Monday, June 27, 2016

Packard Automotive Plant, the largest abandoned industrial site in the world

When Packard Automotive Plant opened in 1903 in Detroit's east side, it was considered the most modern automobile manufacturing facility in the world. Built on 40 acres (16 ha) of land, the building has a size of 3,500,000 square foot (325,000 m2). It was the first time reinforced concrete was used for a building of the automobile industry. Inside, skilled craftsmen involved in over eighty trades constructed luxury cars for the Packard Motor Car Company and later by the Studebaker-Packard Corporation.

The factory complex closed in 1958 though other businesses operated on parts of the premises or used it for storage until the late 1990s. In 2010, the last remaining tenant, Chemical Processing, announced its intention to vacate the premises after 52 years.

Since its abandonment, the building has been heavily vandalized, while much of the wiring and other building material has been scavenged. The plant is often visited by graffiti artists, urban explorers, paintballers and auto scrappers.

Many attempts to sell the plant in the last years failed until a Spanish investor purchased it for $405,000 in 2013. Fernando Palazuelo plans on having six different uses for the Packard Plant Project (residential, retail, offices, light industry, recreation and art) that is estimated to cost about $350 million over the next 10 to 15 years. First redevelopment work on the site began in 2014. 

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

An abandoned Russian apartment building by the sea

This abandoned building by the sea is what's left from the village of Kirovsky in the Russian region of Kamchatka. Kirovsky was a fishing village founded in 1907, getting its name a few years later by the Bolshevik leader Sergey Kirov

Korovsky's economy suffered during the "drift-net disaster" in the late 1950s - early 1960s when the growing drift-net fishing by Japanese vessels led to the sharp decline of fish in the region. Many fishing villages disappeared, among them Kirovsky which was abandoned in 1964. The nearby town of "new Kirovsky" was also abandoned in 1987, just before the fall of the Soviet Union

SEE ALSO: More abandoned houses around the world // More abandoned places in Russia // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Monday, June 20, 2016

Inside an abandoned Belgian power plant

Power Plant IM was built in 1921, in the Monceau-sur-Sambre neighborhood of the Belgian city of Charleroi. At that time, it was one of the largest coal burning power plants in Belgium and by 1977 it was the main source of energy in the Charleroi area, being able to cool down 480,000 gallons of water per minute.

After years of service, a report found that Power Plant IM was responsible for 10% of the total carbon dioxide emissions in Belgium. Greenpeace protested the plant in 2006 giving it a lot of negative attention till it finally closed in 2007.

After its closure, there were reports of looting by metal scrappers and as a result security guards were posted on site. Still, the huge power plant is being often visited by urban explorers.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Ruins of the 1964 New York World’s Fair Pavilion

The New York State Pavilion on Flushing Meadows–Corona Park was constructed between 1962 and 1964 for the 1964 New York World's Fair, the exposition dedicated to "Man's Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe".

Designed by architects Philip Johnson and Lev Zetlin, the pavilion consists of three components made of reinforced concrete and steel: the Tent of Tomorrow, and eliptical construction based on 16 reinforced concrete piers which once supported the largest cable suspension roof in the world while the floor depicted a map of the New York state, the Observation Towers consisting of three towers, the tallest of them 226 feet (69 metres) high, and the Theaterama which today is home to the Queens Theatre in the Park.

The New York State Pavilion was maintained for future use after the end of the exposition but no reuse was ever found except for the Theaterama which in 1994 became home of the Queens Theatre. Although several plans for its restoration have been proposed, until today it remains abandoned and it has mainly been used for TV and movie sets, including an episode of McCloud, The Wiz, Men in Black, and Iron Man 2. It was also the venue for rock concerts as part of the Singer Bowl Festival in 1969 that included the Grateful Dead, Joe Cocker, and Santana.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

The deserted hotels of Sharm el Seikh, Egypt

One of the results of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 and the years of instability that followed, was the collapse of the country's tourism industry. At the southern coast of Sinai peninsula, the 200 km (120 miles) coast was the country's tourism epicenter. Today, where new hotels were constantly being built, the scene is much different. Construction has halted while dozens of hotels remain empty.

Although Sinai was never a stranger to terrorism, ISIS has caused new problems. By the beginning of 2016, a flight ban, imposed after the crash of a Russian airliner, has caused visits in Sharm el Seikh to decline further by 85% and an estimated $170 million loss per month.

Along the coast of Sinai, hotels that are still open have closed down wings or restaurants and operate with limited staff. Their owners are waiting for better days in the future.

SEE ALSO: Abandoned Sinai hotels // More abandoned hotels around the world // More abandoned places in the desert // More abandoned places in Egypt // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Monday, June 6, 2016

The abandoned Sheraton resort on Cook Islands

This abandoned Sheraton resort can be found on the south coast of Rarotonga, the main island of the Cook Islands with a population of 10,500, about 70% of the country's population. The resort dates back to 1987 when the Cook Islands government signed a deal with an Italian bank to finance the resort. The government acted as guarantors for the $36 million USD loan while Sheraton signed up to manage the property.

Construction work for the 5-star 200-suite hotel, including a golf course began in 1990 but it ended abruptly when the resort was 80% finished. The project run out of money when most of the $36 million disappeared down a black hole carved out by the mafia and other crooks. As a result, the country’s finances were crippled and taxpayers are still saddled with the interest bill. There have been suggestions about possible redevelopment of the resort but nothing has moved forward as the issue of who owns the hotel has been stuck in the courts for years.

Many Rarotongans believe that the project was doomed from the beginning as the resort's site was cursed in 1911 following a bitter argument over ownership of the land. At the project’s official launch, the grandson of the woman who cursed the land appeared dressed as a high priest intoning the resurrection of his grandmother’s curse. Then, he slammed his spear into a rock onto which a plaque had just been unveiled by the Prime Minister, marking the beginning of the Sheraton project. When the rock split to ground level, the locals saw it as a sign that the resort was still cursed and doomed.

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Spanish ghost town of Belchite, left in ruins after the Spanish civil war

The Spanish village of Belchite, in the province of Zaragoza, became the theater of the Battle of Belchite from August 24 and September 7, 1937 which was fought between loyalist republicans and rebel forces of General Franco. It took just two weeks for Belchite to be destroyed on one of the deadliest of the Spanish Civil War. Although Franco's nationalist forces lost the battle, they went on winning the war which killed around 500,000 people. 

In memory of the 3,000 people who died there, the village has remained untouched since the end of the Spanish Civil War.  After 1939, a new village of Belchite was built adjacent to the ruins of the old. Today, the ruins of Belchite are visited by tourists and they have been used as filming locations in films including Terry Gilliam's 1988 film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Photos of Australia's disappearing pubs

Australian photographer Ryan Cremer has captured photos of pubs, many of them abandoned, scattered in the Riverina region of New South Wales for his project titled 'Last Drinks'

As the rural economy has declined, so has the population forcing many of those establishments to shut down. Meanwhile, crime rates have soared. According to Cramer, the Balldale Hotel closed after being robbed 6 times. Other pubs faced unprecedented tragedy like The Conargo Hotel which was first built in the 1850s and burnt down in 2014. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned places in Australia // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Monday, May 23, 2016

Inside an abandoned military aviation academy in Russia

This abandoned military aviation academy was photographer somewhere in Russia by urban explorer alexdoomer2009 in 2013. It consists of a big academic building which was abandoned about a year before those photographs were taken. However, it looks like someone kept guarding it for some time after that.

Inside the building we can see different rooms like labs, workshop rooms, offices and storage rooms. In a chemistry lab the furniture and equipment are still left intact. Bottles with chemical agents and aviation fuel samples can be see over testing benches. Inside lecture halls the chalkboards are still written with information while storage rooms are filled with books and other equipment. Inside an office wall we can see an old map of the Soviet Union.

SEE ALSO: More abandoned schools and universities around the world // More abandoned places in Russia // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Monday, May 16, 2016

Inside Cleveland's abandoned Variety Theater

Built in 1927, and initially operating as a vaudeville theater, the Variety Theater was one of the earliest cinemas in Cleveland, Ohio. Owned by Warner Bros. from 1929 to 1954, it became one of the busiest movie theaters on Clevaland's West Side. During the 1970's and 1980's it became a second-run theater and finally a rock concert venue. Bands such as Metallica, R.E.M. and Dead Kennedys are among those who appeared in the 1,900-seat theater.

It was during a Motorhead concert on December 2, 1984 when the loud music cracked the ceiling and plaster began to fall on to the audience. The power was cut off to stop the band from playing. Two years later, a judged order Variety Theater closed. Since then it has remained abandoned and hidden from the public. 

In 2009 the abandoned theater was purchased by Friends of the Historic Variety Theatre, an organization aiming to restore and operate the theater. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned theaters around the world // More abandoned places in Ohio // More abandoned places in the United States // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 

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