Monday, July 25, 2016

The film set of the abandoned town of Spectre from Tim Burton's Big Fish

Those of you who've watched Tim Burton's Big Fish remember the town of Spectre, where everyone tossed their shoes on a clothesline so they could walk around barefoot forever. When Ewan McGregor ends up there, he decides he can’t settle, vows to come back, and leaves to return years later when the town is abandoned.

To bring Spectre to live, Tim Burton chose a small island which stretches over Jackson Lake, near the town of Millbrook, Alabama. After filming ended, the production didn't tear down the film set. Although most of the film set has collapsed after years of neglect, part of the "abandoned" town with its fake houses and even some fake trees is standing on the island till this day.

The film set is on a private land. The owner allows curious visitors to take a look around the set or even camp on it after paying a fee.

SEE ALSO: More abandoned film sets around the world // More abandoned ghost towns // More abandoned islands // More abandoned places in the United States // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Inside Washington Coliseum, where the Beatles gave their first concert in the US

Washington Coliseum is widely known as the venue where the Beatles gave their first concert in the United States. In its 75 years of history it has hosted a wide array of performances and athletic events, including ice skating, martial arts, ballet, music, circuses, and speeches until it then became a jail, a waste management facility and a parking lot.

Washington Coliseum opened in February 1941, as Uline Ice Arena built by Miguel L. "Uncle Mike" Uline for his hockey team, the Washington Lions. The first act was Sonja Henie's Hollywood Ice Revue while one of its first events was a pro-America rally designed to promote U.S. entry in World War II, just weeks before Pearl Harbor.

The arena was renamed Washington Coliseum in 1960 after it was bought by jewelry wholesaler Harry G. Lynn. It then became the basketball court for Washington Capitols where Earl Lloyd became the first African American athlete to play in the NBA. 

In 1964 the Beatles gave their first concert in the US, less than 48 hours after their historic appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. 8,092 fans attended the event with the Beatles playing for approximately 40 minutes. Concerts in the arena were banned in 1967 after a riot during a performance by The Temptations

Between 1969-1970 Washington Coliseum hosted a sport event for the last time, becoming the home of Washington Caps. In 1971 it was briefly turned into a makeshift jail for up to 1200 male and female prisoners arrested during the 1971 May Day Protests against the war in Vietnam.

From 1994 to 2003 the Washington Coliseum served as a trash transfer station by Waste Management, the company that handles trash disposal for the District of Columbia. Then, Waste Management applied for its demolition, however in 2007 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places

In 2015, Outdoor retailer REI announced that Washngton Coliseum will be redeveloped and will be turned into their fifth flagship store with additional office and retail space for other businesses. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned arenas and theaters around the world // More abandoned sports facilities // More abandoned places in the United States // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Monday, July 18, 2016

This photographer went inside Fukushima's nuclear disaster exclusion zone

Five years after the devastating 8.9 magnitude Japan earthquake and tsunami, as well as the nuclear disaster that followed, Malaysian photographer Keow Wee Loong sneaked inside the Fukushima exclusion zone with his friends to take photos of what's left behind.

Since April 22, 2011, an area within 20km (12.4miles) radius of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power was quickly evacuated and cordoned of to public. Residents abandoned it quickly taking only necessary items and leaving behind clothes inside washing machines and supermarket shelves filled with goods, even luxury items.

Even though the photographer was wearing a gas mask to protect himself from the contaminated air, he said he could still feel his eyes burning. He had only a few hours to spend inside the red zone, which he entered at 1am to avoid the police. 

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Romania's abandoned Casino Constanta

Built in Consțanta, one of Romania's most historic cities, Casino Contanța was commissioned by King Carol I around 1900 and inaugurated in August 1910. For the next 80 years it gathered the country's wealthy as well as international jet setters. Built in Art Nouveau style by Romanian architect Petre Antonescu, the casino overlooks the Black Sea and has become a symbol for the city. 

During World War II, Casino Constanta was used as a hospital and was later refurnished as a restaurant. After many years of operation, though it was considered too expensive to maintain. After passing hands several times over the years, it closed down in 1990 and has remained abandoned and in disrepair ever since. However, it was declared a historic monument by the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs of Romania and remains well-guarded. 


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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Lebanon's abandoned Grand Aley Hotel

Grand Aley Hotel was built in 1926 on a hilltop overlooking the old resort town of Aley, just off the main highway linking Beirut to Damascus. The area was a popular destination for visitors from Beirut and neighboring countries and the 3 brothers who owned the hotel called on the services of an Italian architect working in Lebanon at the time to design Grand Aley Hotel.

During World War II the hotel was requisitioned by the British army and used as their headquarters in the region. Later, it also became the headquarters of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) who, along with British and French troops, invaded Syria and Lebanon. 

During the next 20 years Grand Aley Hotel became again a popular venue for evening entertainment - gambling, concerts and dancing, while its garden was large enough to have a pool with rowing boats. 

Then came Lebanon's civil war and the hotel was once more sporadically occupied by foreign mercenary allies of local militias. Damage suffered during the war was too expensive to fix and its owners were forced to sell the hotel for a fraction of its worth. The new owner turned a part of the hotel into a school that taught a bilingual Arabic and English programme. In 2008 an unpaid loan forced foreclosure. Since then Grand Aley hotel remains abandoned as there have been no potential buyers.

SEE ALSO: More abandoned hotels around the world // More abandoned schools // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 

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Monday, July 4, 2016

The Dead Cities of northern Syria

In the northwest of Syria, between the cities of Aleppo and Idlib, lies on of the largest concentration of archaeological sites in the world, the Dead Cities of Syria. More than 700 settlements grouped in 8 archaeological parts provide an insight into rural life in Late Antiquity and during the Byzantine period.

The well preserved remains include houses, churches, pagan temples, cisterns and bathhouses. Located along major routes, these cities were prosperous between the 1st and 7th centuries. After the Arab conquest, the trade routes changed and the cities lost the majority of the business. They were finally abandoned between the 8th and 10th centuries as settlers left for more prosperous lands. 

Before the Syrian Civil War, these abandoned cities were often visited by tourists although the Syrian government had done little to restore the ancient ruins. In 2011, the "Ancient Villages of Northern Syria" were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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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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