Monday, January 19, 2015

Photos of abandoned arcades in Arizona

Arcade games were popular in the US from the late 1970s to the mid 1990s. However, as video based game controls made the transition from 2D to 3D graphics, arcades lost their appeal for many.

Photographer Thomas Schultz documented some arcades gathering dust somewhere in Arizona. 

Note: This is the last regular post on this blog for the next several months. We will be posting once every few weeks till regular updates resume. Still, you can follow us on twitter and like us on facebook for your weekly deserted places dose. 

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Inside the abandoned Domino Sugar Refinery in New York

The Domino Sugar Refinery in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City used to be the largest sugar refinery in the world when it was constructed in 1882. Ships would deliver sugar cane from all over the world and half of US more than half of the sugar consumed in the entire country was refined in this Brooklyn factory. The business was so successful that in May 1896 tha factory's owner, American Sugar, became one of the original twelve companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The refinery's long history also includes one of the longest labor strikes in New York City's history when in 200o, 250 workers went on strike for twenty months protesting wages and working conditions.

After 148 years of operation, the refinery closed in 2004 and 225 workers were laid off. Since then, the 11-acre site has been purchased by private corporations twice in order to be redeveloped. The latest plan includes a mix of creative office space, market-rate and affordable housing, neighborhood retail, and community facilities. The demolition of the factory's structures began in fall of 2014.

More deserted places in the United States

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Monday, January 5, 2015

The abandoned City Hall station of New York Subway

It has been called 'one of the most beautiful subway stations in the world', but today it's one of New York subway's ghost stations. City Hall station opened in 1904 and served as the southern terminal of the "Manhattan Main Line", the subway's first line. Designed by Rafael Guastavino, it is an usually elegant station and unique among New York's first subway stations. The platform and mezzanine feature Guastavino tile, skylights, colored glass tilework and brass chandeliers.

During the following decades, New York subway saw an increase in passenger numbers which meant longer trains and longer platforms had to be used. As the City Hall station's platform was built on a tight curve, it would have been difficult to be lengthened. Moreover, City Hall was never an important station and it was close to the far busier Brooklyn Bridge station. The station closed on December 31, 1945. It served 600 passengers on that day. 

Today, the tracks going through the station are part of the turning loop which is being used by 6 trains. Passengers who remain on the trains as they go around the loop, can see the station's platform even though trains no longer stop there. Since the mid '90s there have been many ocassions when this very unique station opens to the public for tours. 

More deserted places in the United States

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Monday, December 29, 2014

10 Deserted Places we discovered in 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, it's time for our annual end of the year tradition. This time, I went through this year's 39 posts and selected the 10 best ones. Some of them are among the most read by you, while other are my personal favorites. 

I would like to take this opportunity and thank everyone who visited this blog during 2014. It is very encouraging to see how many of you were expecting our weekly updates. 

2015 will be somewhat different for Deserted Places as we won't be able to update the blog regularly for most of the year. However, there will still be new posts every now and then and of course there's an archive of more than 100 deserted places from all over the world you can (re)discover! And I promise that once I'm back home from my own adventures, regular updates will resume.

Meanwhile, you can always follow us on twitter or like us on facebook to stay in touch.

Wishing a happy and healthy 2015 to each one of you! 


For more than 60 years, Elliniko International Airport was the main airport of Athens. After it shut down in 2001, an Olympic Complex was construction inside the airport ground which itself was mostly left abandoned. Today, the old airport of Athens is still awaiting its fate. (More photos)

Maunsell Forts were erected during World War II to protect London and other Thames settlements. Decomissioned in the 50s, they were later used as offshore pirate radio stations and one of them even tried to become an independent nation. (More photos)

Part of this abandoned Russian military base on Kotlin island used to be coastline anti-ship complex during the Cold War. Today many military vehicles in good condition can be found inside. (More photos)

4.  Sathorn Unique: Bangkok's ghost skyscraper

Sathorn Unique tower's construction in the center of Bangkok began in the early 90s. The 49-store skyskraper was abandoned in 1997 though when the construction was 80% completed. (More photos)

5.  An abandoned NSA spying station in Berlin

In the early 60's, the American NSA built one of its largest 'listening stations' on top of an artificial hill in west Berlin. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall the station was spying on East Germany but it has remained abandoned ever since. (More photos)

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Monday, December 22, 2014

The abandoned Castle of Mesen in Belgium

The Castle of Mesen or Kasteel van Mesen was built near the village of Lede in Belgium and it's surrounded by seven hectares of parkland. Destroyed and rebuilt several times, the current building dates to around 1628. After 1796 the castle ceased to be in the hands of Bette family and saw a number of reuses, from gin distillery to sugar and potash refinery, tobacco factory and finally a boarding school for girls of high society.

After the school closed, the Castle of Mesen passed into the hands of the Ministry of Defence. Due to the high cost of restorations though it was left abandoned. When a few years ago it failed to be listed as a historic monument, hope faded. The castle was finally demolished in 2010.

More deserted places in Belgium

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Inside the UN buffer zone in Cyprus

Following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the United Nations Peacekeeping Force established a buffer zone between the Greek Republic of Cyprus and the newly created Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The Green Line, as the demilitarized zone is also called, runs for more than 180 km (112 miles) cutting the island of Cyprus in two. The zone's width ranges from 3.3 meters (11 feet) to 7.4 kilometers (4.6 miles). 

Today there are still thousands of people who live in several villages or work in farm land which happens to be inside the zone. In the part of the zone that crosses to city of Nicosia though, the situation is different. The zone contains many houses and businesses left abandoned in 1974 as well as the Nicosia International Airport which has seen no flights since 1977.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

An abandoned college campus in Australia

This abandoned college is in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. The entire TAFE (Technical And Further Education) campus, which included restaurant, library, lecture theatre, scores of classrooms and other buildings has been left abandoned for years together with much of its equipment and furnishing.

More deserted places in Australia

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Expoland, an abandoned amusement park in Japan

Expoland amusement park in Osaka, Japan, opened as the amusement zone of Expo '70, the International Exposition hosted in the city in 1970. It was supposed to be a temporary part and closed down after the end of the exposition but reopened in 1972 due to its popularity. The park covered an area of 20 hectares and included more than 40 rides and attractions, 19 restaurants and shops.

In May 5, 2007, a tragic accident took place at Expoland. Fujin Raijin II rollercoaster derailed resulting to the death of a 19-year-old university student while forty people were injured and thirty-one were taken to the hospital. The investigation revealed that the ride derailed due to a broken axle. None of the ride vehicle's axles had been replaced for fifteen years.

The park reopened after a series of safety inspections but closed again on December 9, 2007 due to lack of customers. In 2008 there were reports that Paramount Pictures is looking to turn the Expoland site into a theme park. In 2009, 20% of the park's area was renovated and reopened as a new theme park called 'Farm Expo'.

More deserted places in Japan

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Monday, November 24, 2014

NASA's abandoned launch sites

American photographer Roland Miller has spent 25 years photographing NASA's facilities around the United States. With the rise of private programs though, many of those sites are now being left abandoned. 

For his latest book, Abandoned in Place, Miller visited 16 space launch sites and research facilities in areas including Virginia, Florida and California, taking readers on a “photographic exploration of the American space launch and research facilities that played a crucial role in the early period of space exploration. The goals of this project are to preserve and portray these abandoned, deactivated, and repurposed sites through photography that surpasses the official government approach to documentation and to lend historical and artistic insight to the subject.”

Among the facilities he visited, always accompanied by an escort, were the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the Kennedy Space Center at the Cape Canaveral in Florida.

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V2 Launch Site with Hermes A-1 Rocket, Launch Complex 33 Gantry, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, 2006

Launch Complex 36 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Horizontal Gantry from Base, Gemini Titan Complex 19, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, 1991

Monday, November 17, 2014

The abandoned Montebello State Hospital in Baltimore

Montebello State Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, was originally known as Sydenham Hospital for Communicable Diseases, as it specialised in the research and therapy of infectious diseases such as smallpox, tuberculosis, poliomyelitis and meningitis in an era when antibiotics didn't exist. 

The hospital campus was originally constructed between 1922 and 1924, and it consisted of seven Italian Renaissance Revival style buildings designed by noted Baltimore architect Edward Hughes Glidden.

The hospital closed in 1949 and some of its buildings were taken over by the Montebello State Chronic Disease Hospital, later known simply as the Montebello State Hospital. New buildings were later built on the campus while some of the old hospital buldings were left abandoned. 

The campus was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, however its old abandoned buildings were demolished by the site's new owners in 2013. 

More deserted places in the United States

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