Built in 1933 by Oscar Bitler the Cyclone was a 65-foot-high, 2,300 foot long wooden roller coaster that eventually found its way to the Williams Grove Amusement Park, Pennsylvania. Williams Grove Amusement Park was a family-oriented amusement park near Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. The park operated from 1850. Williams Grove (and with it, the Cyclone) closed in 2005, though the owners are making efforts to preserve the historic structures despite frequent vandalism.
Kern Steam Power Plant Control Room
It has been 26 years since the mammoth Kern Power Plant shut down. The complex once was an important part of the local power grid. Water was heated with natural gas or fuel oil to produce high-pressure steam that was used to spin turbines to generate electricity.
The plant began commercial operation in 1948, closed in 1985 and was declared inoperable in 1995 after PG&E determined it was cost prohibitive to bring the aging facility up to modern production standards.
The plant was demolished in 2013. The implosion of the building had a bad turn when a worker's leg was severed and shrapnel injured others.
Henery Apartments Kitchen
Henery Apartment Kitchen (1913). The six-story structure was built of the finest brick, wood and stained glass. Glenn Allen, the building's architect, lived in the building until his death in 1942. He outfitted each apartment with amenities rare to most homes of its day, including range ovens, murphy beds, bullet safes, and built in cabinetry. Around 1993, it became low-income apartments, despite once being the home to Stockton's elite. Not long after that it was abandoned due to health violations.
The Divine Lorraine at Night
Originally known as the Lorraine Apartments, this downtown Philadelphia building was completed in 1894. The building was converted to hotel use in 1900. Its most significant milestone came when the building was sold to Father Divine (Reverend Major Jealous Divine) of the Universal Peace Mission Movement. Upon its sale to Father Divine in 1948, the hotel became the first hotel in the United States to be fully racially integrated. Today, the building is undergoing a massive rehabilitation effort.
When I visited the Beaux Arts jewel of Bethlehem Steel's 1901 Lackawanna Administration Building, it was clear the demolition was imminent. The site had become somewhat of mecca for photographers and explorers. FIlled with labs, offices, and hidden rooms that contained stunning vintage pieces, from lamps to typewriters, to a complete control room filled with 1960s era computers. Now demolished, the administration building holds an almost mythical place in my memory. As it closed in the late 1970s and early 80s, its interior fixtures and furnishing remained frozen in time. Time capsules are rare in my travels, in this was one of the most pristine.
Winchester arms in New Haven, Connecticut. Home to an Ivy League university, no one would expect the town to also be the industrial center of one of America's largest firearm manufacturers. The sprawling factory is surrounded by tech firms and startups. It's massive - filled with hidden rooms and interesting corners.
The Treehouse in the Woods
In the early-70s, James Talmage “Tokey” Walker constructed a massive 3-story tree house on his Brooksville, Florida ranch for his grandchildren. The victorian-inspired treehouse included bedrooms, bathrooms and even a kitchen. Walker passed away in 2003, leaving his property in a state of arrested decay, though the company he founded continued to operate. In 2015, the treehouse was torn down. I encountered this treehouse as the sun dipped below the horizon and a series of severe thunderstorms rolled through the area. We only had about 10 minutes to photograph this site before the torrential floods arrived.
Jones Building Reception
The reception area in the historic Jones Building of Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, GA. The Jones Building was erected in 1928-1929 as a general medical - surgical hospital and was the only hospital in Milledgeville at the time. Both employees and patients, as well as the people int eh community, had their children at the hospital. The building was equipped with modern operating rooms and wards for medical and surgical cases, and it also housed the hospital's clinical laboratory, x-ray department, out-patient clinic, and morgue. Throughout the building's operation, many medical problems were treated from common colds to sophisticated surgery. The Jones Building was permanently closed in 1979 after five decades of use.
Hotel Adler Ballroom
Built in the 1929 at a cost of $250,000, the 150-room Adler Hotel in Sharon Springs, New York, was one of a half dozen hotels that surrounded the sulphur springs in the small upstate New York town. Catering largely to a Jewish Clientele at a time when other hotels strictly barred their patronage, the Adler was eventually bought by a Korean investment group. The investors were subsequently caught up in a $6 million embezzlement scandal, but plans are now underway to restore the Adler.
Idyllic New England Locker Room
The abandoned locker room, deep in the basement of the Hartford, Connecticut YMCA residential tower. In 2005, the building and its historic gym and swimming pool, were slated to be be torn down and replaced by what the Hartford Courant describes as "the largest downtown residential development in years," containing 200 upscale condominiums and 100 apartments.
Early in its history, when Hartford was a factory city, the Y provided temporary housing to young men who came to town in search of manufacturing jobs. The Y's original headquarters--an imposing Victorian-style building built in 1893 --was razed in 1974 for the current (now abandoned) 12-storey residential tower (the last YMCA residential tower built in the U.S.). The 1974 razing of the original headquarters is often referred to as the genesis of the preservation movement in Hartford.
Fisher Flour Mill
The distribution conduits for the Fisher Flour Mill in Seattle, Washington. Built in 1911. At its height, three million pounds of wheat came in every day and was shipped out as refined flour.
The abandoned workshops at Creative Engineering in Orlando, Florida. This is Billy Wilbur, a custom designed animatronic bear designed by Creative Engineering in the 1980s for the showbiz pizza chain.
R&H Simon Silk Mill
R&H Simon Silk Mill was originally built in 1883 in Easton, Pennsylvania. The Simon Mill was bought in 2006 by the Easton Redevelopment Authority. The $50 million project began in 2010.
Capwell's Department Store Sign
The briefly abandoned Capwell's Department Store in Oakland, CA - now being rehabbed for use as office space - the master tenant will be Uber.