Monday, February 24, 2014

The abandoned 'Model Prison' of Cuba

Built by dictator Gerardo Machado in the Isla de la Juventud, 'Presidio Modelo', the Model Prison was where everyone who went to jail for more than 180 days in Cuba was sent. It opened in 1936 but it's construction began a decade earlier. The prison was a replica of Joliet prison in Illinois. Until today, 'Presidio Modelo' is known as the ideal design of a 'panopticon' prison. The cells are built at the edge of a circular building and a tower in the middle allows the watchmen to observe all cells from the same position while the inmates can't know when they're being watched. 

Fidel Castro and his brother Raul were also imprisoned there for perpetrating the attack at Moncada Barracks which started the Cuban Revolution. After Castro's triumph in 1959, Presidio Modelo was used to jail political dissidents, counter-revolutionaries, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and anyone else considered an enemy of the Socialist Cuban state. By 1961, due to the overcrowded conditions (6,000 to 8,000 political prisoners at one time), it was the site of various riots and hunger strikes. 

The prison was closed by the government in 1967. Today Presidio Modelo serves as a museum national monument and is visited by Cubans and foreign tourists. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned prisons around the world // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Sathorn Unique: Bangkok's ghost skyscraper

The construction of the Sathorn Unique tower in the center of Bangkok begun in the early '90s when the Thai economy was booming. The 49-store skyscraper was meant to become a modern residence for affluent citizens of Bangkok. The Asian Financial Crisis though changed all that. The tower was abandoned in 1997, when the construction was 80% completed. Since then, it's often visited by urban explorers who often climb to the top for a magnificent view of the Thai capital.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Joyland: An abandoned amusement park in Kansas

Joyland was once the largest amusement park in Wichita, Kansas but today it remains abandoned and vandalized. It opened in 1949 and it remained in continuous operation for 55 years, until 2004 when it shut down due to economical troubles and safety concerns. 

The park had more than 24 amusement rides, a 1949 roller coaster, a miniature train (built between 1905 and 1910), and a Mammoth Military Band Organ (or Wurlitzer Style 160, built around 1905). In 2006, maintenance works took place aiming to reopen the park again but this never happened. Today, an organization is trying to raise funds in order to restore Joyland. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned amusement parks and abandoned theme parks around the world // More abandoned places in the United States // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES
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