seats, and metalwork piled high, stairs that had devolved into ramps devised out of plater and asbestos, and dingy darkness. But the second tier offered views of the theater’s mammoth size and its remarkable, intact features, such as the balconies, orchestra pit, and extensive stenciling.
The Lonaconing, Maryland silk mill, last operated by General Textile Mills, is one of my favorite buildings to photograph. From its early 20th century machinery to its dated calendars and papers, it is remarkable that this testament to industrial heritage remains standing well over 50 years past its closure.
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.
Warwick State Training School, a former alcohol and drug treatment center, youth rehabilitation complex, and prison will now be host to a brewery and medical marijuana farm in upstate New York.
The Palmer Park Apartment Building Historic District, well regarded for its ornate and varied examples of active and abandoned apartment buildings, is located in the Palmer Park neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan.
The Rust Belt defines a vast declining industrial corridor of the United States roughly between Chicago and Albany, New York, and dominating many of those once-bustling communities are churches. Many were built as domestic steel mills were being constructed across the country in the early 20th century, and many were closed with the collapse of the steel industry.
The former Belvedere Hotel in Apollo, Pennsylvania was a hoarder’s paradise.
At 2,500 feet in elevation, exploring the former Allegheny Tuberculosis Sanatorium was a delight. With heavy fog blanketing the campus in the early mornings, perpetual overcast days, and cooler temperatures even in the dead of summer, its location along the Allegheny Mountain front in Pennsylvania was ideal.
Many years ago, I night hiked into the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant (IAAP) in southern Indiana—the most substantial industrial abandonment in the United States. Sprawling over 19,000 acres, IAAP was overwhelming.
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 kitschy gift shop and model railroad exhibit was closed for the day. Determined to make the best of the waning evening, I stopped by next door to visit the ruined Suwannee Belle.
Or singles day. Whatever.
Tucked away in the Catskill Mountains of New York is an abandoned artist’s residence once belonging to the Romesky family. The house is now in an unfortunate state of collapse but much of the interior remains intact and includes glimpses into their livelihoods.
Boarding houses began to develop in the Catskill Mountains in the late 1800s as working-class families sought refuge from the dirty, unhealthy city in the mountains. Lodgers would rent one or more rooms for one or more nights, and meals were usually not included in the tab.
There is nothing like coming across a wayside junkyard nestled deep in the Appalachian Mountains while traveling in Pennsylvania. Following up on the incredible Volkswagen graveyard, this junkyard is far smaller with only a handful of vehicles but every bit as photogenic.
The discovery of an untouched apartment above a long-abandoned pharmacy in New York led me to think about my mortality and how finite my life is.
Towering over the modest residences in its vicinity, the soaring blue limestone and Ohio sandstone faced Roman Catholic church is one of the most recognizable symbols of Albany, New York’s rich history. It’s also one of the most endangered.