This weekend, we had some nice weather in North Texas and I took the opportunity to visit a location that's been on my radar (and in the public UE Database) for a while: "The Orphans Home".
The nice weather was good for us, but also made it a little difficult as well. It was one of those days when everyone was outside doing something. People everywhere are not what I wanted to see after driving an hour to get to this spot. I wasn't going away until I got some pics, so I was biding my time until it thinned out a bit. There was one very visible POE and, as I walked around, I found several others. I was actually looking at an area of wooden fence that didn't seem to fit in when it swung open and a young girl popped her head out. That settled it, I was going in that way.
I did have one minor scare as I was preparing to cross, however. I heard from behind me a woman loudly say "What are you doing out here?" I froze and turned around to see her...talking to her cat. Butt un-clenched, I ventured to the site with a couple of folks (my sister and, yes, my mom - we are all explorers from way back when areas were less populated, cell phones weren't a thing, and you had to use real maps.)
We went to the smaller building first and did a quick run-through before hitting the main building. I'm probably not sharing anything new here (for some people) when I say that place is very disorienting. It's huge, with multiple floors that don't always have more than one way out (the way you came). It's dark, things look similar all over, and stairs (viable ones, at least) are random.
I can, however, see why people choose to explore this place. It was once an amazing piece of architecture and, despite all of the idiots who have done harm to it, is still holding pretty strong today. We spent a couple of hours in there, in the waning daylight, but could have spent all day just looking at the little details. Oddly enough, I never saw the girl(s) who poked their head through the "gate".
We did have an unexpected guest in the form of a vulture, just walking around an empty living area. Coming around the corner to that kind of took us by surprise, but it flew off pretty quickly and re-appeared a few times during the last hour or so. I even caught him in a few shots as we wrapped up.
It's a great spot that deserves more time to fully appreciate. So, I hope to go back someday (in a different season) and see what else it holds.
One piece of note: As we were leaving, we had a woman in the nearby apartment complex eyeballing us as we walked back to the car. She just stood and stared, while trying not to look like she was staring. After we got in, she pulled out a cell phone and dialed it and continued watching. We assume she was calling cops and getting a description/plate number...but we could just be paranoid. Take it with a grain of salt. Most people there didn't seem to care that some folks with cameras were walking around and we left without incident.
Now...onto the pics:
The Basement to Main floor stairs:
The Main House from the basement of the other:
February in Texas could be snow and ice, or flowers and blue skies:
Another view of the main house, from a different window and in B&W
The requisite Lonely Chair has seen better days:
Standard Issue Creepy Hallway:
Some of the only few remaining bathroom fixtures still mostly in tact:
A view of the smaller house from the Main one:
Golden Girls Fan:
Black and White detail:
Our friend, the Vulture:
and again, popping up at a nice vantage point as we start to head out:
And, yes...I take pictures at odd and wonky angles and perspectives. If I'm in a place that feels odd and wonky, I like to reflect that sense of disorientation.
Sometimes, I just forget a tripod.