Monday, July 28, 2014

An abandoned record factory in Athens

To expand in the markets of the Middle East and the Balkan region, British Columbia Graphophone Company, later known as Columbia Records, decided to operate a factory in Athens, Greece. Built between 1928 and 1930 in an area of 3,5 acres (14,000 sq. meters), the Columbia factory produced gramophones, vinyl records, radios and later cassettes for over 50 years. In 1935 a recording studio, the first in Greece, also opened inside the factory.

Being the only record production facility in the region, more record companies, such as His Master's Voice (later EMI), Odeon, and Parlophone chose to produce their records there. Columbia factory saw its golden years between the 1950s and the 1980s. Hundreds of Greek music records were produced there during this time. The factory's success however was mainly due to the exports of records and later cassettes to the Middle East, especially Lebanon and Egypt. By 1978, 350 people were working in the factory while the exports proceeds were about 5 million dollars per year.

Columbia's recording studio closed in 1983 and the whole factory was shut down by 1991. In 2006 it was decided that one of the 7 buildings would be preserved in order to be turned into a museum while the rest of the factory would be demolished. Activists and politicians vowed to resist any development plans in the area and until today the Columbia factory remains abandoned.

SEE ALSO: More abandoned industrial sites around the world // More abandoned places in Greece // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Monday, July 21, 2014

An abandoned 1920s cabaret theatre in Berlin

This abandoned cabaret theatre was discovered in the central Mitte area of Berlin, Germany. It opened in 1905 as a musical hall and restaurant, named “Fritz Schmidt’s Restaurant and Festival Halls” and soon became an established venue for Berlin’s ballroom society. In 1919 it changed operators and became “Kolibri Festival Halls and Cabarets”. It was the era of the German "Kabarett" and that was when this theatre hall had some of its best days. It all ended at some point after 1934 when the Nazi regime started its crackdown on the cabaret scene. 

The cabaret theatre was found inside an abandoned three-storey building surrounded by taller apartment buildings. After tons of rubble were removed from its interior, a 300 square metre (3230 sq feet) ballroom with wall paintings and metre-high stuccoed ceilings was revealed. The kitchen on the ground floor had a special lift to send up food and drinks to the hall on the second floor. LAVA architecture firm undertook the task of restoration of the building in order to be used as a space for performances and exhibitions, studios, meetings and conferences, and luxury apartments for short term and executive rental.

SEE ALSO: More abandoned theaters around the world // More abandoned places in Germany // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Fort Jefferson: An abandoned island fortress off Florida

In the lower Florida Keys, within the Dry Tortugas National Park there's an unfinished and abandoned island fortress, which is the largest masonry structure in the Americas. Fort Jefferson was built by the U.S. Army in 1846 to assist in the fight against piracy in the Caribbean Sea

The design called for a four-tiered six-sided 1000 heavy-gun fort, with two sides measuring 415 feet (126 meters), and four sides measuring 564 feet (172 meters). On the parade ground inside the fort's massive brick walls there were living quarters for soldiers and officers, gunpowder magazines, storehouses, and other buildings required to maintain the fort. An important part of the construction was carried out by slaves. 

Fort Jefferson's peak military population was 1,729. To support such a large population in an area lacking fresh water (hence the name 'Dry Tortugas'), an innovative system of cisterns was built into the walls of the fort. However, the system was never used in practice, cracks were created in the cisterns due to the enormous weight of the outer walls, allowing seawater to contaminate the fresh water supply. 

During the Civil War, with construction still under way, Fort Jefferson was used as a prison for deserters. In 1867, a Yellow Fever epidemic killed many prisoners. By 1888 the Army turned the fort over to the Marine Hospital Service to be operated as a quarantine station as the cost of maintaining it due to the effects of frequent hurricanes and tropical climate could no longer be justified. 

On January 4, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who visited the area by ship, designated the area as a National Monument, while in 1992 the Dry Tortugas, including Fort Jefferson, was established as a National Park. Today, tourists can reach the island by ferry or by chartered seaplanes and private yachts and tour the abandoned Fort Jefferson. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned castles around the world // More abandoned islands // More abandoned prisons // More abandoned places in Florida // More abandoned places in the United States // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Monday, July 7, 2014

Yekaterinburg TV Tower: The tallest abandoned structure in the world

The Yekaterinburg TV Tower is one of the landmarks of the major Russian city and also has the title of the tallest abandoned building in the world. Its construction started in 1983 but it was put on hold during the collapse of USSR. The tower today stands at 220 meters (720 feet) while, according to plans, it was intended to be 400 meters (1,300 feet) tall, after an antenna was added. The elevators were never installed and anyone who wants to go up its 26 floors (not including the tower's base) has to take the stairs.

Due do some construction errors, the tower today is slightly leaning. During the 1990s, Yekaterinburg TV Tower was illegally  used for BASE jumping but after some fatal accidents it was eventually sealed in 2000. Throughout the years there have been plans to renovate and use the tower but until today nothing has been decided.

SEE ALSO: More abandoned towers around the world // More abandoned places in Russia // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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