Arsonist Finishing Corp
By: Control , Posted on January 2, 2012
This place rocks out with it's burning toasty cock out.
I say that because in 2007, it was the scene of a large arson fire, though you'd be hard pressed to find obvious signs of fire damage by visiting here today. Nature has really taken over, washing away the smoke damage and growing a virtual forest across the warehouse floor.
At the time of the fire, the local fire chief was quoted in the press as saying "It is a very dangerous building/ Basically, it's a shell." Today, it's still a shell, though the danger is clearly exaggerated.
Throughout the years this building serviced many roles, from paint factory to dirt mall. In the 1980s it became vacant and soon began to fall apart - eventually landing in the advanced state of decay you see here. The scant few useful walls have become a canvas for both toys and truly gifted writers alike. It's future, like much of it's past, remains somewhat unknown, though it isn't hard to imagine a bulldozer, landscaping, construction, and a new shitty mini-mall taking its place. This is, afterall, NYC Suburbia - a place not known for valuing its history or even its future for that matter.
BEDT track remnant by Kent Ave
By: Control , Posted on December 16, 2011
Brooklyn Zoo, Terrify
By: Control , Posted on November 12, 2011
I came here to rectify
BROOKLYN ZOO, terrify
-Old Dirty Bastard
Long on the to-do list, inspecting this deep tunnel vent shaft eventually came due. If you're looking for an awesome story of sneaking into this place covertly, you're shit out of luck. If you're looking for dramatic endings, well then keep on reading there, chesty.
Walking right in and down along the cold hard tracks, we're impressed by the darkness. Most subway tunnels have at least a few light bulbs. This one has nothing, for what seems like miles. It's just you, your compadres, the darkness, and the sounds of dripping water pouring in the distance like a chorus of drunken bickering kardashians spreading their legs and rubbing their clits.
What, too much? Please. This is a humid dark wet tunnel, so sexual commentary isn't just for fun - it's downright required. Besides, a train could roll up on your ass in seconds down here, flashing your life before your mere mortal eyes.
We arrive at the vent, which is not a place for mere mortals. Indeed, it's been rather well secured over the years, so you better be a god of escape after entering. There's no way not to set off the motion sensor at the top of the stairs here, and even if you do, there's like 3 more on the way up. Every landing has another fucking motion sensor, and did I mention this is a deep, deep tunnel? You may as well just dial up the subway operations center on one of the phones in the tunnel below and tell them you're doing bad things - because within seconds, they know.
And you, if you're smart, you know. You know all these sensors must mean there's something around here that they're positively obsessed about keeping people like you from getting to see. So you run though the stairs, peering into nooks as you go, and stepping carefully and nerve-rackingly over the dilapidated, collapse-tastic see through catwalks which are perfect for blowing large gusts of wind upward as trains rip buy below at upwards of 60mph.
Click Click Click. Flash Flash Flash. There's no available light here. You don't come here to take artsy photos. You do however come here to take photos of art - which it seems is exactly what they don't want you to get to see. This place has a lot of it - left over relics from when this vent shaft was a hangout spot for anyone with the brass balls to come down here. The best stuff is now behind a fence, that is strangely well mended, and running from floor to ceiling no less. Talk about obessive security.
Eye on your watch, we know it's time to go - because there is no time to be down here anymore. Up still more stairs, popping another two sensors as we go. The hatch to the street swings open into the rainy summer sky. On the corner, not 50 feet away, waiting at the traffic light in plain view is an MTA workbum truck.
You stare towards it baffled. Of all the fucking luck... there's no way they could have gotten here that fast.
And no, they didn't. A split second later the light changes, and they're on their way, strangely not having noticed people coming out of the hatch right-fucking-there.
Luck has been pushed far further that on your average night of tunneling already, so we disappear in separate directions into the darkness.
The Nursing Hole
By: Control , Posted on August 24, 2011
Stumbling awake, with a migraine huge enough I could carry it with both hands. Stomach acid on overload. The bathroom is right with the noontime sun blazing through the skylight. The new kitten, too small and dumb to know otherwise, tries to sit between me and the toilet. I muster just enough energy to push it away before the inevitable. Somehow I stay on target. How the hell did it come to this?
12 hours ago:
I'm not one to get sick. Colds, if I get one at all, pass within 24 hours. Somehow this one had lingered 48 hours, but it seemed to be fading, and siting around "resting" in an utterly restless state on a friday night just doesn't compute in my brain. Moping about illness just makes recovery longer. I have to get out there and get some air. Fortunately, there was a fowl smell in the air that night. Sleazy has indeed just blown back into town, so I wheel my boat down his street and pick that pimp brother up.
The agenda for the night is pretty open, so we discuss the potential options. He's got a water tunnel that sounds confined, contains two feet of water of unknown coloration. I've got a plethora of old NYC industrial sites that and a mysterious old nursing home that according to the NYC government is shut down and recently received complaints from neighbors of it being accessible to all manner of reprobate. Given my mild sickness, the tunnel seems like a bad option, health wise, while the nursing home is fresh meat.
Abandoned just 2 years ago, the backstory behind this building remains mostly unresearched and classified at the time of writing. Located towards the ghetto parts, this was an apparently terrible nursing home for low budget clients. It was shut down, with the buildings sold to - wait for it — a real estate development company looking to either flip it for millions or convert it to condos for the next wave of Transplant-Americans from Maryland, Nebraska, and Ohio - all ignorant gentrifiers who don't understand real estate value in the NYC area and how their mere existence living in the ghetto prices out others and increases poverty for those less fortunate.
We roll up and find ample parking. Of course. Who the fuck wants to park their car on a deserted block in the ghetto? I'll tell you who - ME. I fucking love curbside check-in while exploring. Shifter thrusts to 'P'erfection and we exit directly outside of the building. We look up at the old dark structure. No lights on, no windows open. The front gates and doors are locked with heavy chain. The sidewalk is covered in rubbish with weeds growing pushing through the cracks. Yeap - this is definitely the right place.
We note a huge hatch on the ground. Sloped inward containing a pool of puddle, it looks precarious at best. How many people trip over this every day? (oh wait, no one — who the hell would walk down this block?). Sleazy comments that we can't open it — not because there's a lock on it, but because to do so will disturb the puddle and we'll be breaking like 500 approved 'UE" ethic rules.
You already know what happens next. This is NYC. We could give a fuck what some assholes on the internet think. We lift the hatch.
Below, we find our thoughts of a super easy entrance vanish. Just a few feet below is a huge pool of water — depth unknown — with an entrance beyond it uncertain.
Maybe for a really paranoid person this would have served as a fucking AWESOME warning sign. But to us it was just an obstacle. How the hell are we going to get in this place?
If you think I'm going to tell you, you haven't been reading this site for long. Please. Stop reading this now and read some other "UE" website. Figure it out yourself or find a different hobby.
We're instantly greeted by that smell of abandonment. There's old wood rot smell in here, mixed with a dash of lead paint dust and ... something else? I can't put my finger on it, but it doesn't stop us. We press further and further into the building. Room after room of absolutely nothing. An employee locker room yields the first signs of life — notes from unhappy workers posted on many. Union stickers on others. Towards the front we find an office with voided checks laying out. They look like pay checks, and let's just say they are nowhere near enough to cover the cost of changing granny's diapers. These people that worked here are probably getting more on unemployment and food stamps than this place would ever pay them. Even that is nothing, mind you. NY State pays barely the cost of living in UI. Your better off on welfare. These workers must have been hot tempered about this shit work situation...
Speaking of temperature, did I mention its summer? And that this place is getting more humid the further down the hall we go? Finally we find stairs going up and down, and down reveals exactly what you don't want to find: a completely flooded basement. We're talking around 5 feet of water, in a basement that has a huge footprint in terms of square feet. That's a lot of god damned water down there. No wonder this place is reaching sauna-status.
The paint is chipping off nearly every wall as we go up. This building looks like an abandoned mental hospital that has sat exposed to the elements for 20 years. It isn't. It's a very well sealed nursing home, with minimal roof leakage and few if any open windows.
Pressing on, we find a few rooms with beds, some obscure graffiti (the taggers are always in first in NYC - always). What we don't find are squatters, or signs of scrapping. And worst of all, no stupid 'UE' kids to mug. I guess we can put the weapons away eh?
The rooftop proves lacking. We're in the middle of nowhere after all, so there's not much to see. The city skyline of course is there, in the distance... but far from impressive.
After some time poking around and looking for something of relevance in this huge place, we exhaust all hallways, rooms and options. It's an unceremonious end to the evening, which is really a-ok by me. A climax escape from cops in helicopters is a great story to tell the grandkids but I've already got one of those, and enough silly photos of this place to feel content at having seen it. Sure could have done without that smell though...
Fast forward 4 days.
The scratchy throat and nose still aren't happy. The best logical guess is some sort of mold in that building tried to kill me. Doctors appointment made (something I haven't done in who knows how long), I can only sit here tapping out this sordid tale. Soon I'll be feasting on some steak to recharge the batteries. My better half, on the way home, has picked up even more excellent noms. Whatever it is that's dragging me down, like so many other things over the years, has failed.
I'm sure those UE ethics assholes out their might say 'oh well you should have been wearing a respirator'. Yeah on my fucking cock. Here's a better idea — next time I'll have some Diesel before going in. Axl Rose can takes his unleaded and shove it up his candy ass — and you, sir, can take your respirator and choke on it. Unless perhaps you're the guy passing me the jug of diesel and setting up a line of coke to snort off the volumtous ass of a latin female. You're my kind of pimp.
Will I ever explore a place like that again? Sure. Maybe not with an existing cold though, and you know what else? Holy shit, I really rather explore subway tunnels than fucked up buildings. It's so much god damned safer. In a subway tunnel, you know the air quality is awesome with those 600 volts buzzing in surround sound bacteria killing bliss. The dangers are really obvious, and they aren't invisible. Yeah, you can die down their — but fuck that. If I'm going to die I want to see what's going to kill me — not some pansy fucking invisible granny diaper mold virus shit. One way or another this hobby is always trying to kill you. 20 years on, I ain't dead yet. So fuck you, moldy crap. Fuck you.
Oh and PS, Sleazy didn't get sick at all. He's too fucked in the head. Viruses go in that motherfucker and run to their oxygen suicide. And he pimps hot latin women on south bronx street corners - at least that's what his rap sheet claims. One day I aspire to grow down enough to be just like Sleazy.
By: GasAxe , Posted on July 24, 2011
More than just another synagogue that went bust, but one with enough drama for a feature length movie and a series of matching court battles.
The first court battle came when it came to light the rabbi had his fingers in the cookie jar and was handing out cookies to his friends and family. That got sorta solved and they got a new rabbi, but the old rabbi was still in the picture since he was signatory to way too many legal documents pertaining to the shul.
Attendance had been dropping off for years and eventually the board of directors decided it was time to throw in the tallis. They found a church with sufficient cash that was looking for a new home, so they started working on the sale.
"Not so fast!
" said yet another rabbi. "You (the board of directors) don't have the right to sell your own property, when you should just give it to me
," he continued.
The case played out in a beis din, but never really went anywhere. It went to civil court after that where several years later, it's still sitting in limbo.
Since then, the Department of Buildings has condemned the shul. It sits empty with an uncertain future.
I guess the way they look at it is: "there's only a few million dollars at stake, so what's the rush?"
Gitche Gumee Ore Bust
By: GasAxe , Posted on July 8, 2011
There's no solid evidence that the Edmund Fitzgerald ever docked here, but it's entirely possible.
This is one of two abandoned, but still standing ore docks on West end of Lake Superior. It was formerly owned by the Soo Line RR and currently by Canadian National.
The tracks leading up to the timber approach trestle are completely obliterated. It's unclear why the large portion of timber trestle was left standing.
Canadian National has gone a bit overboard trying to preclude access to the abandoned dock by removing stairways and even welding a 50' long, steel plate completely across the dock at the shore. Due to time constraints and not wanting to take a dip in Lake Superior while wearing a business suit; their exclusionary measures remain effective for today, but they are by no means insurmountable.
A Long way from the Island RR
By: GasAxe , Posted on July 7, 2011
When the LIRR upgraded their diesel fleet, they scrapped a lot of cars. Some were sold off intact. Former LIRR diesel coaches turn up in the oddest of places. Just driving down the road and looking out the window in Northern Wisconsin and there sits an ex-LIRR diesel coach along with some other derelict equipment. If you manage to find your way here, bring tick repellent.
The end of Hope Street
By: Control , Posted on June 28, 2011
For the better part of a decade, at the east end of Hope street, lay an impressively large industrial building that seemed utterly hopeless.
The exact industrial history of this warehouse is, sadly, a bit of a mystery to me at the moment. What we do know is that in the 1980s it was mostly in use as artists lofts and small businesses.
The lofts were, at the time, on the very fringe. A comment via Brownstoner
tells the story well:
I am one of the original tenants who moved into Hope Street in 1993 - after the last real estate crash. Kalamon Dolgin, specifically Neil Dolgin couldn't give it away fast enough. He even put in gas jet heaters so I could live there. No one wanted to live there, and I had been living in Williamsburg since 1988, so this was a step up. I had crack addicted prostitutes passed out on my door, There was incredible drug dealing, murders outside my window and where the gallery is on the corner of Hope and Marcy was a luncheonette where the retired guys would gather, there were scads of feral cats, the first pigeons with West Nile started dying on the roof, and also I watched 9/11 and the Twin Towers go down from that roof. A former porn actress who wound up doing business deals with Dolgin (one slut to another I liked to think) lived there with her homicidal boyfriend. We were terrorized by the super, the former gang leader of the neighborhood who stole our packages, forged our checks and occasionally attacked tenants who did not know-tow to him, My floor was 6000 square feet and over the years we had a gallery, sculptors, artists, actors, writers, notable people. We really, really used the space. The temperature in the winter in the uninsulated building would go down to the 40's. We bundled up in sweaters and dealt with it.
Also, this was one of the staging grounds to rewrite the NY City amended loft law, which almost, but did not quite pass though the bill was written and it went all the way up to what was then was Governor Pataki, Joe Bruno and Sheldon Silver, but in the way of horsetrading, our bill was traded away at the last moment. It was a good fight, we lost but had a number of planning meetings there with the bill's lawyers, and rezoning happened and we all got evicted. The water got turned off, electric, you name it. A huge number of the people in that building left NY, not all, but a lot of them. We did not receive a buy out. We did go on rent strike and that helped pay the legal fees.
The guy who bought it for 26 million for Dolgin (it had been the first building in their empire, as Old Man Dolgin let everyone know he had shoveled coal) was a decent sort who lost his shirt. He was a small time developer who got in over his head. I often wonder how it went for him, because obviously he got bankrupted.
The last line of the comment refers to how often the property changed hands in the last 5 years.
With so much money vested, won and lost via these various 'developers', it was a given that sooner or later some kind of residential conversion would happen with this property. We'll get to that in a moment.
Aside from being one of Williamburg's early artist loft spaces, this building also made the news when it was repeated tagged up by then-infamous street artist Neckface.For further reading on that fiasco, and how the gangsta building super wanted to kill him for it, check out this CityNoise post - which saved a copy of the NY Daily News article
The hope street warehouse was also home to the "65 hope st. gallery" - which, if you google, returns loads of results for artists who exhibited their work in this space.
On the business side, I was only able to track down one company that resided in this location: Z & L Trading Corp - which apparently was a tannery (!).
As one customer commented: "I have used Z & L Trad Corp. 65 Hope street Brooklyn NY 11211 for tanning bears for rugs. I have had good luck with them as long as the bear is well taken care of in the first place."
As a personal footnote, I have vague memories of attending some party in this building while it was still lofts. The fact that I don't quite recall the details probably tells of what a good time this place must have been during the newly gentrified years, before the evictions.
Located on a previously deserted street, this building was always easy to get into. Completely emptied of everything, this building presented itself as one of the few rare utterly boring locations in NYC. Nothing really interesting to photograph, a decent if not predictable view from the rooftop, and little by way of interesting graffiti (outside of some stuff in the basement). The fact that I came and went from this place numerous times over several years without bothering to post about it show how uninspired this place was from a illegal partying/exploring perspective.
As of my time in writing this, work has finally begun on the residential conversion. The good news is that this majestic old industrial building will not be torn down. The bad news is that it will soon house 117 one bedroom and studio "apartments".
It will also only have 11 parking spaces. I guess they are aiming to rent it onto to unshowered, bicycling riding hipsters. The fact that the community board rubber stamped such a short amount of parking for a building that will probably contain at least 200 residents is a little ridiculous. Basically they're converting it into a dorm. Surely they will need to pack in as many residents as they can to make some money off this building. A few owners and many millions lost in speculation, this building is a sad tribute to the real estate industry in NYC, though with it's exterior still intact, it will also serve as a reminder towards the industrial days of NYC, and the bad old days of the neighborhood - when crack and gangs were king and the white people were either bold or stupid.
Enter the Dragon
By: ShadowBat , Posted on June 27, 2011
Just happened to stumble upon this, while in the general area (alright it was on my radar for a while, but I completely forgot until now). Saw that it could be an easy spot to get into and I kept it in mind for later that night. As my plans for the night fell through as usual, I made the journey back to check it out.
This building will house much needed science labs for a fast growing and renewing college campus anxious to shed it's banal institutional image with a host of new architecturally significant structures. The focal point here will be a full height atrium with a soaring spiral staircase. Should be real impressive when done.
By: Control , Posted on June 24, 2011
There's not really a lot I want to say about this place, in part because the property is owned by a family in the concrete business (the media alledges mob ties, as they do with every family in the concrete business in NYC). The other part is because frankly, I don't know the full history - which seems a little deeper than I've had time to research.
One of our minions down at the research department was surfing satellite images and raised questions as to what the hell this place was. It seemed abandoned enough, so it made it onto the to-do list and was picked up along with a few others in the immediate area.
Upon arrival, there's zero people around, and that's not surprising - because there's really nothing else around here. Making our way over concrete blocks and aggregate mountains, eventually we slide down into a lot full of rusting old machines. This stuff hasn't seen any action in decades.
Making out way forward we go towards the real target - a huge abandoned warehouse style building. Having read the report on this dump, My personal assumption would be that it would be empty and boring. Boy was I happily wrong.
Instead we found a large supply of old cement mixers and related parts - and a clue to this buildings deeper history. The windows - the ones still in place that is - are painted in a crazy mix of colors. High on one wall is a painting of kids playing basketball. At the far end of the building, a basketball hoop hangs high. Clearly, this place was once a gym. But for who? and when? There's no schools over here, or churches, or anything else, for that matter.
Upstairs we find a row of battered ancient filing cabinets. All are empty. There's a touch of graffiti, dating back to the 1980s - a very rare archaeological find considering how little original graffiti exists today.
On a desk in the corner is an address book - all hand written. In it there's not just names of business contacts, but where the owner of this book met said people. It seems to be the address book of the owner of the cement company. Curiously I thumb through it looking for older relatives of people I that might have ended up in a book like this - though sadly it seems they never crossed pathes. (Would have been a pretty amazing find on a personal level if there was a connection).
Satisified we had seen it all and shot everything worth shooting, it was off to the next location. Someday we'll get around to getting the exact history of this place - but definitely not today. It's bright and warm out, and there's the ever present to-do list, with 4 more spots to hit before day's end. Such is the weekend grind around here - and so it goes.