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Rennwick Hospital Ruins [01 Mar 2008|01:27pm]

 As i had explained on my other/main photo blog i have been taking a bit of a hiatus from the internerd as of late due to school/work/travel madness. Please forgive my absense. I have shot new exciting work recently tho, which always re-animates me in a number of ways.

Anyways, here's today's photo - These smallpox hospital ruins are on Roosevelt island.. in NYC! That is Manhattan beyond. The building is sadly crumbling and rudely stablized for the time being. The land around it is now park on the tip of the island that is open (during the day only) to the public. There is a fence that surround the ruins however. You can reach the island by taking a little bridge over from Queens or taking the Sky-tram thingy over from Manhattan that looks really neat but i've never rode personally. 

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MCS [21 Feb 2008|10:50am]
Another road trip picture from detroit (of local couple miss c and jiffy)... I shot a gown pic with miss c. but also took a ton of pictures of them together in their street clothes. This was taken at Michigan Central Station, i would provide some links to additional sites but just google it and you will get a ton!! This is one of the most outstanding locations i've ever visited -  the sheer scale of this place is so overwhelming and it has a ton of interesting histroy attached to it!!

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Forms [20 Feb 2008|11:33am]
 This is from the laundry building of a state school close to DC that last i heard was being demolished :(. I had not entered this building on my first few trips to this location as it looked rather boring and industrial from the outside and the campus is HUGE and full of tons of other amazing spots. I'm glad we peeked in on this trip though! In the building were these really large laundry pressing machines (anyone ever seen that movie "the mangler"?) as well as an ironing area with dress forms:

Other pictures of this location from Tom/Visual Distress: http://www.flickr.com/photos/visualdistress/sets/72157594578857264/

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The Lab [19 Feb 2008|02:57pm]

Jars and other various equipment piled on the counter of a laboratory. This facility was once a TB hospital and later a state school that served children with disabilities such as polio and MD.


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JJ in Detroit [17 Feb 2008|09:33pm]
This is a portrait of the amazing model/pin up girl JJ Plush from my road trip last October. She is standing in front of a burnt out house near The Heidelberg Project - which is an art installment of many painted/adorned abandoned houses spread over a few mostly abandoned blocks in the city.

This image perfectly captures how certain devestated cities make me feel - Detroit, St Louis, Baltimore, Gary, Philly... Just the sheer number of abandoned houses, often block after block off them, really drive home the reality of it more  than any single large abandonment ever could.

For more info on the Projects see their website here: http://www.heidelberg.org/
Also there is a project in Detroit called the DDD project  where people paint houses orange in order to get them demolished so as not to enable illegal activity in their neighborhoods: http://www.thedetroiter.com/nov05/disneydemolition.php

Detroit is a fascinating place...
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Headquarters [16 Feb 2008|04:10pm]
This image is from the Police Headquarters in Providence that they have started demo on. It was a super near building - inside there was a court room, jails cells, the fire headquarters with their cots, the evidence locker rooms down in the basement, and lots of offices of the different departments - The detectives bureau was esp. interesting - under their planners on their desks they had all written odd notes and jokes back and forth to one another. I photographed this place with the Get Fancy boys not too long after i got into exploring and i have to say sneaking into a former police headquarters in the middle of a large city probably made me the most nervous i had ever been to date at that point. Exploring around asylums or places with big campuses is one thing - they are large, they aren't a lot of curious eyes around to see you, and there is lots of cover/woods/places  to hide. When you explore in cities it is very different, you need to act like you know what you are doing and just kind of strut up to places balls out know people are definetly going to see you and just hoping that they don't give a shit - cities are a whole different kind of animal and its hard to blend in or look like some kind of city worker when you are female, look very young, and are very short and very tattooed :)

more about the demo of this place on the fantastic site Art in Ruins - http://www.artinruins.com/arch/rip/policestation/
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Skates [13 Feb 2008|11:03am]

This is from an asylum in new england, although a number of places all over have (had?) roller skating rinks (as well as bowling alleys, movie theatres, etc) The floor to the actual rink is warped and rotted right though and if you try to actually stand on any of these skates the rubber wheels just crumble. This photo was shot on film a little under two years ago.

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The Toothbrushes [12 Feb 2008|03:35pm]
It takes about 30 mins of crawling over under and through collapses at this asylum to get from the male wing to the female wing. So many floors are missing and caved in you have to crawl though the tunnels then up to the 2nd floor to traverse a 1/2 fallen floor sitting at a 45 degree angle then back down to the tunnels, etc to find a way from one side to the other. Its like a jungle gym and its a lot of fun but trips here always leave me sore the following day.

But its worth all the effort just to rediscover and photograph something as humanizing as this: 
Patient toothbrushes still hanging in a bathroom cabinet in near alphabetical order...

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Travis. [11 Feb 2008|09:08pm]

This is i believe the second portrait i ever shot inside an abandoned building. It is from fall 2005. I had owned a camera for about 6 months at this point and had been obsessively exploring for about the last three. I had taken snapshots of friends while exploring and I had done a number of models shoots indoors but this is when i started putting it all together and composing scenes. My earliest models where friends i explored with who i usually volunteered for duty :). The model in the photo is a friend and all around outstanding photog in his own right. He often wore ties to places, which i loved and I thought a photo of him in this building would be perfect. Although the setting looks somewhat like an old hotel this is actually the entrance to the administration building of an asylum. When you come up from the cold dark tunnels and turn the corner this is what you see: all this gorgeous stained wood and marble with the sun streaming down these grand steps right at you. And that is what i sought to capture.

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The basement [09 Feb 2008|04:50pm]
Unused patient coffins sit piled inside the pitch black  basement of an asylum in the Northeast United States...
the photo is a long exposure painted with a flashlight

Tullo's photos of this location: http://www.designedbreakdown.com/photo/hospital_m/galleries/2007-04-22/index.html
Mott's photos of this location: http://www.opacity.us/site39_northwood_asylum.htm
Nicksan's photos of this location: http://s14.photobucket.com/albums/a345/nicksan/Northwood/
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Bonnie's Ballroom [08 Feb 2008|11:57pm]
You know, at first when Danvers started to actually come down I wasn't too upset because I had recently discovered Byberry (aka Phildelphia State Hospital) and was then driving down to Philly once or twice a month to run around there at night with the local kids (aka the Byberrians).
I did shoot too many pictures there as most of my time spent was after sunset partaking in shenanigans...But I did make a few trips during the day and got a fair collection of digi and film photos. This photo was shot on film.

When Byberry came down, and fast, I was totally devistated. With Danvers, Byberry, Met, and Noho all gone there really isnt a fun places to meet up with friends and run around at night acting a fool anymore. Its too bad - when everyone was hanging out in person all the time exploring together it felt like there was way less drama that now seems to start online in the forums then carry over into the hobby IRL.

more byberry:
Mott's site: http://www.opacity.us/site10_philadelphia_state_hospital_byberry.htm
photo from Hours of Darkness: http://hoursofdarkness.com/Byberry/Gallery.htm
Chip r Jones' site - papers, artifacts, info, photos: http://www.chiprjones.com/byberry.htm
Byberry on Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_State_Hospital
Robbie Knobbies page w/ info: http://robbieknobbie.tripod.com/byberry.html
Weird USA page: http://www.weirdus.com/stories/PA01.asp
Miki Dijital's photos and the article about the inspector that died there: http://www.dijitalphotography.com/gallery/byberry.html
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K* [07 Feb 2008|09:43am]
This was taken last summer over on the TB side of the now demolished NSH in western MA. Most asylums and state school have simliar caged in stairwells to keep people from falling (or i assume throwing themselves) between the often numerous flights of stairs.

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CCRR [06 Feb 2008|01:34pm]

I love anything train related - old trains, new trains, subways, trainyards, riding on trains...This is an old diner car from the Cape Cod Railroad, I have been on trains in Europe with large snack cars but the modern ones dont compare at all to this!

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Bang Bang [05 Feb 2008|09:59am]
 Just something clean and simple for today . This was taken in a Winchester (the rifle company) factory in New England that i believe is in the process of being torn down - I cant remember if they were going to try and reno some of the place or just rebuild on that spot. The building had some interesting areas besides that average looking mill/factory setting such as a indoor firing range for test shooting and some administrative offices complete with employee badges from the early 90s. The places was really large and some buildings were connected to others with those typical suspended breezeways that are always 4 or more stories up, made of metal which looks like the thickness of tin and that sway in the wind and creak and moan as you cross them from one building to the next... And they always have these signs at the entrances that say things like "Not to exceed 200 lb per sq foot" - always reassuring :)

Some photos from Dan Whitham: http://www.flickr.com/photos/idecay/tags/winchester/
The plant offically closed in 2006 and production was moved overseas, there is a website dedicated to the former employees here: http://winchesterremembered.com/default.aspx
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Now this is architecture... [04 Feb 2008|01:28pm]

Had a busy weekend with out of town and local friends running around taking photos. I shot three new rolls of film at this location that i'm excited about getting developed sometime in the week. For now here's an older photo: this is a sunbridge on the wing of a kirkbride that connects the very last ward to the rest of the wing - the only way to get from this ward to the others is by going to the 2nd floor and opening the door that leads to this suspended, curved corridor - I don't think ive ever seen another kirk with anything similiar or as beautiful. Traditionally the wards fartherst from the center or administration part of the kirkbride is suppost to hold the most violent or dangerous patients, I don't think this was the case here as this last ward had nice fireplaces, wood paneling, large day rooms with recreation equipment, etc - I think the sunbridge and controllable isolation is what helped it to be used for a different purpose.

The new film set will be posted sometime in the next few weeks to rana__x


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Cliffside [02 Feb 2008|03:12pm]
This photo was shot on film with my rebel k2 not long after sunrise at a TB hospital in New England. This was the theatre in the rec wing of the building. Photos from this location were also featured in the Pop Photo article from last March.

more photo from motts: http://www.opacity.us/site24_cliffside_mental_hospital.htm
and from tullo:  http://designedbreakdown.com/photo/cliffside/index.html
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City Meth, Gown Series [31 Jan 2008|09:42am]

This was from my most recent extended road trip last October where I hit Chicago, Gary, Detriot, Toronto, and Buffalo and shot with a model or two in my favorite abandoned places around each city. I try to take two 10-14 day road trips a year, my next one being planned for late August where I will driving around the South Eastern US, or possibly to St Louis and back. I travel alone (visiting friends along the way), sleep in my car, rarely shower, and eat lots of junk food - it is an amazingly odd yet fun way to travel.

City Methodist is a phenominal location in a phenominal city full of ruins - Gary, Indiana. For anyone that is newly interested in urbex and would like to see a bunch of amazing buildings of different types all within a few blocks of each other that are all easy to access (aka walk in and photograph), i highly recommend a trip to Gary regardless of where you are coming from,- its worth it. Gary is about a 15 hour drive from me but I made the trip twice in 2007 :)

The model in the picture ifsStormey out of Chicago: it is from my "gown" series where I wrapped the models up with lots of random material at the locations and safety pinned it all into "gowns". I really like this photo because I think the model and the building both shine equally and one is not competing with the other to dominate the photo.

For more info/photos of City Methodist Church:
Preservation site w/ lots of Gary info: http://www.preserveindiana.com/pixpages/nw_ind/orrcitymeth.htm
Info, pics, history, videos: http://www.faithfabric.com/tbh/gary/citymethodist.htm
City Methodist photos on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/citymethodist/
Nicole Rork's photo & info: http://www.detroitruins.net/gallery/citymethodist.php

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Hellview [30 Jan 2008|10:45am]
This is one of my top 3 favorites places to visit that is still standing. It is part of a larger campus built for the treatment of Tuberculosis in 1912. This paticular building was the Children's Hospital and it is easily one of the creepiest places I've stood in. Due to water damage the place is literally melting into rust, and trees taller than me are growing in the areas that flood regularly, add to this the fact that the power is still on and lights half fallen to the floor still flicker on and off while emitting that eerie electric hum.  A lot is left in the building - EEGs, autoclaves, and other medical machines, hospital beds, crutches and braces, old glass medicine bottles...as well as a number of old wooden wheelchairs. There seems to be additional thick straps nails and screwed onto almost everything for the purpose of restraining the patients into their chairs and beds.

During my first trip to this place  I was alone and the building was full of dense mist and fog which i think further upped the creep factor.  I didnt know much about the place back then just to avoid the cameras.  I later took some brave employees of a major national photography magazine to see this place while an article was being written on urbex featuring photos from myself, Phillip Buehler,  Rob Dobi, and Karl Grobl.

links to more info/photos -
Mott's photos on Opacity: http://www.opacity.us/site6_tuberculosis_hospital.htm
Photos by Shaun O'Boyle: http://www.oboylephoto.com/hospx/index.htm
Tullo's photos on DesignedBreakdown.com: http://designedbreakdown.com/photo/oceanside/index.html

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The Corner [29 Jan 2008|07:22pm]
A self portrait from one of my fave new england asylums.
taken in 2006

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Yonkers Power Station [28 Jan 2008|08:39pm]
This place is dangerous. I mean most old rotted falling apart buildings are... but this place was much worse than most. The stairs were once grated metal and now simply rusted and just plain missing 90% of the time. To get to higher floors you mostly have to resort to climbing railing that were themselves at best "wiggly". The city wants to renovate this building - Its gigantic structure with its twin smoke stacks is an icon in the area, driving down the edge of the Hudson you can see it for miles. When i saw the architectual renderings of the proposed renovation i almost gagged. I would much prefer a building be renovated when the only other choice is demolishion (stablized ruins is what i'm most in favor for as it preserves the most history and is the prettiest IMO) but really this renovation should be criminal, i'd rather the place be left to crumble into a giant heap. I've since heard that this plan fell thru and the property is back on the market. This photo was taken in the spring of 2006.

More photos and info on the Hudson Valley Ruins site here: http://www.hudsonvalleyruins.org/yasinsac/glenwood/glenwood.html
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