Sunday, March 22, 2015

The ghost island of Boston

For the last three decades, Boston's Long Island has been the home of a vibrant community: the city's shelter, housing hundreds of homeless people, addicts and troubled teens. During the recent years, Boston's taxpayers and nonprofit groups have spent millions of dollars to refurbish the island's old buildings where until last October up to 700 people sought shelter and other services every day. The community thrived and its two farms were producing some 25,000 pounds of produce a year. Potatoes, parsnips, cilantro, as well as eggs and honey. 

The shelter however fell victim of America's infrastructure crisis. A bridge between the island and the city of Boston was deemed unsafe. To replace the bridge, the city would have to pay an estimated $90 million. An evacuation of the island was ordered instead. With about one-third of Boston's shelter beds for the homeless and about half the city’s detox beds based on the island, the city's social services are now in limbo.

The deserted shelter facilities now complete the scenery of abandonement on Boston's Long Island. With, long-abandoned bunkers that hid gun batteries and Nike missiles, a dusty chapel that hasn’t held services in years, a shuttered morgue, a 150-year-old cemetery, Long Islang now looks more like a ghost island.

More deserted places in the United States

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Kayakoy, a Greek ghost town in Turkey

Close to the Aegean resort town of Fethiye, there's an abandoned village called Kayakoy or Levissi, as Greeks used to call it. Kayakoy was built in the 18th century on the site of the ancient city of Carmylessus. After the nearby town of Fethiye (known as Makri to Greeks) was devastated by an earthquake in 1856, Kayakoy thrived. In 1900 its population was about 10,000, mostly Greek Christians who lived peacefully close to their Turkish neighbors.

It all changed though after the Greco-Turkish war of 1919-1922. The governments of Greece and Turkey agreed to engage in a compulsory population exchange. With the exchange, about 6,500 Greeks were deported from the area and Kayakoy was left abandoned. Today, the site of the village is a historical monument and serves as a museum. Around 500 houses remain as ruins, including two Greek Orthodox Churches, the most important sights of the ghost town. The willingness of the Turkish government to protect the village came into question recently as a plan to lease the village and open it to construction was announced. 

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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