Browsing category Abandoned

Sprinting out of Time


  On a nice Sunday, you can run into all sorts of people wandering and biking around these abandoned sheds. And yet this former barracks complex in the East German countryside is in good shape, considering that the military moved out around the time the wall came down. The bright paint is impressive, as is the attention to style and details in the sparse decor. It looks pretty ready to be turned into a rollerskating rink, with Sputnik tunes and polyester

The House of Louise


  It's rare to find a time capsule that's quite this preserved. An old mansion in Luxembourg has become a museum of family life in pre-WW II Europe. The shelves in the attic were littered with school books, journals, letters, funeral notices and bills. Notebooks from a girl named Louise showed her progress in calligraphy while a young boy in the family was making his first forays into the Hitler Youth. The dates spanned the late 19th century to about the 1950s. The furnishings and

Disfigured


  Found inside a closet in an old psychiatric ward in Italy. Burnt, painted, scribbled on, these cards have turned into a very personal visual poem over time.        

Keeping Records


    Someone took the warning "Do Not Remove From Hospital" on the patient files a bit too seriously when this place was shuttered. Of course it seems to be a rarity whenever the staff of a closing hospital actually disposes of medical records in a way that keeps them confidential. Usually the echo of the giant "Fuck it" reverberates for years after the doors are slammed shut. Coming across records like this time and again, it was surprising to see what a stir was caused in

The Orphanage


  The German Catholic Orphanage in Buffalo, New York, was built in 1927 and served as a temporary home for thousands of kids over the decades. It's still strikingly pretty, although its chapel (added in 1938) is quickly declining into a vandalized dump site. Its days are numbered anyway; construction and demolition are about to begin to turn the campus into affordable housing. Above, a picture of the chapel from about three years ago; a few recent photos

Doorway in the Afternoon


  "... As I went forward, striding very strong, and making a good speed, I did hear presently a little noise upward in the night, and someways unto my left, that had seeming as that it were a strange low sound that did come down to me out of an hidden doorway above; for, indeed, though the sound did come from very nigh, as it did seem no more than a score feet above my head, yet was it a noise that did come out of a great and mighty distance, and out of a Foreign Place. And I did know

Watching You Fight For Your Life


  This is definitely what I would want to wake up to as a child with a life-threatening illness in this cheery old ward. How consoling it is to think that if you make it, some day you might have a family that is just as adorable and wholesome as those dolls. All the better if one of those dolls starts speaking to you after a week or two of lying there in a drugged stupor, for surely it has great advice. Although if it contains the words "die", "choke" or "kill", you might just be better

Old School Science


  It isn't often that you open a random desk drawer to find a jar with a pig foetus inside. But this derelict lab holds lots of preserved surprises. Bees in a honeycomb, crabs, frogs and coiled snakes, some collapsing into indefinable brown piles much like certain areas of the building that houses them. Admittedly, the pile of worms in the Kraft orange juice jar is a bit disagreeable to look at. Much better to check out the various dried bugs and wonder how they came to be brought in for

Building a Church


  This block, part of a desolate stretch of shuttered businesses in West Detroit, was once occupied by the Bible Community Mission. While the mission has long been abandoned, an apparent devotee has decided to keep spreading the word, tagging the nearby storefronts with religious messages. A vacant bar across the street now has a hand-painted sign declaring "wine is a mocker". Around the corner, a derelict training center serves as a new billboard for Jesus, although the interior -

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... this travelogue

Explorations and ruminations about time capsules near and far, with an eye towards the structures, textures and playgrounds of decay. A companion blog for darkpassage.com.

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