Pennsylvania http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/region_US_Pennsylvania en Alford Station and Switch House http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Alford_Station_Switchhouse <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Alford Station and Switch House</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 10/28/2013 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">There is little that I'm able to gather about this location except that the station appears to have been built sometime around 1913, while the switch house was constructed two years later.  Major improvements were done to the track around the same time, including construction of the tunnel through which the road passes under the track.  A cut-off line was constructed at approximately the same time that I believe followed what is now the "Endless Riding Trail" to Montrose, PA.  Construction of the cut-off caused great upheaval for the little town, including having the windows constantly shattered by dynamite blasts.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">The first thing that caught my attention, when I looked at this little station, was the thatched roof.  It was an interesting design though it appeared it was on the losing end of the battle with the elements.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The switchhouse, just down the track from the station, however, was fascinating!  The design, the attention to small decorative detail was quite impressive for a place that wasn't publicly accessible.  Rounded doorways, ornate trim and the same tiled roof as the station.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Unfortunately, access to the upper-most floor had been removed so I was unable to get a good look at the line of levers that were visible through an opening.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">While a simple place, with empty buildings, this stop was well worth the time.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=57&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="AdsNd6CzdmV5GXJ5KbWUjJKDPQLAGcBoMfwzMhJri7o"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 28 Oct 2013 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 57 at http://urbexobsession.com Coxton Yard http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Coxton_Yard <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Coxton Yard</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 10/21/2013 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Coxton Yard was built in 1870 by the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehigh_Valley_Railroad" target="_blank">Lehigh Valley Railroad Company</a> to facilitate the vast train activity required to support Pennsylvania's coal mining industry.  By the end of World War II, however, technology began catching up with the railroads.  Trucks on the expanding highway systems, and the move from coal to diesel-electric trains were bringing about the beginning of the end for operations at Coxton Yard.  It was finally abandoned in 1996, though the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_and_Northern_Railroad" target="_blank">Reading and Northern Railroad Company</a> still uses the southern-most portion of the yard to support natural gas extraction.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">At first, I was planning to walk across the old rail bridge from the opposite side of the river.  I had parked, walked to the bridge, climbed up the steep side embankment and began the crossing.  A short distance across, however, it became increasingly treacherous, and I decided that perhaps it was not a good day to die.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I drove around to the opposite side of the river and spoke with a neighbor living across the street from the gate to the yard.  He didn't think anyone would mind if I parked there, out of the way.  A short walk down the access road and my mind was blown.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">This yard is amazing, although I understand from previous pictures that there was once much more to behold.  Yet even in its diminished state, it was a bonanza for someone like me.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The old train engines, the wheels, the parts and pieces everywhere.  The smoke from the burning fire... wait... fire?  A fellow explorer who was already on the site called my attention to a fire burning in a furnace inside the building.  Ok, someone had been here recently, it seems.  Good to know.  On with the exploration.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">One of the larger structures on the property was just north on the tracks.  A huge concrete something-or-other stood looming from the bush.  From the pulleys on top, it was clear this was some kind of elevator, perhaps for grain.  It wasn't until I found the historical photos above that I realized it was for loading coal that fuelled the trains.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">This was a truly amazing place to explore, and a fantastic way for me to start my Turkey Weekend Urbex Extravaganza.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Update:</strong>  As of February, 2017, plans were underway to demolish the above-mentioned bridge during the summer of 2017 when the river is at its lowest.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Update:</strong>  As of June 28, 2017, the County Redevelopment Authority received $1 Million to demolish the bridge.  Story attached in PDF below.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-file-attachments field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">File Attachments</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="http://urbexobsession.com/sites/default/files/2017-11/news_timesleader_20170628.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=1362158" title="news_timesleader_20170628.pdf">Times Leader - June 28, 2017 - County Redevelopment Authority Gets $1M to Demolish Coxton Bridge</a></span> </div> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=62&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="utX_BPODh7H3Mw_tffZMP9vs39D7StU-NTbe9VjflJ0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 21 Oct 2013 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 62 at http://urbexobsession.com Forest Castle Brewery http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Forest_Castle_Brewery <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Forest Castle Brewery</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 08/20/2013 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">At first I had no idea what this place was, and had in fact listed it here simply as an Unknown Building in Pennsylvania. Thanks to some great help from Bernard Stiroh at <a href="http://duryeapa.com/" target="_blank">duryeapa.com</a>, I found out that this was the Forest Castle Brewery.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">What little history I've been able to acquire so far is that it was built in 1872 and opened by John A. Burschel, a German Immigrant, in 1873, employing 50 men. Construction cost $30,000 at the time.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">It appears, however, that it changed hands in 1878 becoming the H.R. Hughes &amp; Co. Brewery. A partnership between Richard M. Hughes and Joseph H. Glennon was formed as the company became the Hughes &amp; Glennon Brewery in 1887. A 217 foot well was drilled giving the brewery the name Pure Deep Rock. After 1894, history becomes a bit sketchy.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">An article in the Scranton Republican dated October 9, 1900, indicates that there was a court case against Hughes &amp; Glennon because they were neglecting the business and didn't want to allow the Pennsylvania Brewing Company install a new manager. it seems that at this point, even the court was a bit confused about what jurisdiction the Pennsylvania Brewing Company had in the runnings of the brewery.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The building was purchased in 1917 by J.C. Kenyon with the intention of opening a paper mill. With the business now running as Exeter Paper Corp, it was destroyed by fire on April 11, 1928.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Somewhat dejected from missing out on a different location, this little place appeared around a curve as if a consolation. Initially, I had no idea what it was, but subsequent research, and input from some of my visitors helped to clear up the mystery quite quickly.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=258&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="LoJLFddYA2VfMnMRQAChooRCvH0FQFrhJQVLdxfOrdc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 20 Aug 2013 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 258 at http://urbexobsession.com http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Forest_Castle_Brewery#comments West Mountain Sanitorium http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_West_Mountain <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">West Mountain Sanitorium</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 07/24/2008 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History:</strong> </p> <p class="text-align-justify">Built in 1903, this hospital primarily treated <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuberculosis" target="_blank">tuberculosis</a> patients until its 1971 closure.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In a <a href="http://files.usgwarchives.org/pa/lackawanna/history/local/hydepk01.txt" target="_blank">history</a> written in 1952, the following was said about the institution:</p> <blockquote> <p class="text-align-justify"><i>One of the more beautiful West Scranton landmarks is the Lackawanna County Tuberculosis Hospital, commonly known by its older name, West Mountain Sanatorium. It was originally established in 1903, following the suggestion of the late Dr. J.M. Wainwright.</i></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><i>The 40-year-old institution is now under the supervision of the Lackawanna County Commissioners. Edward J. Rainey, present superintendent, was appointed in January, 1951. He succeeded Miss Theresa dela Plant, registered nurse, who served for 30 years. According to the best records available, a Miss Davis was the first superintendent. Dr. Paul C. McAndrew is present medical director and Dr. Frank C. Lavin, assistant.</i></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><i>The bed capacity in 1903 was between 18 and 20. In 1919, it arose to 29, while today it totals 100. The original land was donated by the `D.L.&amp;W.' or purchased at a nominal price. Later additional land was purchased.</i></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><i>In June 1923, a $300,000 tuberculosis hospital was begun to replace the old institution. The sanatorium was taken over by the County Commissioners in 1923, following a plebiscite by the citizens to do so in 1921.</i></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><i>While the institution accepts patients in all stages of tuberculosis, over 80 per cent of the male patients are those with anthracosilicos and super imposed pulmonary tuberculosis in its advanced stages, according to institution records.</i></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><i>The X-ray department recently was completely remodeled and equipped with apparatus of the latest design. This includes a diagnostic table, motor driven cassette changer, fluoroscope, a new control panel and complete dark room equipment. A bronchoscopic unit also has been added.</i></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><i>The clinical laboratory has likewise been expanded and a number of new instruments have been installed, including binocular microscopes. Additional space has been allocated for use in research work associated with the newer drugs.</i></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><i>The hospital has a farm growing its own products. It also has a county owned water system with about a 60,000 gallon capacity, and an artesian well. It also has a fully equipped laundry which can easily handle daily all the washing and ironing for the 100 patients, staff and 40 to 45 employees.</i></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Many folks believe it to be haunted, and it has been the subject of study by many "paranormal investigators". Reports of hearing footsteps, voices, and in one story, even being chased completely from the property by something unseen.</p> </blockquote> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I arrived here following the impersonal directions of my GPS. It was easy to spot the main entrance to the property, but I felt it was far too obvious to simply park at the main gate. Instead, I looked for an alternate entrance.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I found another road and had a look at it, still not liking the look of things. At this point, I spotted a woman and her daughter coming from the property, and I engaged her in conversation about the place. She said she lived nearby, and often took walks around the old property. Clearly, the locals were used to some foot traffic in the area.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Daylight was getting short, so I decided to stay in town overnight and return in the morning.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The next day, I circled around the backside of the property, and simply parked on the side of the road. I walked back the way I had come for a distance before seeing a clearly visible path into the property.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I took the path and arrived exactly where I hoped. I was expecting significant damage, given what I'd heard about the place and the local teens. I had seen earlier pictures of the buildings and I admit, I was somewhat disappointed by what I saw.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Oh, and no boogeymen followed me, no weird noises, no strange happenings. There WAS a wild kitten living in the basement of the last building... BEWARE!</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=191&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="zhdO-1bTixZHVWL5LX6SAl2AcBQ6iJEQSQ-iQi7LSxk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 24 Jul 2008 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 191 at http://urbexobsession.com http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_West_Mountain#comments St. Nicholas Coal Breaker http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Coal_Breaker <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">St. Nicholas Coal Breaker</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 07/23/2008 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">This coal breaker entered service in 1932 after the town, in which it was constructed, was largely relocated to make room for it. Some of the impressive statistics of this facility include 20 miles of railroad track, 3, 800 tons of steel, and 10,000 cubic yards of concrete combining to make this plant happen. When in operation, it took coal only 12 minutes to pass through the entire process, ready to be shipped.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The breaker completed its usefulness and was closed in 1963.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Update March 15, 2018:</strong> Demolition was completed today.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I arrived at this location and were immediately impressed. The only question now was, where do I stash the truck?</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I noticed a road leading up the hill directly across the street and thought that might be ideal. It was completely out of sight from one direction, and only visible from the other direction if someone looked up. And let's face it... most people never look up.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">When I got out of the truck, I noticed that there were also foundations of other buildings there as well. I decided that this was, indeed, the ideal place to park. It wasn't until much later that I would learn that this was a favorite place for smurfs to set up speed traps.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=205&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="w9sJiNb2AY3wOfUpS-r0I0NMLdcE7ROxWHBZbAUmNtw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 23 Jul 2008 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 205 at http://urbexobsession.com http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Coal_Breaker#comments Concrete City http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Concrete_City <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Concrete City</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 07/23/2008 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">These buildings were opened in 1913 to provide model housing for key, "high value" employees and supervisors of the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delaware,_Lackawanna_and_Western_Railroad" target="_blank">DL &amp; W Railroad's</a> Coal Division, who paid a rent of $8.00 per month. In 2008 dollars, using the Consumer Price Index, that would be $179.42. One additional requirement of these employees was that they had to speak English as their first language.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The buildings were originally white with dark green trim, and were repainted every two years, inside and out. There were no washrooms inside these units, but rather an outhouse, also made of concrete.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The community had a wading pool, tennis courts, playground, baseball field, and a small community pavilion.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Problems quickly developed with moisture inside the units. One of the residents recalled how her father's shirts froze in the upstairs closet during the winter, and how her mother had to iron them every morning. Paint and plaster were peeling from the walls by 1920.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The complex was closed in 1924.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In that same year, the property was acquired by the Glen Alden Coal Company. They discovered that they would be required by the township to install a sewage system at a cost of $200,000. Again, in 2008 dollars, this would mean an investment of over $2.5 million. By December, they decided to demolish the existing buildings.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">It is alleged that 100 sticks of dynamite had little impact to one of the buildings, and demolition was discontinued, leaving the buildings as you see them today.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I have come to the conclusion that nothing is ever as easy on the ground as it appears on Google Earth.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Looking at this location on GE, you believe that access should be quite simple and easy. The road passes by some houses, sure, but it continues in far enough not to necessarily be an issue.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As I drove up the road, however, a gate blocked the way. As this gate was right in the neighborhood, and given that my understanding was that the locals didn't like people parking there, I couldn't just stay here.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I drove back out to the main road, and parked on the shoulder. I saw another dirt road that was too rough for the truck, but at least appeared to be going in the right direction. I began walking, going mostly by memory of what I'd seen on GE. Shortly after passing behind someone's garden, I arrived.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Apparently, these buildings were formed with a mold. The upper floor was cast from the same mold as the downstairs. As a result, there was even a flight of concrete stairs that just led up into the ceiling.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Each building was virtually identical, containing two units, each a mirror image of the other. Obvious signs of years of almost constant partying were everywhere, and not a single surface was unadorned by graffiti.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">It didn't take much imagination to see children playing in the courtyard surrounded by buildings. To hear people coming and going as their lives dictated. It's difficult to believe that they weren't occupied nearly as long as they've been vacant.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=196&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="G7stGMUlfDUm8jbuICKQdRFy5R28mP54N0AfsRuB6-4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 23 Jul 2008 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 196 at http://urbexobsession.com http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Concrete_City#comments Centralia http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Centralia <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Centralia</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 07/23/2008 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Settlement here began as early as 1841, but it wasn’t until 1854 that the town, then known as Centerville, would be formally laid out. In 1865, the Post Office would open, changing the name to Centralia as it would be officially incorporated the following year.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Coal mining was the principal employer in the region until the 1960’s when many of the companies would begin going out of business.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In May, 1962, five members of the volunteer fire department were hired by the town council to clean up the landfill site. They set the dump on fire and let it burn. Unfortunately, this fire would ignite a seam of coal, and carry the fire underground into the abandoned coal mines beneath the town. Attempts to extinguish the fire failed, and it continues to burn to this day.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The population in 1981 was cited as being over 1,000 people. In the census of 2007, only 9 people remain.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I don't really know what I was expecting as I neared this location, but I was certainly looking forward to it. The rain was pouring down so hard, the windshield wipers couldn't keep up, and I had to pull over to let it subside.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As I entered the town, I was reminded of the former town of Creighton Mine back home. Streets criss-crossing each other for no apparent reason. Concrete curbs, and random fire hydrants the only suggestion that a town really did flourish here.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I stumbled upon the dump site where it all started. A hole in the ground spewed noxious smoke that was only slightly deterred by the falling rain. The smell of this smoke was like nothing I'd ever encountered before. The smallest breath of it was enough to make you cough.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As I continued around the town site, I noted the last hold-outs trying to hang on to the place that was their home. I couldn't imagine what some of the older people who'd seen so much change here must feel.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As I left, I realized that while some may believe visiting here is boring, I had enjoyed this as much as any other site I had visited during this epic trip.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=193&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="nHBK9361iZION_0ZKekXxl9rD_dzLGASlYCz_vyri7Y"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 23 Jul 2008 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 193 at http://urbexobsession.com Fricks Lock http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Fricks_Lock <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fricks Lock</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 07/22/2008 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify"><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frick%27s_Lock,_Pennsylvania" target="_blank">Frick’s Lock</a> is an abandoned village that appears to date back as far as the 1700’s. Several houses along a single, closed road would be emptied in 1986 when the nuclear power plant across the river went online.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">There are some who say that the residents were bought out by the power company. There are other stories that indicate people were given a 48-hour eviction notice. In either event, the property still belongs to the power company and trespassing is actively discouraged.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=272&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="U5H7CWABei92Kl_s9qvdcJalvuh1MV6u8pyZfk8PRKY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 22 Jul 2008 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 272 at http://urbexobsession.com Pennhurst State School http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Pennhurst <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Pennhurst State School</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 07/21/2008 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Opened in 1908, Pennhurst was a school for disabled students. Covering 1400 acres, this enormous institution would be accused of dehumanization, and eventually abuse of its students before finally closing in 1986 in the grip of yet more scandal.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I wasn't here very long before the authorities kindly requested I not be.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=473&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="zhC6IOUpZ44WfpC5zIUFDKqjbM_MyAG85wWGUxJ5EeU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 21 Jul 2008 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 473 at http://urbexobsession.com http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_Pennhurst#comments Eastern State Penitentiary http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_ESP <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Eastern State Penitentiary</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/index.php/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 07/21/2008 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify">The history of Eastern State Penitentiary is a fascinating story spanning many years. As a model for prisons yet to be built, it would stand as first a shining beacon, and then as a potential embarrassment both admired and reviled.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The story begins in 1821 when the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_Prison_Society" target="_blank">Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons</a> was finally successful in lobbying the Pennsylvania Legislature for the construction of a new prison. The original plans were for a facility that would hold 250 inmates. Architects submitted designs, but it was <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Haviland" target="_blank">John Haviland</a> who won the $100 prize for his design. Construction began in 1822.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="Eastern State as it once looked." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="bda8c734-b312-443f-ac7f-223298fb9043" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/bh01_0.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">In April of 1829, with the prison still under construction, plans were completed for what became known as the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separate_system" target="_blank">Pennsylvania System</a>. This was a system of solitary confinement that many believed would create an air of reflection and penitence required to set a prisoner straight. This plan would go so far as to include masks to keep inmates from communicating during the rare times they were out of their cells. The cells themselves each included a feeding slot in the door, and a private exercise yard to reduce communication between prisoners, guards, and each other.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In October of 1829, Eastern State received its first prisoner, Charles Williams, described as “light black skin, five feet, seven inches tall, scar on nose, scar on thigh, broad mouth, black eyes, farmer by trade, can read.” Mr. Williams was convicted of burglary that included one $20 watch, one $3 gold seal, and one gold key. He was sentenced to two years confinement with labour.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="Original cell." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="3bc8d830-efe7-4955-b9d5-01c5192dfa0a" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_6420_0.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">Things started off slowly for the prison. It is noted by Charles S. Coxe, President of the Board of Inspectors in the first annual report that, by the end of December, 1829, only 9 prisoners had been received. It becomes apparent that perhaps some Judges disagreed with the new system of imprisonment. Further into that same report, Coxe states:</p> <blockquote> <p class="text-align-justify">The extraordinary fact that but nine convicts have been sent from the counties composing the Eastern District, containing so large a majority of of this populous state, demands and deserves great consideration, from all interested in our penal code;</p> </blockquote> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1830, however, things begin to pick up as 49 prisoners were sent to Eastern State. In that year, a document entitled A View and Description of the Eastern Penitentiary of Pennsylvania, in which an insight is given into a prisoner's experience there.</p> <blockquote> <p class="text-align-justify">The convict, on his entrance, after the customary examination, ablution, medical inspection, &amp;c., is clothed, blindfolded and conducted to his cell, where he remains locked up; and after a patient and careful inquiry into his history, and the delivery of an appropriate address to him on the consequences of his crime, and the design to be effected by his punishment, he is abandoned to that salutary anguish and remorse which his reflections in solitude must inevitably produce.</p> </blockquote> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="Original cell." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="0209d338-50a5-4fd7-b5b5-d7d1e21b2462" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_6421_1.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1831, construction was completed on Block 3, and due to an ever-increasing volume of prisoners, construction began on the two-story Blocks 4, 5, 6 and 7. In this same year, Eastern State received its first female inmate.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">1832 saw the prison’s first escape. The warden’s waiter lowered himself from the roof of the front building. He was captured, but repeated his escape in the same manner in 1837.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">1834 brought with it the first investigation into the practices being used within the confines of the prison. This investigation was started amid allegations of abuse and general deviations from the Pennsylvania System of Confinement.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Construction of the original prison was finally completed in 1836, seven years later. The prison had grown to a capacity of 450 prisoners, and boasted sophisticated indoor plumbing and sewage facilities. This has not, however, been cheap. The final cost of construction came in at $750,000, making it one of the most expensive buildings of the day.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="Old corridor." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1b1239ed-f967-48b1-99ce-8280667ba5a0" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_6441_1.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">In the years between 1877 and 1894, four new cell blocks were added to handle yet more prisoners. These blocks, however, would not include the private exercise yards featured in the earlier construction.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">A three-story cell block, Block 12, was added in 1911, adding an additional 120 cells to the prison’s substantial population.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In July, 1923, Leo Callahan, and five other prisoners, scaled the east wall of the prison. Despite recapturing the accomplices from places as far away as Hawaii, Callahan himself was never recaptured.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In the Annual Report of the Warden, in 1924, he states:</p> <blockquote> <p class="text-align-justify">The Eastern State Penitentiary, built 100 years ago on the Warner Farm, located according to the records of those days as being "Near Philadelphia" has out-lived its usefulness as a penal Institution. The buildings are antiquated, insufficient in size and not well adapted for the housing of prisoners. The plot of 12 acres occupied by the Institution, located now almost in the heart of the City, is entirely too small for the necessary buildings, shops and recreation grounds…</p> </blockquote> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1926, with the addition of Block 14, Eastern State held a population of 1,700 prisoners. This is substantially larger than the 250 prisoners originally intended for the facility. It is apparent that the state did not agree with the Warden’s views.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="Recreation of Al Capone's cell." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b6a66e56-3f64-44e2-b333-b7c155c3ac71" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_6529_1.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">For eight months between 1929 and 1930, this population would include a celebrity, of sorts; Al Capone.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">1933 brought a riot protesting living conditions, lack of recreational facilities, and general boredom. Another riot in 1934 complained of low wages. These were nothing, however, compared to the 1961 riot that required the guards and a large contingent of smurfs to retake the prison by force. This riot began discussions about the eventual closure of the prison.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="Protests against the conditions of the prison." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ce1c6f30-f91f-4ee9-8261-c22e3b6c9256" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Eastern_State_Penitentiary_Protest.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">The prison is finally closed in January, 1970, having served almost 141 years. While still seeing occasional use by the city, it remained largely abandoned until restoration work began in 1991.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">By 1994, Eastern State Penitentiary reopened its doors, this time to tourists, playing host to over 10,000 tourists the first year. Over the years, up to the present day, thanks to generous donations, volunteers, and a steady stream of fascinated tourists, Eastern State Penitentiary continues its slow recovery.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 2008, we arrived on a warm summer day. It's a museum, of course, and I tend to be anti-museum. At least in so far as museums are traditionally done. This is almost an un-museum.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Much of it is in its original state. Parts have been restored, but much of it is exactly as they found it after its period of abandonment. That appeals to me. The only work they're doing on those parts appears to be stabilization to keep the place from falling down.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><img alt="Old cell." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="19c6ad58-1f92-414c-996e-a73501783af3" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_6530_1.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">As a result, you get a feeling for it that goes beyond anything a pristine museum could give you. The self-guided tour, using headphones with prerecorded messages, allows your view to be interrupted as little as possible with silly signs and displays. Very little takes away from the experience.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">My only negative comment about the place would be that part of it was kept off limits for special members, at least at the time I was there.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=274&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="AWbYustq-ktQt9yLUcKldSoJV0aRRgvTUGVBeUd2j2k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 21 Jul 2008 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 274 at http://urbexobsession.com http://urbexobsession.com/index.php/gallery_ESP#comments