Oddly enough one of my other hobbies has managed to avoid this project, that of exploring abandoned buildings. Week 49 I was down in Cincinnati for the fourth annual Very Cincinnati Christmas event. The opening location was the former First German Reformed Church. Built in 1850 in the mainly German-American west-end of the city the church thrived until changes swept across the nation in the 1960s and the congregation sold their beautiful limestone and brick building and a new church worshiped there, the Freeman Avenue United Church lasted from 1970 to 1975 before closing the doors as well. The building, like many abandoned for decadesRead More →

You may recognize this building from the 2006 film Transformers, this is Detroit’s massive Michigan Central Station. Designed in the Beaux-Arts Classical style with the interior lobby modelled after a Roman Bathhouse, complete with Doric columns. The station was completed in 1912, but the whole area wasn’t fully completed (including Roosevelt Park, from where I took this photo) until 1920. Costing $15,000,000 in 1912 to complete the station was never fully used. That’s right, the 18-story tower that rises above the actual station was never completed the top several floors not even furnished. But despite this the station hosted more than 4,000 passengers daily throughRead More →

Woodward Presbyterian Church, or rather St. Curvy, has a story like many churches that once thrived in the American mid-west. Founded in 1908 with a membership of 163, it was tasked to serve the north part of the city. With the Reverend Sherman L. Divine at the helm, the church began to seek money and land to build their church. The land the church still sits on today was donated by Mrs. Tracy McGregor. The firm of Sidney Rose Badgley & William Nicklas was hired to design the church. Construction began late in 1908, and by the time the cornerstone was laid on the 1stRead More →

The return of a familiar location for Week 30, City Methodist Church in Gary, IN. I mentioned this spot in a previous blog entry from the first time I visited this beautiful building and icon of the decline of the city of Gary. I happened to be in the area again, so I made a point to visit her again with some Tri-X and a 4×5. I also made sure to visit a few other familiar spots and one new one in Gary before the 90F+ weather earned a quick return to the air conditioned hotel room.Read More →

City Methodist, a grand old church brought low by the slow march of time. Built in 1925 to the tune of one million dollars, most of that being fund-raised by Reverend William Seaman, and US Steel footing some of the bill as well. Constructed in the English Gothic style the sanctuary alone stands nine stories tall and could house 950 people. But the church was more than just the sanctuary. The whole complex had a school, theater for both traditional plays and films. Also had space for store fronts. At its peek there were 3,000 members on the church roll. But when the steel industryRead More →

It was back when I was still in college and would take back roads to and from the school from my home town of Milton, there were about ten abandoned farmhouses along these roads, and one day I just decided to stop and poke my head into them, and decided to bring along my camera, at that time a Minolta SRT-102 loaded with cheap Fuji Superia film. Well as many who know me I’ve gone far beyond exploring houses, so much so that I find them kinda boring these days. But when a new to the community explorer invited me along, I wasn’t going toRead More →

Negotiations to bring a higher-education campus to the small town of Germantown began in 1885, initially to be a satellite campus of the Cincinnati Wesleyan College, however that did not end up being the case, and the town council found themselves in the office of Orvon Graff Brown, who at the time was the president of the Ohio Conservatory of Music and the School of Oratory. Brown agreed to build a branch of his own College in Germantown. But by 1886 Brown was set on establishing a whole new college in the town and by 1888 the Twin Valley College was established by charter, andRead More →

Between the Darkness and the Light – Lister Block 2006 to 2012 Hamilton’s Lister Block has always held a rather special place in the hearts of local explorers and those who have walked her halls. Built in 1924 to replace the old Lister Chambers building which burned the same year. Joseph Lister, the owner, and namesake ordered a new building be constructed and that it be made fireproof. Taking advantage of being on a very busy corner of Hamilton’s downtown, the new Lister Block featured an L-shaped arcade on the first floor, allowing for maximum space to be used, even the store fronts on theRead More →

I just had to bring it back before the end, something abandoned. In this case I am dragging you to one of my personal favourite locations, the Barber Mill in Georgetown Ontario, but unlike many of my trips, I took a chance and went at night. The Mill was built in 1823 but abandoned for several decades now. The ruins are beautiful at any time of day and in any weather. Dangerous…yes, but worth the risk. Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tri-X Pan (TXP, ISO-320)Read More →

The year was 1994, March. An electrical failure causes one of hte trains on Toronto Zoo’s Domain Ride to roll backwards hitting a second vehicle injuring thirty people, and forcing the Zoo to shut down the Domain Ride, ending 30 years of the ride giving tours through some of the more remote areas of the Toronto Zoo which streached well out and along the Rouge River, which visitors could not walk to. But on this cold December Saturday we were forced to. The six of us crept down the steep grade to the river banks and made our way along looking for the concrete guideway.Read More →