Holy Holy Holy

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

After the terminal, we continued on to a nearby, reliably open church. Sacred Heart served the Catholic community for most of the century, before ending its useful life as an evangelical church, a pattern that seems to happen often in decaying cities.

Despite being almost completely emptied out, or perhaps because of it, the cavernous sanctuary hasn’t lost its mystique

…Even though someone took out all the pews, and left all the seat cushions

We tried to go on into the convent, but on a hot summer day, the reeking jugs of bum piss and holy, holy, holy shit (seriously — look at my photos from last time) were just too much, even with gas masks… not that there was ever much to see in that part of the church, even without the risk of stepping on and letting another of those burst!

Our adventure ended at the Scajaquada drain, which, unsurprisingly with all the rain in the last few days, was much more watery than we wanted anything to do with today. Not that it really mattered, that just means more places to go once we get the Concrete Collective back together!

Buffalo Will See It Through

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

One of the best things about going with new explorers is, you can be at a place for the 10th time and it’s still an adventure, there’s still more to it than going through the motions and taking the same photos over again. So here I was, back at Buffalo Central, and maybe things changed, maybe not…

At least there’s some new art to take in… seems like Buffalo’s graffiti scene is finally taking off!

This part here is the departure hall, separated by the tracks and a now missing bridge from the rest of the grand concourse (not included here since it takes a tour to see!)

Even the freight warehouses were interesting this time…

Charlie Says

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

It took far longer than I imagined, but I’ve finally ended my exploring drought, going out to Buffalo (and trying to revive the old Concrete Collective) with Hayden, probably the most promising local explorer I’ve met in years) to see some of the ruins. Our first stop was Wildroot, the factory that put the grease in Grease. Active from 1936 into the early 60s, Wildroot made hair products from the (wild) lanolin root that were allegedly lighter and less greasy than the competition, though the goal was still the same greased-back rockabilly look. As the times changed, Wildroot Cream Oil went badly out of fashion and sales plummeted, although the brand remained (barely) alive and is still produced in Asia, the factory has been out of commission for 50 years, only used occasionally as storage since then.

Fifty years later, there is nothing left to show the once purpose of this space.

Like so many abandoned factories and warehouses, it has become a blank canvas for graffiti, without any other recognizable purpose.

The Lapochka Scenario

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Buffalo, Religious

Recorded on my reels of tape, the trauma stops my flow, and in your suppression tastes sulfur,
and secretly, come Sunday morning, standing at the pulpit to an empty room

Things didn’t go anywhere close to plan this weekend, but in the end it all made sense: we had to go find some abandoned churches, and Buffalo was the closest place we knew we could do it.

St Mary’s Church, downtown near the Anchor Bar

Sacred Heart, in the First Ward

Trinity Baptist, where I completely forgot to take any pictures of the sanctuary (Shroomdamnit!)

And finally we stopped by Buffalo Malt for some abandoned beers.

Motel Hell

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Buffalo, Uncategorized

Truck stops aren’t exactly the cleanest, most inviting places even when they’re in the best of shape. As you can imagine, an abandoned one, especially one in a city on a road no one really uses anymore, is just that much sketchier and grimier than the ones on the interstates. Isn’t this just where you would want to spend the night after a long day on the road?

Just like home prison?

I get the idea these were probably frequent offenses at a place of this repute.

Seems a bit odd that the beds are all made though. I wonder how recently this place closed?

Maybe it’s older than I thought.

The diner is ready for business at least. It smells like breakfast has been ready for months!

Colour Your World

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Buffalo, Industrial

A century ago, most of America’s paint and dye came from Buffalo, and Schoellkopf’s near monopoly on the business. Aniline dyes, the most common colors at the time, put the blue into blue jeans, blue pens, blueprints, and just about anything else blue, and the purple into carbon-copies and grape kool-aid. However, competition from overseas and water pollution from the chemical processes required to create aniline, brought the company to a grinding halt in 1978, and despite attempts to expand into food coloring and other organic chemical production, the last workers went home in 2003. The vast majority of the toxic site met the wrecking ball gradually as the company contracted, leaving only the central offices (imploded in 2008) and this power plant (still standing), surrounded by an enormous, fenced-off brownfield.