March 31st, 2010

Explored: Brooksville School

 Long time lurker, first time poster.

I finally found something worthy, and finally had my first full exploration experience.  

I spied this hulking old beast from the highway about three weeks ago.  Every day after that, I found I could not shake this place from my memory.  I wanted to see it up close, and to me, it looked like something out of Silent Hill.  When I made my return trip, I did not see it, but it seems it must've been dark.  When I came back from that trip, luckily, I found my white whale again.  :)  

I could not have hoped for a better site for my first exploration.  This place was all the right amounts of accessibility, beauty, ugly, age, decay, and creep factor.  I'll admit, I totally wanted to bolt and I didn't know if I could really just walk into this place.  My mind was a constant array of, "What if, what if, what if. . ." 

My courage lost, but the curiosity bested it.  

However, my camera wasn't so strong of will, and died on me shortly, before coming back from the grave an hour down the road!  

Full Set at Flickr

Detroit: The Abandoned City

Thanks to scream4noreason who showed me this site: Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre Photography and their photo study of Detroit - the entire series of 20 photos is breathtaking, and heartbreaking.  This is the introduction to their study:

The ruins of Detroit

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the city of Detroit developed rapidly thanks to the automobile industry.

Until the 50's, its population rose to almost 2 million people.  Detroit was the 4th most important city in the United States. It was the dazzling symbol of the American Dream City with its monumental skyscrapers and fancy neighborhoods.

Increasing segregation and deindustrialization caused violent riots in 1967.  The white middle-class exodus from the city accelerated and the suburbs grew.  Firms and factories began to close or move to lower-wage states.  Slowly, but inexorably downtown high-rise buildings emptied.

Since the 50's, "Motor City" lost more than half of its population.

Nowadays, its splendid decaying monuments are, no less than the Pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum of Rome, or the Acropolis in Athens, remnants of the passing of a great civilization.

The Open House...

Another set of images from the past year, that I just found in my files on my computer.
I don't even think I have ever up-loaded them anywhere...

It's just a house that sits rotting in the forests of northern New Jersey.
All that really remains of this place is the front, and parts of the side walls.
Though is is not of any real historical significance, I find it very interesting visually.

*Again, no video. Took these before we got into the whole multimedia presentation thing*

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Abandoned Places - The Lyric Building, Birmingham, AL (July 09)

This is it for pictures from the Lyric Building visit last year. I’m already planning the next walk through and a care check of areas I didn’t photograph as well or explore as thoroughly. This may be as soon as May, but no dates yet.

The 6th and 7th floors of the Lyric Building show the greatest decay. These were the floors that were exposed to the elements and animals the longest. Although the building is set with reinforced concrete floors and supports, the outer walls are masonry and interiors are wood. One of the first things the historical society that controls the building did was to replace the old and frequently broken windows with modern, triple pane windows. This helped drop the moisture level inside and reduce further damage. Some but not all..

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Turn out the lights before you go

If you would like to assist in the restoration and recovery of The Lyric, donations can be made through their website ( ) and potentially through special events and activities to be announced in the near future. Folks, I’ll be posting more images (normal and comparison sets) soon.

Likewise, if you’d like to meet your demented moderator, I’ll be co-hosting a panel discussion on abandoned place photography and exploration this Friday (April 2nd) at FroliCon ( My co-host photognome and I will be discussing the in’s and out’s, ethics, safety issues and aesthetics of abandoned places. We’ll be on from 4:15 to 5:45 in the Bermuda Room (2nd floor) of the Atlanta Airport Sheraton Hotel.