Looks like a slow-train on TBP, weekend edition. I thought I’d make the effort to throw together some pics, vids, and comments to help get things going …..pics of Not-Well-Known ruins and decay.
I’ll post a few. You guys can find many more interesting ones …. maybe stuff from your area. Help a guy out and make a post we could all learn from.
1)- Caracas, Venezuela: The world’s tallest slum … the future of American Urban Dwelling? Construction began in 1990. Stopped by the banking crisis in 1994. A 45-story building with no elevators, utilities, windows, and railings … but, it does have a heliport. 3,000 humans call it “home”. Motorcycles are used as taxis to carry people up the first 10 floors …. walking takes care of the next 18 floors. Some areas even have rigged plumbing and electricity. They are the 1%ers. It has its own economy; stores, beauty parlors, daycare centers, and even a dentist. People salvage metal from the higher floors. Some apartments look downright cozy. And it’s all free.
2)- Mexico City: The future of American Urban Dwelling, part deux. Severely damaged by an earthquake in 1985, it now tilts at a 10-degree angle, making it the best building in all the world for skateboarders. The next even moderate earthquake will level the place, and all the deaths of the people there will be called “tragic”. Once housed 420 offices. Still calling it “home” are lawyers, accountants, spiritualists, dance teachers, appraisers, screen printers, optometrists, ….. and lots and lots of drug dealers and prostitutes. The doors are shut tighter than a drum at 8PM, and no outsider can get it. Murders occur frequently. The building has a “Supervisory Board”, ruled in a Gestapo-like manner, where the “code of silence” is strictly enforced, complainers generally just disappear.
3)- East Saint Louis: This is all that remains of Armour’s Meat Packing Plant. Once employed 5,000 people. This town wanted to become the hog-processing capital of America. And for a while they succeeded, thanks to the railroad. A strategically located city in America’s heartland it became the crossroads of America sending meat to Oregon and Florida and all points in-between. Armour openly supported giving whites the better jobs. Labor disputes and riots broke out and a settlement was eventually compromised. But, by then, that plant was on its downhill slide as railroads were replaced by airplanes and trucks, and the company went where cheap (and compliant) labor could be found … and not where the trains ran. The city never recovered and today is a cesspool of crime and poverty.
4)- Brooklyn. When your hear the words “grain elevator” the LAST place you would think of is Brooklyn, NYC. But it’s been 50 years since a freighter docked at the Red Hook Grain Terminal. Its origin can be traced to the turn-of-the-century construction of the New York State Barge Canal, which widened and rerouted the Erie Canal at great expense to facilitate the latest advances in shipping. By 1918, New York City was lagging behind in the nation’s grain trade, and the canal was failing, operating at only 10% of its capacity. A new facility was built in the Port of New York to invigorate the underused waterway—a state-run grain elevator in the bustling industrial waterfront of Red Hook, Brooklyn. The structure is largely composed of 54 circular silos with a combined capacity of two million bushels. It made quite an impression with European architects. In Toward an Architecture (1928), Le Corbusier called the American elevators “the first fruits of a new age.” It was truly an engineering marvel.
But, the new age didn’t last long as grain deliveries declined from 90 million bushels a year in the 1930s to less than 2 million in the 1960s. Cheap labor was once again the issue. Contractors grew to avoid the New York Harbor, where the cost of unloading grain came to three to four times the rate of competing ports in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, largely due to local union restrictions. When the jobs dried up, much of the area cleared out, leaving a slew of vacant warehouses and decaying docks. In the year 2000, most of Red Hook’s 10,000 residents lived in the Red Hook Houses, one of the city’s first public housing projects and became a notorious hotbed for crack cocaine. Today this Grieving Ghost is covered with toxic mold, sludge, and rats.
5)- Nature’s Revenge. North Brother Island, a quarter of a mile from Manhattan, in New York’s East River. Once home to world famous “Typhoid Mary”, a cook who carried a deadly disease and infected more than 50 New Yorkers in the early years of the 20th century. Between the 1880s and the 1930s, North Brother Island was the site of Riverside Hospital, where those suffering from infectious disease were treated in isolation. After World War II, it served as a housing community for returning veterans and their families. In the 1950s and early 1960s, it became a juvenile drug treatment center. But now North Brother is an urban ruin — actually a sanctuary for birds . The city has long owned the island but has no use for it, and assigned it to the Parks Department in 2001. The public is not welcome there — the parks department warns of “large sinkholes from decaying infrastructure and tremendous overgrowth”. This is what truly happens when Nature takes over.
6)- The REAL cost of war. New York had opened its first Psychiatric Center in Utica in 1843. By the end of the Civil War is exceeded its capacity. Henry Flemming got his red badge of courage, but lost his mind. So, the Governor commissioned this building in 1866. It took 30 years to build at an enormous cost. The original estimated cost of $800,000 …. back when that was a shitload of money … was quickly exceeded. Construction continued until 1895, money just ran out, and the hospital’s original plan would never be completed, even to the day in closed last year (it was unmaintained for many years prior). Walmart — today’s home for the mentally ill — expressed interest in buying the land. Glory days, the Gory days, below.
6)- The OTHER cost of war. YOUR hard-earned money. Not much needs to be said, the pictures do the talking. The pic below is from The Boneyard in Arizona. No, not SSS’s house … it’s an aircraft bone-yard … home of 4,400 aircraft on 2,600 acres, employing 5,000+ people. This is the largest one, but there are at least NINE other bone-yards in the USA. I believe those are B52’s in the foreground. The original B52-A cost about $28 million in 1955, or about $250 million in today’s dollars. How many hundreds of millions (billions?) of your hard-earned dollars are rusting in the pic below? But, we’re getting better. Today’s B52-H costs only $82 million each …. my grand-kids will get to see them in a bone-yard by the time they graduate high school.
7)- Today’s treasure becomes tomorrow’s junk. The pic below shows not one, but TWO, 1970 Plymouth Superbirds. Only 2,000 of those were sold. Of those, only 58 had Hemi four-speeds. There’s a plain old white Superbird on Hemmings today for $180,000. A hemi goes anywhere from half a million to a million.
Some person — a kid, probably — bought those cars new, busted their asses to buy it, busted their asses twice as hard to pay for the insurance … it was their “dream”, everything they EVER wanted, life was g-o-o-od, picking up chicks was a breeze … he was a true BIG DOG. The one day for whatever reason … doesn’t really matter what it was … the thing he treasured just wasn’t worth it anymore. (That’s happened to you, right?)
Which reminds me what my pal, Jeebus said —– “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal” —– 2,000 year old advice that still makes sense today.
Nevertheless, this is just a GODDAMN SIN!!!