Vacant New Jersey

Scranton Lace Company

Status: Region: Type: Gallery:
Abandoned Pennsylvania Industrial 52 Photos

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Recent snow melt revealed a barren pale landscape, everything was dead, monochrome, still. The blue sky above appeared nearly artificial, no doubt painted such a lively hue as to lighten the gloomy minds of those trapped within this sepia photographic world that I shall title, Bleak. Weeds and once tall grasses slumped over, like lifeless limp bodies strewn across a battle field moments after a murderous defeat. A spacious courtyard carpeted with brush, smoker's yellow in pigment and trampled flat from months of heavy snow provided little cover from the surrounding massive brick edifice which desired to be entered.

Standing middle of the courtyard I was exposed, visible to anyone, but so were the scars of the building. Potential entrances silhouetted against the brown brick facade appeared as black holes. A slight bounce the flattened vegetation gave as I walked across the courtyard closer to the black hole entrances, delving deeper into this Bleak photographic environment. It is Early Spring, it is Bleak, there are no chirping birds, or budding flowers, no insects, no color, just the tease of occasional mild air and the promise of life from death. I know this promise well for it will soon hold true and Bleak will develop into the colors associated of late Spring. The birds will chirp, the insects will buzz, the vegetation will sprout again, winter will be long forgotten.

Then it will be Summer, the air will be dry and hot, the sun will sting, and the vegetation will swallow the building looming right before my curious eyes, hiding its now obvious and painful scars behind green bandaids. I prefer Bleak, for it is a picture, a state of being, that is rarely seen, unappreciated, misunderstood. Bleak is a transitional photograph, displayed for just a short time, it exposes true flaws, which go otherwise unnoticed, or masked quickly beneath the makeup applied by the colorful seasons, or beneath a blanket of fallen, tawny Autumn leaves and then soon a Winter snow. But Bleak is also weak, permanent like chalk, easily spoiled by warm air, Spring showers, time. It's own Bleak but short lived life should be seen not as cold, or miserable, or hopeless, but as hopeful, just like the painted blue sky which shines through above, despite the dead colorless environment beneath. Bleak however is only ever temporary and thus perhaps never actually bleak. Bleak leads somewhere, it's always changing, it's never the last photograph in the album.

I climbed into a black hole scar, marred within the brick building. Inside the factory the blackness continued. No sunlight. Monochrome. A musky smell as dank as the interior was cold raised goosebumps along my forearms. The floorboards beneath my feet had some give just like the dead vegetation within the courtyard outside. But this wasn't the outside world I had just traversed. Yes similarities exited between outside and in, for still there existed no birds, no flowers, nor color, and yet this wasn't the Bleak photograph I'd seen captured and representative of the outside world, for there would never be any such aforementioned qualities seen inside the factory. Any color inside had long since faded, peeled off the walls and fallen to the ground like chips spewed across a kitchen floor. Birds can be found, dead in the stairwells, their lifeless bodies only give a chirp if lightly stepped upon, forcefully expelling one last artificial breath. Flower patterns are sewn into lace, but they'll never bud or die or return back into the soil like living plants, instead just tarnish with dust and time.

The factory is dead, its' massive machines and looms will never move again. Sunlight once impersonated by fluorescent bulbs no longer shines. Dead insects are piled up in window sills. There's no promise of a future in here, time will not bring the change of the seasons inside the factory, instead the seasons will change the factory. The bricks will soon crumble and floors will collapse. History will be forgotten and valuables scrapped. The stagnant moist air will work to warp the wooden boards allowing Spring showers to deteriorate the halls, corrode the pipes, and tarnish the walls. Leaves will blow in through broken windows and snow will collapse roofs. Inside the factory it is bleak, but far from Bleak like outside. The factory is the true last photo in the album, it's dreary, cold, and dark, regardless of the season. The outside is Bleak today, but perhaps not tomorrow.