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UER Forum > Journal Index > Straight snailin' > Weekend UE (Viewed 1508 times)
Weekend UE
entry by AnAppleSnail 
5/21/2009 5:45 PM

A week or two ago I took a trip with an ally around to several locations new and old. The weekend included the discovery of some sweet untouched abandonments, a secured demolition site, and sadly the death throes of a beloved site. Soon I'll be finding what I can about their history, but until then I figure you guys might enjoy pictures and stories.

I've found a lovely set of scaffolding that's great fun.

This is the top part, after you've climbed a few stories worth of stairs. Here's a shot to give you scale - that's a gym floor down there, with big blue bleachers in the middle. For scale, count seats in the rows across the gym... and the scaffolding sections are in scale to Drooldog, who is a little under 6' tall.

There's a lot of construction here, but remodel projects are my favorite kind of building.

Who doesn't love old schools? How about ones with 1920s architecture and Disney characters on the walls?

Pardon the graffiti - some inconsiderate punks vandalized this place and left that ceiling trapdoor open. We two got soaked closing it, but I think it wasn't open long enough to speed up the decay of the balcony.

Have a gym. It's in amazing shape, and well boarded up. We've been securing loose entrances when the chance arises.

Imagine working and living next to your job. Not only that, but shopping at the store and going to church and sending your kids to school, right there on the company land! This isn't as common these days, liability suits being what they are, but you can still find traces of the legacy. Sadly, demolition began a few years ago - but thankfully stopped for a while - leaving some buildings standing. Judging by the wreckage, several multi-story wood-and-brick buildings were leveled, some with reinforced concrete basements (still standing in deep holes, with boilers inside). It's beautiful and I'm glad I saw it.

Unsure of this building's purpose.

Piano in the school.


Machine shop?

Records building

Who really likes hotels anyway? All the same, halls and musty rooms. At least this one has a good lobby.

And bar

And lonely chair convention

And dance floor

The pool could use some work though

At least you won't be sunburned on your balcony...

And you can check out the weight room.">
Don't we all love it when a building turns into a cave? These are big soda straw stalactites, also.

The catwalk's fairly sturdy, although I'm glad I don't weigh much over 150 lb, gear and all. I'm enjoying the new camera that lets me take these in the dark without huge floodlights...

Despite being abandoned in the early 90s, the wooden roof and walls are in amazing shape - no splinters to catch ungloved hands, even.

Of course, we all love mysterious pipes - left from tall machines being removed.

But there's always something for the paint-peel fanatic, right?

Other places were visited, including beloved Bain Treatment Plant - but it's been purchased, with the owner running an art show before they close it. It was...surreal to see women in sundresses and flipflops strolling around a building I wore boots, long pants and sleeves, and a respirator to the last time I went. That day I stuck to boots and pants - the main walking areas were cleared somewhat (I helped with that too - the ways we gain entry, eh?), but I smelled mold on the air in many of the display rooms. History of the plant and its machinery was very interesting, but some of the 'art' seemed more annoying and disrespectful than clever. Imagine a water-test lab. Now some college art kid strings vines and Cat5 cable (Thats right, blue Cat5 in a building used for file storage since 1980) through any hole he can jam things into. "I'm capturing the flow of water" he says, standing beside his TV showing a simulated moon rushing through phases. They also seem to have put some new wall damage in, because bricks showing through plaster is prettier than decayed (but solid) plaster. The holes weren't there last time I was.
The property management liason was running around frantically trying to keep all the people from going places they shouldn't. Because I had to volunteer under a real name and ID (and had no fakes), he knew me so I was behaving reasonably. But there were around 150 people wandering along all 3 obvious floors at a time, many of whom had been there illicitly, and felt that they had the privilege to wander freely in seeing the building off. The poor guy was honestly run ragged, although he eventually deputized some volunteers to do that so he could stand by the door and greet people. It turns out I was supposed to sign a safety waiver to enter the building - oops.
Bain had some of the experience of an abandoned building, but I've only been there with up to a dozen people at a time - and only once when we weren't being discreet in our presence. Having several dozen people cheerfully talking and flirting (Who knew art shows spawned dates?) really changed the experience. Instead of a hushed relic from the 1940s, abandoned to decay for the past decades, showing signs of abortive attempts to remodel it into 'office spaces' (drop ceiling is ugly), we had a theme park. I met some interesting people, but I'm sad for the future of the building. Maybe maybe maybe, the property owners will do interesting things. But so far, all they've done is seal off the building and throw away lumber. Who knows? A reflection-inspiring end to an enjoyable weekend.

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UER Forum > Journal Index > Straight snailin' > Weekend UE (Viewed 1508 times)

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