Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

From Pete Zarria:

Illini Payady Loans

Monday, October 29, 2012

Creepy Garage

From Heidi Waugaman-Page:

Old garage in Sunapee, NH. Very creepy. I have visited it many times. Many of the buildings have been torn down since the property was sold last spring. I at least got to get into the garage for another visit.

These make me think of a Nine Inch Nails video or Brothers Quay-style videos. I had way too much fun.

Sunapee Garage #1 Sunapee Garage #5 Sunapee Garage #11 Sunapee Garage #7

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Church Worth Crowing About

From James M. Surprenant:

Abandoned Church

I was in Eden, NC, for the annual Argus Camera Collectors Group Gathering. It was Sunday morning and I was out around town taking photos with several vintage and toy cameras.

When I spotted the church, I pulled over and got out of the car with my cameras. As I walked along the sidewalk, taking photos as I approached the building, I was being "followed" by a very large crow on the power line.

Double Cross

The crow seemed upset that I was there because it was scolding me very loudly and it hopped along the wire following right behind me. When I stopped to shoot, it stopped.

When I got to the church walk, I took a few steps towards the church and knelt down to shoot. Then I heard something solid land behind me, like a rock or something. I turned and the crow flew away, and I didn't see what hit the path behind me.

Weird/creepy and yet oh so cool!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Window Dressing

From Dave Brigham:

Dainty Dot

I used to walk by the Dainty Dot Hosiery building a lot. I worked in the mail room of a small banking and real estate publishing company in Boston's Leather District, just a few blocks from the late 19th century building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

On occasion, I made deliveries on foot, walking through the Financial District, along the waterfront, through Chinatown and, quickly and with eyes in the back of my head, among the pimps and prostitutes of the Combat Zone (R.I.P.).

The Dainty Dot building was on the edge of Chinatown, facing Surface Road, which separated the ethnic enclave from the smaller Leather District. I loved the character of the building -- rich, brown bricks, nice details at the top, a real solid place of industry -- and of course I thrilled at the name on the side.

Dainty Dot Hosiery

Unfortunately, the building was recently torn down. A developer has finally begun to realize a plan to build a 26-story residential tower after years of financing issues.

For more about the history of the Dainty Dot building, and the former Shreve, Crump & Low building in Boston's Back Bay, read this post from the Evolving Critic blog.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Found My Quarry

From Dave Brigham:

I'm becoming more attracted to Greater Boston's waterfront. I've enjoyed checking out the sights in the city, but I'm ready to branch out a bit. This is what brought me to Quincy's Rock Island Cove Salt Marsh.

Through a Google map search of the area just south of Boston, I found a bunch of places, and once I did a quick investigation into Rock Island Cove, and learned there used to be a quarry there, I knew I had to check it out.

The salt marsh, of course, is beautiful.

Salt marsh

But my quarry was the quarry. Having read just a little online about the site, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was hoping for building remnants; what I found was some steep rock walls leading into what seems to be a fairly shallow pit.

And of course, there was graffiti.

Quarry tag #2 Quarry tag #3

The pit was filled with trees and grasses and trash.

Bad seat

I suspect if I'd ventured down there I would've found more interesting pieces of history. But drilled into a rock a good distance from the pit I found this pin:

Big pin

I don't know anything about quarry operations, so I have no idea what was secured here. I assume a cable was strung through here that was perhaps used to hoist rock from the hole.

From two sources online, I learned that the company that quarried the stone was called the Tidewater Broken Stone company. Founded in 1906, the company owned 26 acres of "the best quality trap rock suitable for crushing purposes," according to "United States Investor, Volume 21, Part 2" by Frank P. Bennett and Company. I tell ya, Google documents is awesome.

According to the same source, Tidewater supplied "practically all the stone used in water front construction, both in government and city works."

It's no surprise this place is called Rock Island. The quarry seems fairly small, but there is certainly plenty of stone in the general area, so I imagine Tidewater had quite an operation in its day.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Watering Hole

From Pete Zarria:

Bud Light

Back alley watering hole in Amboy, Illinois.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

State of Confusion

In 2005, through a federal grant, Massachusetts began putting into action a plan to close state facilities for the elderly and people with disabilities and to move those clients into home-based environments. Translation: the commonwealth wanted to deinstitutionalize some of its most vulnerable residents by moving them out of hospitals where they had received care for most or all of their lives.

As a result, more hulking, Gothic hospitals around Massachusetts joined the growing ranks of aging facilities that were already favorites of urban explorers.

On June 30 of this year, the Monson Developmental Center, which opened in Palmer in 1854, moved the last few remaining residents out. Most of the facility's buildings have been empty for years.

Peter Arnemann took these amazing pictures a few years back.

What will become of the Monson site? As with so many other similar facilities in the state, the answer is, "Who the hell knows?" There is no master plan for the site, according to Palmer town officials. -- DB.