Washed Out

Oh, how things can change in two weeks. Yes, I was just here. Yes, it looks exactly the same, from the pictures anyway. But I'm starting over, and I figured the best place to do it was somewhere familiar. Last week, someone probably thought they could stop me from exploring, once and for all. 187 counts of trespass and a year in court would do that. But it seems like I managed to escape, and if not, hell, might as well make it 188. As rainy as it was last week, this time managed to be even worse, and I…

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Washed Away

Exploring the last remaining abandoned part of American Laundry Machinery in a driving rain... I was supposed to go to a few places through the day but my friend wasn't ready to go until just before dark. Oh well, got to watch the Bills blow it again before exploring! Located across the railroad tracks from most of the complex, and behind a massive "fence" of loosely arranged steel sheets and concrete blocks, the entrance was much more imposing than what was inside, for the most part: some of the dullest, grayest abandonment I've ever seen. And perhaps the least artistic…

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That Does Not Compute

Yet another revisit to the Sykes Datatronics factory, a place that will always be meaningful to me since it was my first abandoned building, just about 7 years ago. After an astounding 12 arson fires, and 25 years exposed to the elements, it's starting to seem like this place is going nowhere fast. Other than a few holes in the tarpapered roof, the structure is as solid as ever (if you ignore the warping parquette floors over the foot-thick concrete), and the neighborhood is still in stagnant decline, despite being within sight and sound of the soccer stadium. I don't…

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Bombed Out Mill

After the unexpected success at Lyons Falls, yet again we found ourselves at Deferiet and running out of daylight. If anything, Deferiet is an even bigger paper mill, although a huge part of the center is missing thanks to a rare opportunity for Fort Drum to do some live fire testing of a bunker buster in 2009 or so, leaving behind a crater of burned brick and twisted steel. The mill buildings aren't as interesting either, having been cleared out of most anything that could be moved when International Paper left. I have a feeling this waterfall used to be…

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Just Milling Around

This was something of a first for me - traveling somewhere far away to a place that not only have I been, but I wasn't with anyone guiding me to it. As fragile as things have been for me over the years finding people who will explore with me, it was probably a huge mistake, but one that paid off in the end. After a bit of wandering to check out an abandoned, delicious apple orchard (can all this fruit be free?) and another mill which seemed to have been demolished decades ago, we eventually made it to Lyons Falls,…

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Colour Your World

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…

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