Blog Update: Sunday December 1, 2013
Old Man Winter was a pussy-ass-bitch! It was just a few days before the arrival of the Spring Equinox and the ground was already thawed, it had been for weeks at this point. Green vegetation covered much of the forest floor, fueled by the onslaught of unseasonably mild air. Pesky woodland creatures began to awaken from hibernation way too early. I could hear their dinky legs and arms scampering about the woods, probably perplexed as to where the hell winter went so soon...
Update: Friday November 1, 2013
Situated on a large parcel of overgrown property, surrounded by trees and neighboring McMansions, a 15,000 square foot classical Revival Style Country House rots away, camouflaged by a backdrop of thick forested land. The Hurstmont Estate, as the property is referred today was originally constructed in 1886, but was rebuilt during 1903. The 30 plus room mansion was constructed for James T. Pyle, a wealthy new Yorker, who's claim to riches was derived from his brand of Pearline Soap. Various parties have owned the house from the early 1900's up through the 1980's. The last owner purchased the house in 1981 with plans to restore the mansion and outlying buildings, however such plans fell through and the Hurstmont Estate has remained vacant and for sale since 1981. Nearly 30 years since last occupied, the opportunity arose for me to sneak inside the abandoned mansion. Finding my way inside was quite literally like stepping into the past. The fully furnished mansion remained untouched, except by decay. In more recent years the estate has been purchased, but no plans finalized as to what will ultimately happen with the mansion. In 2010 the Hurstmont Estate was added to Preservation New Jersey's top 10 most endangered historical sites.
Blog Update: Tuesday October 1, 2013
A lone truck tire propped against a brick wall served as a step up into an otherwise inconvenient window entrance. The large tire provided just enough of a boost for me to be able to grab on to the window ledge and pull myself up and through the opening, belly down, skin scraping across the cement sill so as to keep a low enough profile to avoid scaring my spine against a rusty jagged window grate peeled back just a few inches above my head...
Update: Sunday September 1, 2013
An assortment of rotting buildings all interconnected by tunnels remain scattered about this sprawling campus, originally constructed as a developmental training center to house the mentally retarded. Today, a handful of buildings remain vacant and abandoned while other structures have been converted into new use by the local university. I paid visit to the shuttered campus on a particularly cold and bleak December afternoon. Despite the frigid air, snow had yet to blanket the ground, instead the brown and grey tones significant of dead grass and naked trees awaited a snowy covering. Entering the buildings required a bit of maneuverability, once in however, the somber grey atmosphere as experienced outside, seemed to linger within the frozen hallways inside. Many rooms remained packed with old scientific machines and instruments, left behind by the university. Other rooms contained artifacts relevant to the original usages of the building, during its days as a developmental school. I spent most of my time inside poking around the basement level rooms and traversing a section of steam tunnel.
Blog Update: Thursday August 1, 2013
Back when I was more boring I would notice the messages displayed about the many tall billboards, always advertising some form of bullshit material goods or textually spewing sugar coated propaganda to sponge minded passerby's below. The advertisements always precisely placed, so as to garner the most attention; bold text on bright colored backgrounds suspended over cliff edges or bolted atop tall poles overlooking busy highways is par for the course...
Update: Monday July 1, 2013
For decades this massive theater remained vacant, rotting away within the borough of Brooklyn. However beginning in 2010 the City of New York initiated a restoration plan to restore the theater and its 3,676 seat house to the original 1929 appearance. I was able to score a glance inside the building before the full swing of restoration efforts went into action. The theater is completely windowless, thus the interior pitch black. However construction lighting left behind by restoration crews allowed us to temporarily illumine the grande space. The architectural details were absolutely mind blowing, from the ornate designs and patterns in the ceiling to the red carpet laden stairwell of the lobby. Walking about the cavernous space I felt like true nobility, a real king. Most fascinating of all were the thousands of red upholstered seats inside the theater, all aligned perfectly in neat rows. The symmetry and patterns created of the vacant seats was a wild sight, reminiscent of wave a red encompassing the massive empty theater and stage space. Restoration efforts are now moving along swiftly and as planned. The theater is set to re-open sometime in 2014.
Blog Update: Saturday June 1, 2013
My brain was baked, dull from the dense monotony which smothered my mind of any free thinking abilities. Nearly a half hour overextended, a horrendous three hour night lecture had finally let out. With its commencement, I watched as my peers rose like zombies from their desks in the lecture hall. In unison they threw their backpacks over their shoulders, inserted head phones into their ear holes and exited out the single narrow classroom door...
Update: Wednesday May 1, 2013
A handful of blown out, empty, and stripped industrial buildings remain scattered about a large forested area. A tall, rusty, barbwire topped fence attempts to guard the exterior perimeter of the property, now however it's riddled with gapping holes cut by adventurous kids who have turned the toxic, superfund industrial wasteland into their own personal and super fun dirtbike/ATV park. Rocky gravel roads overgrown with weeds, tall grasses, and rutted out by consistent ATV traffic meander and cut through the property leading to various boring buildings. However, following the road for a distance the exciting sight of an abandoned and rusty water tower stretching up towards the sky soon comes into view. A rickety ladder ascends up the support leg of the tower, abruptly ending about five feet above the ground, seemingly just out of reach. However with a little bit of monkeying around one can easily manage to scale the ladder and reach the summit of the tower where great views of the superfund site and surrounding geography prevail.