St. Melba’s Church

After the asylum, my hosts introduced me to the legendary oasis of Wawa, then we continued on to South Philly to see a church, which I know almost nothing about, except that it's in Philadelphia. That being said, it's certainly better than any of the abandoned churches in Buffalo! At least no one has ever done this to me... apparently I still have farther to fall into ignominy. Every time I see an abandoned piano I want to play it... then I wonder if someone would hear the music and decide we were better off caught. This is the kind…

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The Lapochka Scenario

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…

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Last Rites

I've spent so much time this winter and spring walking around Mount Hope Cemetery with Laura. I never thought I would, but it's one of the very few things we can agree on to do -- I get outdoors every once in a while, she gets to have her Victorian architecture fix, and we wander around, looking for various pieces of lost history. Yesterday was more of the same, with one exception: the chapel doors were wide open! I'd already been a few times, but getting in would be a dream come true for Laura! Or not; she wouldn't follow…

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Sins and Trasspeses

Buffalo's Sacred Heart Cathedral, like so many other Catholic churches, fell into ruin at the loss of its flock. Once Buffalo's diocesan church, well before 1900, it became an early casualty in 1952 due to suburban sprawl and white flight, leaving behind a church building that soon after reopened as a prominent black church and religious school before fading away in the early 2000s, again facing the loss of its congregation. The church basement held a variety of religious leftovers from both the Catholic and AME eras of the church. Molding away in a few boxes were 1930s and 40s…

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Last of the Summer Grime

One more trip from the brief summer season of the Concrete Collective before all the students are back in town. We'd hoped for more, but real life got in the way, and I missed most of my own meetings thanks to Laura taking control over everything, and we lost our longer trips to Nate backing out at the worst possible moments. And that's how we end up spending a Monday afternoon out exploring, the last day before the start of classes and the fall routine. We didn't have to go far to find our first location... Mt Hope chapel, which…

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And You Shall Say, God Did It

(Part 2 of my Detroit/Cleveland adventure) Our next destination, Detroit urbex tourists as we were, had to be the Packard Plant! There is nothing like it around... over a million square feet of giant, dead factory space with nothing in it but some vagrant homes, a precariously perched RV or two, and the best graffiti in the Midwest. Only one thing could stop us: Optimus Prime! Only one thing did stop us: Optimus Prime, surrounded by a film crew and attendent security. Oh well, looks like we got a sneak peek at Transformers 4... soon to be in theaters for…

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