By: Control , Posted on June 18, 2012
The town of South Fallenville is a barren wasteland. Storefronts are empty, residents survive off government benefits - many have no cars, and with no public transportation, they have no means of escape. With no jobs to be found and no way to get ahead, this area may as well be a prison. Decay has set in on all sides.
One of the biggest examples of this is the old town high school. It sits abandoned, forlorn, and slowly starting to crumble.
This is rural America 2012, where the American dream turned out to be the American nightmare.
Kearney Siding Warehouses – National Envelope
By: Control , Posted on June 5, 2012
Huge warehouses, conspicuous amounts of non-activity, and that intrigue strikes once again. What the hell is inside that place?
Deep inside Industrial L.I.C., Two warehouses straddled a 2 track rail siding along a spur known as the 'kearney sidings'. These tracks between the warehouses were long abandoned, though the spur track that continued past it on the east side of the building was active until at least the mid 1980s.
The two buildings themselves remained active until recently. The larger of the two buildings was owned by National Envelope
- a company that went into Bankruptcy in 2010
We eyeballed this place for a long time. Clearly it was not in use. An early attempt to gain entry was greeted with an alarm set off via a hidden sensor.
A few months later the boarding began - a sure sign of impending demolition work.
Access to the building south of the siding was suddenly easy enough: 'someone' left a back door open, leading out onto the old rail siding. True LTV site followers will probably remember that siding from this graffiti gallery post.
. Inside, the building was basically empty, and eerily enough a fire alarm was left blaring - loud enough that you'd be hard pressed to hear a god damned thing else in this huge space of echoing walls. There really wasn't much to see, much less photograph - though I was happy to get inside after many months of eyeballing the place.
According to one blogger
, this location is going to become a FedEx sorting facility. FedEx had their eye on another parcel of land in western queens - located within the massive ConEd campus @ 20th avenue in Astoria. That plan however never got off the ground
, and a lot of 'community groups' and politicians went out of their way to take credit for that when really, no one in the neighborhood has any idea what really happened
. Where are these 'community groups' and politicians today? Probably writing their speeches for when the facility opens and they can claim credit for bringing 'quality jobs' back to L.I.C.
And so it goes... To some these warehouses weren't much to look at, but in my mind they were a beautiful relic of L.I.C.'s industrial past. The buildings were designed to tightly coexist with the rail sidings that served not just them, but the other building across the street which is currently the home of the NYPD Barrier division. Not one inch of ground was wasted here.
Abandoned Bowery Side Platform, 2012
By: Control , Posted on May 31, 2012
The virus had me within its grips. The week long struggle had placed me in a painfully immobile state, wasting away the afternoons and evenings snoozing in bed, doped up on a confused mix of painkillers and steroids. There's not enough meds in the world though to cure that third-rail itch though, and a journalist in town from Australia was itching for some action... so there was only one thing to do.
We met up on the active station platform. i was there early and profiled the various people standing around. Most seemed to just be going on there way, but there were one or two sketchy looking people looking suspicious. They could be cops, on the station to look out for crime. After all, This was the scene of a violent rape recently.
When the Journo arrived we hung around a bit waiting out these creepy people, who had now moved to the end of the platform, and kept looking back towards us. Soon enough their intent became clear from the stench in the air: they're smoking weed down there.
Weed. who the hell hangs out on a seedy subway platform to smoke... weed? Not meth, not crack: weed. Like, dude... this place is a total bummer to smoke at.
Annoyed, we walk to the other end of the platform and wander into the tunnel. Across the tracks and into the abandoned platform. Here lies one of the only abandoned station platforms in NYC that is well lit. if it wasn't for all the graffiti you'd think a track would come and stop at any moment. Those days ended many years ago though, and the walls have since become a canvas for largely toy writers to scrawl their mark on. It's a far cry from the scene when we were the first to check out this station in its abandoned state.
The MTA only recently got around to boarding up the arch nitches between the Queens bound track and the abandoned platform. I can't imagine a good reason for them doing this other than to hide the graffiti and filth on the abandoned platform from the eyes of the public. It's certainly not going to stop people from entering the platform from the tunnels, and it's only going to make it a more cozy home for the homeless and the drug addicts - well lit yet out of the public eye.
It's actually rather amazing that this platform is STILL lit up - years after being closed to the public. There's absolutely no reason for the lights to even be on over here - yet here they are, glowing away, 24/7/365.
The bad old days might not be back all over the subway system - those days will probably never come back - but here, in this station, are all the signs of neglect you need to argue that someone, somewhere, isn't staying on their jobs.
By: Control , Posted on May 10, 2012
You might be surprised to learn that most NYC subway tunnels are devoid of rats. The rats, you see, only live around the station platforms - because that is where the food is. Deeper into the tunnels, where few humans go and less carry their lunches, there's no food to live off of. That is, unless a homeless person has been present.
Most of the homeless have been removed from the NYC subway tunnels, but a few still go in and live for awhile - and sometimes, their trash doesn't get scooped up on the way out.
This is one such location, which I've come to call the 'shit track'. Removed from service a decade ago, this stub track has been severed at the switch from parallel tracks - creating a long unused, broken down trackway where hipster tourist photographers enjoy a relatively safe trip underground and where a homeless person can set up camp right in the middle of the track and cart in all the garbage they want.
Pull It Man!
By: GasAxe , Posted on May 4, 2012
When globetrotting takes me to the corporate HQ in Atlanta, it means a week being stuffed in a 5-star resort without a car. They send a limo to pick us up in the morning and return us in the afternoon. The only excitement is when a meeting ends with somebody getting fired. All-you-can-eat gourmet food helps make our stay to be more bearable, but hey, you have to get out once in a while.
This place was one of Pullman Standard's repair shops. It's changed ownership a few times over the years. About the only piece of railroad left here is the transfer table, rails in the cement and a totally bashed and graff'd dining car sitting on jack-stands with the trucks removed.
If that bashed dining car is going to leave, it will be on the back of a truck. Aside from the trucks missing off the car, the rail connection to CSX has been removed and built over.
What this place has become is a major canvas for the Atlanta graff writers and is best described as the Freedom Tunnel of the South.
If you manage to see the movie "The Fast and the Furious 5", watch closely since there were some scenes in the movie that were shot here.
Special thanks to Bennet of SP.E.C.T.R.E. for this one.
New York Terra Cotta
By: Control , Posted on April 30, 2012
Exploring the interior of one of NYC's best maintained, longest standing abandoned buildings.
This building's interior might not be the most amazing thing to look at, especially in it's present state - but it's exterior is a work of art, and it's historic relevance to NYC on a whole is noteworthy.
From the NYC LPC:
The New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company building is a designated New York City landmark, is listed in the New York State Register of Historic Places, and has been determined to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1892 and was the office for the firm that produced much of the terra cotta ornament popular in New York architecture and across the country at the turn of the 20th century. The New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company manufactured ornamental terra cotta for numerous important buildings around the country, including the Plaza Hotel, Carnegie Hall, and the Ansonia Hotel in New York City, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia, the Statler Hotel in Detroit, the Municipal Building in Dallas, and the Valley National Bank in Des Moines.
With changing architectural styles, popular demand for carved stone and terra cotta lessened in the 1920s and 1930s. As a result, the New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company went bankrupt in 1932, and the grounds were taken over by the Eastern Terra Cotta Company, which manufactured ornaments for many Robert Moses park projects. By 1950, the property was being used for plastics sorting and the “balling” of waste paper. In 1976, all buildings on the Project Site, except the surviving office building, were torn down.
The office building was tightly sealed with preservation in mind. It's own terra cotta elements were until recently encased in wood to prevent exposure to the elements and vandals. Its present owners, Silvercup Studios (home to many TV shows, such as 30 Rock) are hoping to build a high rise building on the plot of land immediately behind the office, where the old factory once stood. Perhaps as a goodwill effort, they've invested a small sum of cash in a complete interior renovation of the office building, along with a general clean up and shoring up of the building's exterior.
Contractors on this job informed us that the building was accessible from the rear on one particular weekend. This bit of information was of no use though considering the tall fences out front, the busy intersection that the building is situated on, and the power plant next door, which is covered in security cameras. All of this has served to protect the building from being explored, until now. LTV Always Prevails.
Via an unusual nautical methodology we landed behind the facility one dark and rainy summer evening via attack hovercraft. From here a machete would be most handy, as the former factory property is overgrown with tall weeds, cloaking the rubble beneath your feet. Hacking a path through this wet brush, we eventually make our way to the rear of the building. Here lays a filmsy, weathered and battered door, left ajar by our confederate insider.
The interior of the building at this point is straight up worksite. All of the old crossbeams have been removed, and replaced with fresh sturdy lumber. Floorboards are being installed, and very little is left of the original interior. In fact, the only serious elements left intact were the second floor fireplace, a toilet left dangling above a hole in the floor, and an original office door - half frosted glass, half thick wood. While it sucked not to see the original condition of the interior, it was fantastic to see the new work in progress, and the overall stability of such an old, unused building.
If our entry to this location was straightforward, our exit was anything but. The lone viable exit was accessible, but now guarded by a police van. The occupants of this van had no idea we were where we were. We set off no alarms, and they were not there to find us. It was their lunch break, or something. And it was just our luck that they took it at the most unfortunate of locations. There was nothing to do, other than lay in wait.
Seconds turn to minutes, minutes turn to an hour. The van has not moved an inch. Surely there has to be something going on somewhere, no?
After a simply maddening hour and a half of seeing our tax paying dollars used to trap us for the hideous crime of being history nerds, the break lights turn off. The van rolls off the sidewalk and into the street, then off into the distance. We quickly make our way out - happy to be free and enlightened, never having to wonder again 'what's inside that place'?
Winfield: Scunthole’s Lair 2012
By: Control , Posted on April 16, 2012
The winfield is one of the largest stretches of 'abandoned' tunnel within the NYC subway system today, in a legion with the Harlem section of the Second Ave Subway
, and The Suicide Tunnel
. What sets the winfield apart though is that it was completed with a rare station shell that was tiled and prepped for use (all other station shells of this variety were never tiled or completed to full size - Think Underbelly
). The only thing missing from this station and tunnel is a set of tracks and a destination for those tracks. The subway line is meant to serve was never actually built - leading the tunnel to an unceremonious dead end. Much of the station area today has been completely rebuilt to accommodate offices and crew locker rooms. The remaining section of the platform is now 'scunts lair', a dark place piled with miscellaneous electronic junk.
By: Control , Posted on April 15, 2012
Disturbed by reports of 'urban explorers' infiltrating drainage systems and taking disgustingly boring photos that no one cares about, we here at LTV decided to support the international ban on draining. Explorers found trespassing in our drains are subject to beatings, harassment and robbery. Their photo-jackoff quota will not be met.
Our all volunteer army is dedicated toward the preservation of the sanctity of our draining infrastructure, and preventing it's exploitation by smug exploration tourists who pollute the internet with their lame HDR vomit photography.
We'll take it a step further by posting these absolutely fucking awesome photos from our drain patrols. The message is clear: if you can't compete, just stay the fuck home. Draining Stops Today.
Mii3 – The Death
By: Control , Posted on April 1, 2012
By now you know the drill. I've posted pre auction and post auction photos of this hospital. The thing is, it was so friggin' huge we had to go back, over and over and over again. Because sometimes - just sometimes, you just can't help yourself...
By: Control , Posted on March 1, 2012
Freedom Tunnel. The name is immediately recognizable to anyone with even a baseline knowledge of NYC's exploring and graffiti culture. Many have visited this tunnel. Some have painted here, while others lived it in. Many have casually passed through, and some have tried to exploit it for selfish PR. Few are those that truly formed a relationship with this forsaken place, and the stories of those who have all vary wildly, while maintaining a generally dark thread.
Mine is no different. I first stumbled upon this tunnel in 1990. I was immediately drawn in. Over the years just about every possible flavor of life event has taken place here. I've wandered this tunnel alone and in groups. I've been paid to lead clandestine tours through it. I've painted this tunnel and observed others as they put up masterfully illegal artistic productions. I've taken everyone down here - from significant others to a japanese news crew. I ran into cops here, who became much more friendly when the girl I was with pulled out her badge. Girl cops are fucking nuts. I've talked to many of the homeless that used to live down here, except that guy who would ride through on his bike and say nothing. And that dead guy. Oh and the guy with the knife, who quickly realized there was nothing to be gained from trying to be a threat - though he didn't have much to loose either.
I've seen the homeless shanty town. I was there when they evicted the homeless, again and again. I was there when they sent in the heavy machinery to destroy the concrete bunkers and old control tower. I was there when Trump's high rises began to rise just to the south of the tunnel, and his security goons hilariously tried to stop me from entering or taking photos. I threatened to arrest one of them. It was pretty funny.
When Amtrak tried to secure the tunnel, I thwarted their efforts. When they sealed it up again, I made my own entrance.
I've spent hours at a time in this place. To see it after dark is a trip into the darkest recesses of not only NYC, but your own twisted mind. Alone in the dark, there is no one to hear your screams - or so you'd think. Down here, back then, the walls had eyes and the mole people could practically see in the dark.
I've been down here during the best of times and the worst of times. When my man Byle wanted to bring 30 college students from the infamous west side dorm into the tunnel in the middle of the night for a 'party', I happily lead the way. The dorm, by the way, was just a bunch of rooms rented in one of NYC's last SROs. The people in that building were perhaps just as desperate as the residents of the tunnel at the time. I've drank, partyed and painted here. I've lived here, for in this abyss you feel alive.
I've been down here on the darkest of days. There was a day a few years back that for awhile I thought of as the worst day of my life. Unemployed, with one OCD girl wanting to control my every action and another stalking me, spreading lies about me to anyone stupid enough to listen. It was to a point where I wanted to see her car on my block so I could walk up to it and shoot her in the fucking head for still trying to ruin my life - months after I stopped speaking to her. The restraining order and contacts at the DA's office might have even kept me out of jail. Who knows. Part of me wishes I got to find out. The other part just doesn't give a fuck.
It all seemed like one huge trap with no way out. The economy just fell in the toilet in the toilet so work prospects were not going to be easy and these neurotic women were aces at disruption and drama.
I made my way to the tunnel to be alone. Away from the all the insanity and instability surrounding me. I tried to make sense of it all - talking aloud at nothing but the walls, filled with anger hate and disappointment. I considered the merits of a quick unhonorable death. But in those dark hours I came to see it all with the new clarity. Yes, bad decisions had lead me to that day, and into a dark tunnel alone. Yes, those choices were all mine. But yes, also were the decisions being made - right then and there - to cast away all the toxic clutter clouding my judgement. To throw out all of these people and their dramas. Change the phone number, stop taking to any potential lying sack of shit enablers out there. Fuck, change whole address and move so no one could fucking find me. To make an honest go at my career finally. I sat at the top of a wall for what must have been hours sorting through the mental debris of a life gone off the rails. As the hours passed so too did the feeling of wanting to be done with this shit life once and for all. The trains went by, but none of them had my name on them. I knew I had a viable plan, and that this was indeed the bottom. The darkest of places I could ever end up. Perhaps that would scare many people - but to me it was comfortable. Familiar. Perhaps too familiar.
What seemed like a dead end just hours ago became of world of true possibility. It was a clean slate.
The scant few people that had some idea how close to the edge I was on that day, who called or wrote or whatever - are some of the only people I actually trust anymore.
The years that have followed have been the best of my rather miserable life. I walked out of the tunnel that day a free man. My second lease on life began that day. I know it sounds ridiculously cliche, but it's true. I'm healthier, earning a load more money, and in love with the soulmate I never would have found if I never touched bottom and stared at the darkness that day.
For me and many others, This is the essence of freedom tunnel. A place to escape to, and a place to hopefully emerge from. For some it took years, perhaps decades. Others never emerged and all. Some went to jail, others moved on, cleaned up. The homeless are gone now. The money Amtrak recently threw away painting some of the walls destroying some priceless art was a waste. All it did was create a new canvas that is already being painted with fresh graffiti from a newer generation of writers. The tourists still pass through, the bombers still tag up, and the photo geeks still get in. No amount of fencing can contain this place, for this is no ordinary tunnel.
This is Freedom Tunnel.