I Love Environmental Investigation
By: Control , Posted on August 3, 2012
Everyone loves 'Environmental Investigations'. it's government speak for when an abandoned factory is potentially so toxic and beyond superfund status that no one really knows how many toxic chemicals and crap are in the soil of the property.
This building has been left abandoned since as long as I can recall. Located on a dead end street in the middle of nowhere industrial NJ, this real estate is basically worthless.
There are no clues as to what this industry used to produce, though the solid concrete floors and thick wire meshed windows suggest it was once full of heavy machinery. Situated on a river and near rail sidings, it's clear some products were made here in bulk and shipped long distances.
Today, there's not much left to see. The walls have become a canvas to an intrepid few of the NYC area's most daring graffiti writers. In one corner of the building is a room of huge iron drums that once stored chemicals of unknown origin. In another corner, a homeless person has created a bunker at the core of the building. Full of canned foods and concrete walls, this man will survive the apocalypse if the radiation doesn't get him first.
In short, this is my kind of abandonment. Industrial. Hardy. Devoid of the law and society. Here, there is only survival and death. Life in it's rawest form, Death in stark light.
Junkies Auto Repair
By: Control , Posted on August 1, 2012
So I'm driving all over notfarNJ all day with a former felon, and we're on a spree. Every big abandoned building we see, we barge right into. This is the sort of broad daylight exploring blitz I live for.
Lately, I've been striving to include some more historic and adventural context to everything that gets posted on this site. This location though, is a clear exception. There's little known about it, and not a thread of information to use to research it. The front of the building appears to have been an auto garage just before it's untimely death. The rear contained massive fuel tanks, suggesting a former life as a small fuel depo.
At present time, it's a shithole. Squatters abound, the parts of the building that are not a burned out mess are filled with trash. Here lay the possessions of heroin addicted squatters, who have cobbled together piles of shoes, clothing and pure crap - strewn across the floor in random piles.
Completely unimpressed, we leave within minutes. There's absolute nothing to paint, or loot, and nothing that would clarify its past uses.
Welcome to the real, gritty Jersey. Home of pure shit locations such as this one.
By: Control , Posted on July 30, 2012
The Stella Doro cookie factory was a longstanding source of good paying jobs in The Bronx - that is, until a private equity company got involved.
The Stella Doro bakery started in and was a privately held company until 1992, at which time the owners sold to Nabisco. Nabisco soon became a part of Kraft Foods.
Kraft sold the Stella D brand to a private equity company called Brynwood Partners. Before this happened, Kraft managed to alienate their Jewish customer base by removing the pareve designation (A select group of Kosher foods).
Private equity companies are the devil, so it's not surprising that the company went straight to hell. They refused to negotiate a fair contract with their workers - who went out on strike. After 11 months of striking, courts ruled in the workers favor and ordered Brynwood to give back pay. Brynwood took them back, and they immediately announced that the factory would close within weeks.
The NY Times basically repeated Brynwood Partners press release word for word without verifying facts. The article they published stated that workers had and were demanding 9 weeks vacation
. This 'large' amount of vacation time was designed to make the workers look greedy - a strategy that worked when you read the comments in the Times article. The reality though was that most workers only received 3-4 weeks vacation. The Times has yet to correct this fact, of course. So much for journalism these days.
That the family grew this business to employ 575 people, and that the corporations and private equity ran the business into the ground (134 employees at the end - with the company in debt. It posted sales of $65 Million before it was sold to Nabisco), shows what happens when the suits get involved. Decent paying jobs are lost. The area politicians and Mayor Money Bloombag refused to get involved. None of these politicians care about keeping working class jobs in the Bronx.
A year or two back, I only got to make one recon run to this location. At that time, it seemed like entry would be really easy via a rear window - though we'd need a ladder to get someone inside via a second floor window, and maybe let others in via any door since that would be way more discrete. It was a slightly brazen plan given that this building is located a mere block from an NYPD station house, but that hasn't stopped us before. This plan sat on the shelf a few months while significantly cooler, more pressing locations were hit up. By time time I got back around to doing a renewed recon of this location, it was clear this building was not long for this world.
Driving by on the highway, you could see all the windows had been removed. I parked around the block and walked around to the rear of the building - everything was wide open. Doors, windows, everything. The old loading dock was already bulldozed. i wasn't planning on going in, but circumstances had clearly changed. This place might not last another week.
Inside, the rear of the building contained offices. Those offices were already molding over. Water damage was rather extensive for a building that had only been abandoned for 3 years.
Most of the place was cleared out, but there was plenty of lootables. Old computer gear mostly. Low retail value, high 'throw it out the window and smash it' value.
The production and packing floors were basically clear - all old factory equipment already removed. Water poured through the building, with large puddles everywhere.
I had really hoped for more out of this place in terms of adventure, but there wasn't a whole lot to see, and I had parked at a metered spot. Thus my visit was short, yet still satisfying - for I had gotten in and gotten over once again - in broad daylight. When you can't stop, you won't stop. That's what exploring is. It's getting in. No matter when where or what surrounds the area.
Hutton Brick Co.
By: Control , Posted on July 17, 2012
An old Brick Factory lays in ruins on the Hudson river, awaiting an unknown future.
The Hutton Brick Co. was founded in 1865 and operated until at least 1979. this large operation featured a small narrow-gauge railway which hauled carloads of clay from an open strip-mine site west of the factory, across the now closed Steep Rocks Road just east of the factory buildings. This track crossed the old NYC Hudson Cement branch at a diamond crossing.
The property today is completely abandoned. Steep Rocks Road is fenced off from vehicular access, though your free to walk through an opening and up the road into the old factory area off to the right. (to the left is where the mine was located - it has basically returned to nature).
Most of the buildings here have been gutted of equipment. Anything metal was looted long ago by scrappers. Curiously, a building towards the river was re-purposed as a restaurant, which later failed. Here is where local kids have set up skateboard and dirtbike ramps. Several were building a new obstacle coarse as we wandered through - not bothered at all by our presence.
Further back were the drying sheds, and large (brick, of course) ovens were the clay was heated and molded. Several of the old narrow gauge tracks are still embedded in the concrete here. these are some of the only traces of the railway here. There doesn't seem to be any record online as to what happened to the 2 old locomotives and the clay hauling cars, though I did find this photo of what looks like one outside an abandoned restaurant in Oneonta
. (This restaurant is currently listed as for sale
the future of this old historic site is very much in question today. Apparently it has been marked for redevelopment:
To the south, another 300+ unit development known as Sailor's Cove threatens the Hutton Company Brick works, one of only two intact brick yards along the Hudson River. In response, Scenic Hudson, local citizens and New York Times editorials have questioned the rationale for building so many units on such relatively small sites along the river, raising the larger question of "whose riverfront is it?" - only those who can afford the new condos or the community at large?
I of course think it'd be more of a benefit to the community at large to turn a location like this into a museum of Hudson Valley industry. That of course would take a huge amount of time and effort. Apparently in the early 1990s there was a plan to do just this, though clearly it never happened. Despite this, Kingston is surprisingly a town that is able to muster some good volunteer activity. The CMRR
is rebuilding what would today be considered a 'rail line to nowhere' - from Kingston westword into the mountains. The Trolley Museum of New York still operates a short trolley ride (and has some ex NYCTA cars on the property to boot). Restaurants have moved into many of the old buildings at the 'Roundout' area.
By: Control , Posted on July 1, 2012
There's not a whole lot to talk about with this place. It's a rather huge warehouse once operated by a furniture retailer. When they went bankrupt, they left this place to gather dust. Huge warehouse space, combined with a smaller office area that was molded over from water damage, and a computer server room that was sadly already looted by the time we arrived.
Ah well, you can't win them all.
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.