Me and a few buddies have been into urbex for a little while now (about 2 years), and I decided to finally make a presence here. A few weeks ago me and a friend explored two pretty well known locations that I thought would make a good introductory post. I like photography although some of the friends I explore with are much more into it than myself, so I will be posting a mixture of photos from each of us (in this case there were two people).
Breaking Through: the first building we entered was the largest on the main property. We tend to go to locations blind to the history (except the general stuff) and theorize about the purpose/past of different things. After sifting through papers on the ground it started to become clear that this building housed offices and working areas for different employees.
The Morgue: I tend to appreciate good graffiti, but I'm curious how these individuals thought spray painting RIP in this location was respectful. Needless to say, the atmosphere was thick here, especially given its poorly ventilated location in the basement.
Basement Dental Work: Dental work at an asylum is a solid foundation for a horror movie, especially if done in a pitch black basement.
Dropped Ceiling: After exploring the first building we made our way to what we originally thought was a reception building at the front of the property. It turns out it was a Jewish Temple. This was by far the most water damaged of the buildings with air so thick it was hard to breath and layers of moss and mold covering the worn pews.
Solitary: We then made our way to a few of the many dormitories where this photo was taken. The living conditions here were far from private, individuals were subjected to living in cubicle-like spaces with one drawer and a twin wire-sprung bed. The beds were thrown around the dorms slowly developing mold. One was spray painted “we just fucked,” I really hope they were joking but whatever suits your fancy I guess.
Two Parts Ramp, One Part Stairs: We entered the central building which was surrounded my a fence to keep people away from its collapsing infrastructure. It had been in a fire years previous but the main floor which was constructed of brick was still able to be traversed. This stair case led to the second floor which was all but destroyed.
X-rays and dripping ceilings
Second story hallway: This is a photo of the second story. We didnt venture much past this point for two reasons, a fear that the floor would cave in below us and the direct visibility from an adjacent church parking lot
Figure: After exploring a large number of the buildings on the main property, we ventured across a street to check out another building we saw. We ended up discovering a factory or power plant of some sort that we were not at all expecting to find, which ended up being the most interesting single structure to explore. We were unable to determine what was produced here, does anyone know? We figure the employees were members of the village.
Papers, Pipes and Profanity: The main floor of the power plant was really an awesome location. Pipes, machines and catwalks extend and snake throughout the large space, and the depth of the scene was really hard to capture in a two dimensional photo.
Ticking Time Bomb: Probably the most nerve wracking moment of the day was when we discovered (After venturing up to the 6th floor of the factory via a series of catwalks) that this massive tank sitting right above us as we explored the main floor is filled with thousands upon thousands of gallons of water, certainly with a weight in the hundreds of thousands of pounds. This tank and whatever supports it 40 feet in the air must have been made incredibly strong. We still urge anyone who visits to be vigilant when walking under this thing, we sure didn’t want to after finding out what it held.
Seized Gears: As mentioned earlier, we climbed the catwalks and stairs up to the top floor of the power plant. We didn’t have a chance to fully explore the catwalk, but they seemed sturdy, lacking any rust or signs of serious deterioration. At the top level we saw these gears, which once powered some serious machinery, but now sit dormant.
The Penthouse: Most of the top floor was dominated by the water containing tanks, of which there are two. Only one contained water, the other only contained an assortment of desks, tables, chairs, and other furniture which must have been meticulously carried up here. Catwalks crossed over each of the tanks, which offered a view of the incredible volume of water the previously mentioned tank contained. The entirety of this factory was covered in pretty impressive graffiti, most of which from one artist.
Tunnel Vision: After coming down from the top floor, the last stop we made was the smokestack of the power plant / factory. We have no clue what was being burned that produced the gas that this smokestack dispelled (maybe coal), but the inside wasn’t incredibly dirty. We crawled through the two foot opening to get this incredible view up through the top of the smokestack.
Curiosity Finds a Way: After arriving at the location, a sizable viaduct in Western Jersey, we first explored the topside, but having a limited amount of time, soon began scouting for a way to get into the arches. We found this previously erected contraption, created to get over large metal plates riveted into the concrete structure. Deciding it was stable enough to support us, we rock-paper-scissored to see who would go first and ventured up and into the structure.
Climbing Out: After getting into the underside of the viaduct, we first ventured into the base of one of the main supports. It was a mostly empty structure filled with not much more than broken shale and garbage, and we quickly opted to start exploring the arches, which is what most intrigued us.
Optical Illusions: The combination of gray concrete, symmetrical geometry, and colorful graffiti made for some really awesome scenes and perspectives underneath the viaduct. Some of the graffiti was really quite impressive in its own regard, independent of its awesome location.
Icicles from Above: At the top of each arch, there was a ladder up to the topside of the viaduct. Although the manholes that led to the top were blocked save for one, there were big enough gaps to allow water to drip down the cylindrical holes and freeze to create some sizable icicles.
Leveling Off: The base of each arc posed an interesting and unique challenge. Some were filled with murky water that was easily 8 feet deep, a plunge neither of us wanted to experience. In order to cross, we would slide down a small, ice covered ramp, white knuckling a rusty rung above us as we got our balance on a thin metal beam which we were able to cross like a bridge. The beam was about 6 inches wide and 15 feet long so we gladly used the help of a rope handrail that was placed previous to our arrival.
Arch with a View: Even on this cloudy day, the view from the top of the arches was pretty darn scenic, overlooking a river and the West Jersey hills.