Archive for April, 2011

Concrete Central

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Buffalo, Industrial

I really need to cut down on the skip class and go exploring thing. Especially a week before finals. But if Nate offers to take me to Buffalo on some random Monday, do you really think I won’t go? Of course Nate was all about climbing the thing, all he wanted was the view from the top. Like hell I’d climb a staircase with 34 of the first 35 steps missing… so I got to take pictures of the bottom for two hours while he had all the fun. Oh well… when life gives you columns, make — colonnade?


More columns.

Giant columns.

Not a column.
Not Columns

More pictures of columns

Within A Mile Of Home

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Concrete, Industrial, Rochester

This is an absolutely rotten spot on the southwest side. I’d had my eyes on it for close to two years now as it sat near-abandoned, occupied by some clever squatters with Rube Goldberg booby-traps on the entrance. I never did get to figure out their story, but judging by the signs of life I’d seen, and the possessions left behind, it must have been a fascinating one. Last summer’s occupant, who we came to call “Mr. October,” made his presence very well known by keeping a boom box on the roof blasting baseball games seemingly every day. After a few weeks biking past it every day and hearing no play-by-plays anymore, I gave the door a try, and heard almost a minute straight of clanking and banging and crashing metal through the place, punctuated by four-lettered footsteps. I ran.

This time, the loading docks in back were wide open, revealing the building and its contents to the spring rains. The wreak of mold and mildew was incredible in here, which we soon found to be coming from the ruins of a moldering library upstairs. The entire hallway was filled with collapsed bookcases and writing desks filled with rotten literature.

Who is Tim Wandtke? Why did he leave a pile of name tags here?
Tim's Place

78rpm records are almost indestructible. Put these through the dishwasher and they still play!
Jazz Age

Nate setting up a shot in one of the “apartments” in the building. Whether these were residences for a while or built by the resourceful squatters remains unknown. What is obvious is that the building’s present state is a terrible place to live, and the encroaching water is probably what drove the last occupants out.

This stairway was in the other ‘loft’ space.

This is the water that is slowly ruining the place. The third floor is well flooded already, with a steady drip-drop-drip sound throughout the building, even a week after the last rain. A few half-hearted buckets and tarps remain, but there is no hope of containing the water any longer.

Government Mold

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Concrete, Institutional, Rochester

I must say after the raves this winter, I still didn’t know what this place looked like during the day. Having Nate and his friends around too made it different, none of them really knew the place so for them Iola really was all about discovery and exploration still. For me today was more about trying out the new 50mm lens, and learning just how far back-back-BACK i have to go to see a damn thing with it. No wonder Nate told me it’s the most inspiring mistake I’d ever make as an explorer.

This was my first time even bothering to go into any of the pavilions.

The tunnels, or an incredibly strong case for respirator use

Chidlen? Really?
Spel Beter?

Someone painted a Rwandan flag in the tunnels. I think.

Then I almost believe this place has a few redeeming qualities beyond abject ugliness

Can anyone guess what this is? It still lit up, in one of the basement rooms with residual electric service

This is literally about the one compelling corridor shot I have ever taken, and probably ever will

The rave tunnel lives!

More where these came from!

Fluid Dynamics 201

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Concrete, Industrial, Niagara

After the furniture factory, a few of us split off from the UR group at Nate’s suggestion to check out this place in Niagara Falls he found. Once the power plant for the massive (and demolished) Union Carbide plant, at the time Niagara’s biggest employer, this was the largest Tesla AC (54 volt) facility ever constructed. Union Carbide eventually failed massively, in part due to bad public relations after the Bhopal incident, and most of the compound met its demise. This part still remains, surrounded by active machine shops, but completely open for the past few decades. Other than the enormous machines inside, the most notable part of it is the pervasive black dust on every surface and in the air. Which, come to think of it, is probably what carbide is.

In the Hall of Machines

One rusty, crusty machine. Any idea what it did?

The top (about 4 stories above the machines). These conveyor belts dump into hoppers full of the black dust

A few more machines!

See the rest here

Furniture Factory

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Buffalo, Concrete, Industrial

What we think is a furniture factory, on Sycamore street in Buffalo. I came here once in 2009, it’s changed a bit since then, less building more nature. Things haven’t been going as planned for a while so I figured I’d let anyone from my group go with the UR UrbEx club. The result was mostly weird: Nate and Amy, firmly rooted in the “other” school of urbex, came in with stealthy looks and respirator masks, and generally way out of place. It will be interesting having them around for the rest of the year…

Nate sees something on the floor

One of Buffalo’s few decent graffiti spots

Just a brick wall but I like it for some reason

The sun pours in liquidly

There’s got to be some deeper meaning to this