Archive for October, 2009

Introducing IOLA

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Institutional, Rochester

Third meet of the UER season, and a chance to meet some new explorers. NeonTempest wanted to introduce us to this place, the Iola Sanatorium, to show us what “real exploring” was like. Which, to him, meant something like park a mile away with 12 people, and march right onto the grounds in the plainest sight possible. Just to take us straight downstairs into this.


The whole point of going was these tunnels, blocked off with fresh new cinder blocks.


So we get to try another entrance, going through this just to find more cinder blocks.

By the time he’s done with his wild goose chase, it’s almost time for him to go, so we just run around topside aimlessly for a few minutes. Even though we don’t have our permits.

I’d love to know what these giant maps were about. This thing is about 8×10 feet.

All in all, a kind of stupid meet. I think I could have done better, if I could get anyone to follow…

Sykes Datatronics

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Industrial, Rochester

You have dialed 716 458 8000, Sykes Datatronics’ demonstration number for Comm-Net 3000. Press 1 for English. Нажмите 2 для русского.
日本人はを押してください 3.


I’m sorry, 6 is not a valid option. Please hold.


Comm-Net 3000 is a national leader in automated voice response systems. Press 4 to learn more. Press 5 to learn even more. Press 6 to learn more than you ever wanted to know. For all of the above, please stay on the line.


I’m sorry, *HANG UP* is not a valid option. Please refer to the User Guide, or press 6 for an overview of all options available to you. Comm-Net 3000 is very intelligent, with 15 Megahertz processing power and 16 linked high-speed tape drives. Press 7 if you would like to purchase your own Comm-Net system. Press 8 if you would like Comm-Net 3000 to purchase you.


I’m sorry, *FUCK YOU* is not a valid option. I’m glad to hear of your interest in purchasing a Comm-Net system. We have automatically charged $5818.23 to your credit card. Comm-Net 3012 will be arriving at your door at about 4:30 AM tomorrow.

I’m sorry, the Comm-Net system is down for scheduled maintenance. Please call back tomorrow between 9 AM and 5 PM. Thank you.

Buffalo Malt

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Buffalo, Industrial

A Monday afternoon skip class and explore trip with MidnightGenius from UER. Our first target was the giant grain elevators. Then this happened.


While about to give up, we just happened to run into the Buffalo Malt tower.

The place was pretty well trashed and gutted, but at least it was big

Probably the most interesting thing about it was this thing on the roof, with thousands and thousands of glass tubes

This was in the basement for some reason

More crap photos here. I really need to get a proper camera and/or a bit of creativity.

What’s That Blue Thing?

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Adirondacks, Industrial, North Country

On the last few urbex camping trips, we kept noticing something on the side of route 3 that looked huge, abandoned, and very, very blue. After a bit of research, I figured out that it was Benson’s Mines, and no one had really bothered to explore it yet, since it’s in the absolute middle of North Country nowhere, and no one from the ‘establishment’ thought it was worth the trip at all. And they were so, so wrong. I left this place with a very profound feeling of ‘coming out’ as an explorer: this was my first find worth anything at all, and half a day here nowhere near enough to see what the giant complex had to offer.

Step 1: walk past oblivious guard, through open gate.

Step 2: Take one. Don’t forget, safety fourth!
Take one

Step 3: Register at the ticket booth!

Step 4: Pick some buildings and explore.

Don’t forget your hard hats
Hard hat

Spare parts here if you need any

Plenty of room to grow your enterprise

Something exciting must be back here

Or just another failboat.

The Beatles + 8
Group Shot
Finally, before you leave, please take the time to rate us and offer any suggestions how we can provide a better urbex experience next time 🙂


Written by Concrete on . Posted in Adirondacks, North Country, Outdoors

Just some non-exploring shots from the Adirondack campout.

How not to light paint

Cascade Peak

Brian, the tetherboat and a bit of fire!

You may be wondering by now about the title. Strange things happen when you get enough explorers in a small enough space, and keep them awake all night. At some point we began communicating only in Beatles lyrics, and then only in oblique rewordings of them. I forget if this was before or after taking out a boat on a 100 foot rope, propelled only by a frying pan and a jet of expletives.

I’d suggest all of you look into The Coleopterae’s latest finely grooved thermoplastic oblate toroid, “The Interval Of Darkness Following, or Belonging To, A Tenacious Fraction of the Week”!

Hit singles off it include:
— Every Single Individual has a personal secret that they are trying to keep hidden from others, with the notable exception of my quadrupedal primate and I.

— Contentment is an isolated combustion driven projectile weapon with an appreciable concentration of thermal energy.

— Let it be known, infant, that your abundance of personal savings makes you a member of the class of gentlemanly aristocracy.

— Sylvester Stallone : Procyon lotor?

— Which exists gainfully to a personified glider;

— Her approach looked down upon the loo

Look for it in record stores (or at least UrbEx meetings) this Sunday, October 25!


The Lonesome Crowded West

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Adirondacks, Amusement, North Country

Frontier Town was one of the first theme parks ever to open in the United States, in 1952, capitalizing on the old west folklore that was then so popular with American children. (There were amusement parks since the turn of the last century, but not themed to one particular canon.) It finally closed long after Westerns fell out of fashion, in 1998, and most of its contents were auctioned off in 2004. This was a particularly strange exploration for me, having been there and vaguely remembering it from a day there in 1996 (I didn’t like it much at the time, I remember that much).

This was once an arena with rodeo and cops-and-robbers shows in it:

Frontier industry. One of the main attractions was a functional early 1800s museum village, with a saw mill, blacksmith, one room schoolhouse, etc.
Old Mill

This giant hammer did … something. We weren’t able to figure out what a saw mill would need it for.

Frontier Town’s main street
Main Street

An oxymoron in those days!

Nature is the frontier’s only law

Apparently a gas station moved in at some point

More photos from the weekend here.