For your pleasure .....more expensive abnadoned shit ......part 4........when is this going to end .......
Location: Durham, England
There was a time when baths and washhouses could be found all over England (and in America, too). The Durham City Baths and Washhouses were founded in 1932 in Durham, England, and they were constructed to replace an old, peat-floored pool that had turned into a muddy swamp.
The Durham Baths were impressive, as the pool was large enough to accommodate professional swimming competitions. The heat from the pool was diverted into drying rooms, and women would wash and dry peoples’ clothes for pay. The Baths remained open until 2008, and now, they are abandoned. Though there were plans to turn them into housing complexes, those plans fell through.
Location: Manchester, England
Cost: $350,000* (2017 Sale Price)
Located in Manchester, England, the Hulme Hippodrome is a Grade II building. It is a proscenium arch theater with a side hall and two galleries, and, originally, it was called the Floral Hall and Grand Junction Theatre. It opened in the early 1900s on Preston Street, and it was very popular, hosting all manner of events.
The Hippodrome saw its last theater production in the 1960s, and it was used for bingo, after that, until the 1980s, when it closed. Though the Hippodrome has changed hands a few times (including into the possession of the infamous charity, Gilbert Deya Ministries), the building has remained derelict and abandoned, for the most part. Manchester residents have spoken up about the need to not only preserve this historic building but also to convert it into something useful.
Location: Buffalo, New York
Cost: $100 million* (2017 Renovation Cost)
Known as the Richardson Olmsted Complex, the Buffalo State Asylum was founded in 1970 on a 93-acre parcel of property. It was designed by Henry Hobson Richardson, a well-known American architect, to provide “enlightened treatment” to those suffering from mental illness. Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride developed the treatment plans for patients, and they were far less brutal than those of other nineteenth-century asylums.
The Asylum was added to the NRHP in the seventies, and a decade later, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark. Though the Asylum closed in the seventies and remained abandoned for years, you can find patient records from 1881 to 1975 in the New York State Archives in Albany. In 2017, the former Asylum was turned into a hotel at a price of $100 million in renovations.
Location: Reliance, Tennessee
This little Southern hotel was once a cute riverside resort. Now, it lay abandoned, waiting for guests to come back someday. The Higdon Hotel is located along the Hiwassee River in Reliance, Tennessee, and those who visit the Cherokee National Forest often stop to walk the grounds of this abandoned hotel.
The Higdon was originally built in 1878 as a residence, but it was sold to a wealthy family five years later. The Higdons turned it into a hotel, with its main clientele being railroad supervisors and bosses. When passenger trains stopped rolling through in the 1930s, the Higdon Hotel closed for business.
Location: West Aberthaw, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales
Cost: $800,000* (Proposed Sale Price)
Baron David Davies of Wales was a famous twentieth-century philanthropist, and one of his most well-known projects was the St. Athan Boys’ Village, a holiday retreat. Davies came up with the idea in the 1920s, as he wanted to offer the children of nearby coal miners a way to get away from the polluted, unhealthy air of the towns.
So, he built the Village, which was close to the fresh air of the nearby beach. The retreat included dorms, a dining hall, a gym, workshops, a church, a swimming pool, and other recreational facilities. The Village later declined as coal mining in Wales’ Valleys fell to the wayside. The now-abandoned retreat went into administration in 1990, forcing its closure.
Location: Grainger County, Tennessee
Cost: $29,900* (Current Sale Price)
The Dotson School, built in the early 1900s, is located in Tennessee between Washburn and Thorn Hill. This institution is a bit of a mystery, as not many people know much about it, other than that it was a historical school, according to the government. Currently, this two-room schoolhouse, which sits on 1.5 acres of land, is up for sale for $29,900.
In 2012, Tennessee preservationists from the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance listed the Dotson School as one of sixteen “endangered historic sites.” It is one of several in Grainger County, but it is up for sale, which means someone with $30K could easily swoop in and destroy it.
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Cost: $43.24 million to build*
This imposing building was a former mental health facility. The Gartloch Hospital, located in Glasgow, Scotland, was founded in 1896. In addition to being a psychiatric ward, Gartloch was also a tuberculosis recovery center. Its bed capacity hit its peak of 830 patients in 1904. During World War II, Gartloch was converted into an emergency hospital for wounded Allied troops.
The hospital went into a decline in the 1980s, and it officially closed in 1996, though it is still a governmentally-protected historical site. Additionally, Gartloch reportedly has its share of ghosts, including a poltergeist seen by psychiatric nurses working on the floor of the hospital, as well as former patients.
Location: Kings Park, New York
Cost: $2.5 million* (2003 Sale Price)
Locals called the Kings Park Psychiatric Center the “Psych Center,” and it was, for a time, a well-known institution in New York. It remained in operation for over a century, closing in the nineties when New York released its remaining patients (or, in some cases, transferred them to another facility).
When Kings Park was founded, it was revolutionary at a time when asylums were infamous for overcrowding and gross human rights abuses. Kings Park was a “farm colony,” which meant patients worked at growing food and feeding livestock, and the fresh air and manual labor was a surprisingly-effective form of therapy.
Location: Dornoch Firth, Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Cost: $92 per night to stay in the Tower*
The Fearn Airfield is one of Scotland’s long-forgotten airfields. Located near Tain in the Scottish Highlands, RAF Fearn was built in 1941. It didn’t officially open until 1942 when it was taken over by the British Royal Navy. The Navy had to update it, as it had a functional control tower, but that tower was not up to RN standards.
The RAF tower wasn’t demolished, though it did get replaced. The airfield was intended for use as a torpedo training school, and many different units were formed there and sent off to fight in WWII. Today, most of the airfield still survives, though it is in a largely derelict state.
Location: Oxnard, California
Located in Oxnard, California, the Casa Sirena Seaside Resort was once a very popular resort in the Channel Islands Harbor. It had 274 rooms, a spacious pool, and many other amenities. It was completed in 1972, and another ninety rooms were added four years later to accommodate Oxnard’s seasonal crowds.
The resort property was abandoned after remaining a popular tourist destination for forty years, and the majority of the resort was deemed non-operational in 2009. In 2006, the Hampton Inn did take over part of Casa Sirena, rebranding it, but, other than that, this once-popular vacation destination has remained in a degraded condition.
Location: Loyston, Tennessee
Cost: $36 million* (Cost To Build Norris Lake)
The town of Loyston, Tennessee has a strange tale, from beginning to end. It was founded in 1894 and named after John Loy, a local businessman. It was a town until 1936 when it was intentionally flooded to create Norris Lake. The town’s residents were forced to relocate, and the flood destroyed schools, churches, mills, homes, and more.
Now, the Loyston Sea, as locals call it, hides the former town at its depths. The government helped the displaced former residents move, and they banded together to form New Loyston. Still, it’s strange to think an entire town could just be washed away and buried in an instant.
Location: Chell, Staffordshire, England
Cost: $6,051* (1838 Valuation)
It’s hard to find the date that the Chatterley Whitfield Coal Mine was founded, though it was definitely in operation, on paper, in 1970. In 1838, an assessment valued this coal mine at an inflation-adjusted amount of over $6,000. Chatterley grew quickly, and it was the largest mine in North Staffordshire’s Coalfield for a time.
It was the first U.K. colliery to produce a million tons of saleable coal in just one year. The mine closed in the twentieth century, and Chatterley is now on the Heritage at Risk Register, a list compiled by Historic England, due to its disuse and poor condition. As of 2019, it was on the U.K. Victorian Society’s top ten “most endangered buildings” list.
Location: Yonkers, Westchester County, New York
Cost: $150 million* (Proposed Redevelopment Plan Cost)
Located in Yonkers, New York, the Glenwood Power Plant is a shuttered power station that has found new life as a film set, namely for zombie and post-apocalyptic projects. It’s understandable, considering how Glenwood looks like something out of a long-lost era.
Reed & Stem designed Glenwood, and it came to life in 1900 when metropolitan New York’s railroads were electrified. In 1936, New York began to buy power, rather than produce it, so it sold Glenwood to Con Edison. Con Edison stopped using it in 1963, and this former power plant began its slow, decades-long decline after that.
Location: Goleta, California
The Barnsdall Rio-Grande Gas Station is a long-disused gas station that has largely been forgotten by everyone except locals in Goleta, California. The Barnsdall Rio-Grande Oil Company made a lot of money in the early 1900s, and the Gas Station was one of several buildings the company built to support its oil fields.
The Station was located along the State Highway next to Barnsdall’s massive fields, and it was a showpiece for what the company could do. Barnsdall tapped a pricey, exclusive L.A. architectural firm to design the Station, and it opened for business in 1929. The forty-foot-high, Spanish-style building won several awards for its architecture. But, despite that beauty, the Station suffered quite a few setbacks, and it was closed for good in the fifties.
Location: Cardross, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
Cost: $792,000* (Proposed Maintenance Per Year Cost To Revive)
St. Peter’s Seminary, located in Cardross, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, is a former Roman Catholic institution that has been described by DOCOMOMO, an architectural conservation organization, as a “modern building” with “world significance.” The Seminary began construction in 1961, and it was completed five years later in 1966.
Though beautiful, the Seminary was riddled with issues right from the start, including water entry, maintenance difficulties, and structural problems that the engineers and architects blamed one another for. Coupled with a decline in those entering priesthood, the Seminary closed for good in the eighties, just a few decades after its founding.
Location: Town of Newcomb, Essex County, New York
Cost: $8.5 million* (2003 Land Sale Price)
Once a bustling village that was home to two separate mining operations, the town of Tahawus in the Adirondacks is now a ghost town. It was the site of major iron smelting and mining operations, though most of those buildings, save some blast furnaces, garages, and outbuildings, have been destroyed.
Tawahus was abandoned twice, both times because the mine had issues with operation. The operations officially and permanently ceased in 1989, and now Tahawus is one of New York State’s most well-known ghost towns. Though the purchase price of the land reached $8.5 million in 2003, not much has been done with Tawahus today, and the remains of ten buildings remain on the former site.
Location: Crescenta Valley, Glendale, California
Cost: $8.25 million* (2008 Sale Price)
In 1923, Agnes Richards, a psychiatric nurse, opened Rockhaven Sanitarium as an institution for women with mild nervous disorders, among other minor mental issues. It is one of few examples of a woman-owned private sanitarium in California, and it was one of the most well-known women-only facilities of its kind.
Agnes Richards was a sanitorium nurse who saw the atrocious way that women were treated in state-run mental health facilities. She wanted to create a peaceful residential setting in which women could receive treatment for their disorders. Gladys Pearl Baker, Billie Burke, Peggy Fears, Josephine Dillon, and Marion Eleanor Statler Rose were some of Rockhaven’s most famous residents. The facility permanently closed in 2006, and it was sold to the city for $8.25 million in 2008.
Location: Inyo, Death Valley, California
Cost: $26.58-$35.44 million to construct*
Walter Scott, a prospector, performer, and known con man built Scotty’s Castle for tens of millions of dollars (inflation-adjusted) in the early 1920s. The Castle, which was also known as Death Valley Ranch, took years to complete. Despite its name, Scott never owned Scotty’s Castle, and the Castle is more of a two-story villa.
The reason the property was so expensive was because Chicago millionaire Albert Johnson, Scott’s friend and funding partner, bought 1,500 acres of land to surround the ranch. Though Scott conned Johnson, the latter was fascinated with the former, and they struck up a strange friendship. Scotty’s Castle was a huge tourist attraction until 2015, when it was flooded and closed to the public.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Cost: $17.934 million to construct*
This former correctional facility was built in the nineteenth century. Adjusting for inflation, the cost to build the Tennessee State Prison reached over $17 million, and the now-abandoned facility was riddled with issues from the start. It had two-hundred cells, and it was known for its strict conditions.
The prisoners could not speak to one another, nor could they, without an emergency exception, receive communications from friends and relatives. For a long time, the State Prison housed men and women together. When the Union Army took it over in 1863, the military prison’s population tripled, and the prisoners’ conditions worsened. After years of overcrowding, forced labor, and inhumane conditions, Tennessee State Prison finally closed in 1992.
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
The Caledonian Railway Company opened the Glasgow Botanic Gardens as part of the Glasgow Central Railway, a line that is now defunct. The rail platforms and railway lay beneath the gardens, and this institution was a combination of a train station and a greenhouse. Because of its unique onion-domed structure, locals in Glasgow nicknamed it “The Kremlin.”
The station and line never became popular, as, despite the greenery, it was smoke-filled, grimy, and soot-stained, falling well below par when compared to street trams. The station officially closed in 1939 due to a low number of customers, and the line itself shuttered thirty years later, as it was deemed non-viable.
Location: Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, England
Cost: $462,500 to construct*
Nicknamed the “Old Pier,” Birnbeck Pier was located in Weston-super-Mare in North Somerset, England along the Bristol Channel. Opened in 1867, Birnbeck linked the mainland to Birnbeck Island, a small, 1.2-hectare, rocky island. The Pier cost around $462,550 (adjusting for inflation) to construct in 1864.
It was a huge deal when Birnbeck Pier began construction in the 1860s. The mayor’s toddler son laid the foundation stone, and Weston-super-Mare declared a public holiday. The town hall even held a huge, celebratory dinner. Birnbeck remained open for nearly a century, closing for good in 1994. Though it has changed hands a few times, plans to revamp it have been, so far, fruitless.
Location: Lake Elsinore, California
This abandoned, stately structure is called the Elsinore Naval Military School. It is in a state of rapid decay, though it was once supposed to be a high-end country club. Alas, after it was built, the country club was unable to open due to financial constraints caused by the Great Depression. In the 1930s, it was converted into a military school.
The school played host to 150 to 200 students until it was closed in 1977, and it saw the sons of famous parents like Barbara Rush, Brian Keiths, and Bela Lugosi attend. The Elsinore School partially burned down in the 1980s, and the rest has been destroyed by foul weather, squatters, and vandalism.
Location: Collinsville, Connecticut
Cost: $750,000* (2002 Sale Price)
The Collins Axe Company Factory, located in England, was in business for 140 years, creating and selling axes, machetes, and edge tools throughout the world. Before this factory was established, consumers often had to go to a local blacksmith or, if he or she wasn’t available, import such tools from Europe.
The Collins Axe Co. changed everything. Founded in 1826, the company took over an old grist mill, employing just eight men. Each made eight axes per day. Collins Axe Co. grew quickly, and the company constructed a town, Collinsville, to house its employees. By 1871, the company had annual sales of $1 million ($29.48 million, adjusting for inflation). In the 1960s, after more than a century in business, Collins Axe Company shut its doors, abandoning its factory.
Location: Tewksbury, Massachusetts
Cost: $3.5 million* (Hospital Budget Per Year)
Tewksbury Hospital is still a major medical center in Massachusetts, providing treatment and care to people suffering from medical and psychiatric disorders. That said, not all of its campuses are still operational. The Superintendent’s Residence, constructed in the 1890s, has remained abandoned for decades. The two-story home was constructed in red brick, and it was designed by John A. Fox, an architect from Boston.
It housed the Superintendent of Tewksbury Hospital, keeping them on campus to ensure that everything, including the massive asylum and almshouse, was running smoothly. Now, according to Buildings of New England, the house is vacant.
Location: North Adams, Massachusetts
Cost: $20,357 to construct*
The Blackinton Historic District, located in North Adams, Massachusetts, contains the best-preserved mill village in the county. The District was added to the NRHP in 1985, and it contains surviving brick mill buildings, as well as fine examples of Victorian-era architecture.
The Blackinton Mill was the center of this once-thriving community, which was founded in the 1820s. The wool mill, which cost over $20,000 to create (inflation-adjusted) in 1822, started small, but grew quickly. A community began to form around the mill, with buildings like a jail, library, post office, church, and school popping up. Though the Mill flourished during the Civil War, it ended up closing down due to economic reasons.
Location: Glen Cove, Long Island, New York
The Welwyn Preserve was once a magnificent Edwardian estate, but that estate has been long-abandoned, and the derelict grounds and greenhouses are now a nature preserve open to the public for exploration. Built in 1906 for an oil industrialist named Harold Pratt, Welwyn was a 206-acre, luxurious estate that was left to the county when Pratt died.
But, the county had no plans for this massive property, and Nassau officials allowed it to slip into ruin. In 1993, Holocaust survivor Boris Chartan turned the main house into the first Holocaust Museum in Long Island, and that remains open to this day, despite the rest of the estate’s dereliction.
Location: Alderson, West Virginia
Few things are truly creepier than an abandoned schoolhouse (perhaps an abandoned mine or church). The Alderson Academy in West Virginia was built in 1901, originally constructed as a private school. It has had many lives throughout the years, but all have ended in ruin. The Academy’s floors and ceilings are now collapsing, and the entryway’s formerly-beautiful main staircase now leads to nowhere.
The Academy began to struggle when Alderson offered public education, providing the same schooling at a low price. The Great Depression also hit Alderson Academy hard, and, by the mid-1930s, the former schoolhouse began to go through periods of abandonment interspersed with purpose.
Location: Beneath Dupont Circle, Washington D.C.
Cost: $750,000 estimated cost to renovate in 2015*
Dupont Circle is one of Washington D.C.’s most bustling areas. Underneath these bustling streets is an abandoned trolly station and a series of tunnels. Though no longer used for their original purpose, Dupont Circle has found new use as an art space.
The Dupont Underground was used for a century to ferry around Washingtonians. Originally, the trolleys were horse-drawn carriages. The Underground was in operation until the 1960s, when the Metro line went into the planning phase. The Dupont Underground has spent time as a nuclear fallout shelter and food court, both of which were ill-fated. Now, it is a homegrown art installation, full of fascinating graffiti.
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Cost: $30 million to build*
The Chicago Freight Tunnels operated from 1904 until 1959, but they were forgotten about until a huge flood, years later, struck, and everyone remembered they were there. These now-abandoned tunnels took five years to create, courtesy of the Chicago Tunnel Co. Men had to dig, by hand, huge quantities of blue clay soil.
The clay was then used to build up low-lying waterfront areas. The Chicago Tunnel Co. built sixty miles of tunnels before they secured a single client, a rather daring business strategy. It paid off, as clients did come, and Chicago Tunnel Co. continued to dig tunnels and invent creative products (such as natural air conditioning) until the mid-fifties.
Location: Pontiac, Michigan
Cost: $55.7 million to build*
The Pontiac Silverdome opened in 1975, taking up a massive 199 acres of land. The Silverdome was unique because it had a fiberglass fabric roof that was held up only by air pressure. This was the first use of that technique in a facility of that kind. The Silverdome was used to host many different non-athletic and athletic events until the early 2000s
In 2002, Ford Field opened, leaving Silverdome without a permanent tenant. The city was unable to find a use for the 85,000-person stadium, and they left it abandoned for eight years, selling it in 2009 for $550,000. The Dome, by contrast, cost $55.7 million to build.
Location: Detroit, Michigan
This Catholic Church was once a thriving religious structure in Detroit, Michigan, but, like much of the city, it has fallen into ruin. St. Agnes Church and School not only had a church on its campus, it also had a girl’s high school. St. Agnes was constructed in 1924, when there were only a few houses in the area.
The gothic-inspired church grew massively, and the community thrived around it. Alas, things took a bad turn for St. Agnes when the surrounding community became crime ridden. By the mid-eighties, many people had abandoned St. Agnes, and there was not enough money to cover the huge building’s operating costs. Thus, this once-beloved church was forced to shut down.
Location: Manhattan, New York City, New York
Cost: $22.5 million to build the New Yorker Hotel*
The underground of New York City is a fascinating place, and the Hidden Art Deco Tunnel beneath the Manhattan New Yorker Hotel is one of the most interesting features of the area. The beautiful tunnel ran from the Hotel lobby to Penn Station, and it is still hidden beneath 34th Street in pretty good condition.
The Hotel’s underground tunnel is full of Art Deco tiling, and it looks as though you’ve stepped right into a forgotten era when you walk into it. This tunnel was once a leading amenity of the New Yorker, as it provided a convenient way for people to travel from the hotel to Penn Station.
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Cost: $250,000 to build*
Built in 1915, Annie Lytle Elementary School was originally known as Public School Number 4 until its renaming in 1957. It was renamed to honor a former, beloved principal, but the school only lived under that moniker for a few years before it was closed permanently.
Jacksonville, Florida’s highway systems are to blame for the closure. Built in the 1950s, I-95 and I-10 crossed just a hundred feet from Annie Lytle—not exactly ideal for a school. The elementary school became isolated and hard to reach, with the sound of highway traffic drowning out second-floor classes. Eventually, Annie Lytle was forced to shut its doors.
Location: Wingdale, New York
Cost: $20 million to build*
This psychiatric center was once on the cutting edge of the now-archaic procedure known as the lobotomy. Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center severed the frontal lobe pathways of many a patient in the twentieth century. The Center opened in 1924, and it was meant for the treatment and care “of the insane.”
The Center was built using the grounds of an old prison, and it had 900 acres and 80 buildings on its campus. The hospital had its own golf course, baseball field, bowling alley, bakery, dairy farm, ice cream parlor, and more. At its peak, the Center housed 5,000 patients and an equal number of employees. After twenty years of decline caused by newer, better facilities being built, Harlem closed, and the property, which is rumored to be haunted, was abandoned.
Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Year: Late 1800s
Located in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the Warner Brothers Corset Factory brought about a new era in corset-making. In the 1800s, doctors began to notice that women’s health was suffering from the tight, torso-constricting corsets. Warner Brothers came out with a flexible, practical corset in the late 1800s that quickly became a best-seller.
At its peak, the corset factory produced 6,000 corsets daily. It also arranged for free housing for its workers, and it opened a school for its employees, too. Alas, as corsets fell out of favor, Warner Brothers closed, and the former factory, which was once ahead of its time, is now a thing of the past.
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Cost: $849,000 average home price in the area*
Brook Farm, located outside Boston, Massachusetts, remains the most famous utopian community to have operated in America. Transcendentalists Sophia and George Ripley opened the farm in 1841, creating a commune where labor and tasks were shared equally, and the final goal was the balance of work and leisure that would benefit the greater good.
Alas, it was hard for Brook Farm, famous though it became, to turn a profit due to its philosophy, so it was forced to shut its doors in 1847. The commune, while it lasted, was visited by renowned American thinkers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Horace Greeley, Charles Anderson Dana, and Margaret Fuller. Hawthorne’s novel, The Blithedale Romance, was set in a community based on Brook Farm.
Location: Rosendale, New York
Cost: $5-$10 suggested donation to visit*
The Widow Jane Mine has technically been abandoned for more than fifty years, but it has seen quite a few visitors in its time. Located in Rosendale, New York, this cement mine was at the forefront of the industry. Its history began in 1825, when huge dolomite limestone deposits were discovered there.
Widow Jane remained in operation until 1970, but its tale was far from over. In addition to being a popular biking and hiking destination, the Widow Jane has seen use as a trout nursery, whisky water supplier, recording studio, performance venue, and perhaps most interestingly, a mushroom farm.
Location: Beechwood State Park, Sodus, New York
Year: Mid-1990s (Date Closed)
It’s unclear when this eerie, abandoned Girl Scout Camp was opened, but it was closed in the 1990s, suggesting at least a few decades of hosting troops. The Girl Scout Camp is located at Beechwood State Park in Sodus, New York. When the camp closed, the state and the town both did not want it.
But, the state made the town take it, so Sodus turned it into a “state park” and immediately forgot it was there. The abandoned Girl Scout buildings include lean-tos, a mess hall, cabins, a swimming pool, a campfire ring, and a lot of disused vinyl curtains.
Location: Disney World Airport, Orlando, Florida
Also called the Lake Buena Vista STOLPort Runway, the Singing Runway is located at Disney World Airport in good old Orlando, Florida. This runway was constructed in 1970 or 1971 (depending on who you ask), and it was only in operation for a couple years until it was shut down. It was used by Shawnee Airlines, the only line that flew directly into Magic Kingdom.
Flights were discontinued, as the Singing Runway (called that name because the runaway played “When You Wish Upon A Star” as the plane drove over it) became non-feasible for legal and practical reasons. Now, it is used for storage, and, at one time, Disney bus drivers trained on the old runway.
Location: Windber, Pennsylvania
Cost: $30 for a tour*
Ed Metka, a civil engineer, always had a love of urban transportation. When he retired from the Army, he was worried that a lot of trolley models were being destroyed or sold for scrap. So, he purchased fourteen trolly cars from the Massachusetts Transportation Authority and set them up for display in Windber, Pennsylvania.
To this day, the Trolley Graveyard, as it is known, is still there, and there is even a live-in security guard and caretaker there to make sure no one vandalizes this display. Metka’s lifelong passion remains, though he is currently seeking a buyer for the cars who will return them to their former glory.
Location: Rosemount, Minnesota
Cost: $4 million to construct*
During World War II, the U.S. government declared eminent domain over 12,000 acres of farmland in rural Minnesota. They set up a factory to build smokeless gun powder, along with a host of other artillery by-products. The plant, named Gopher Ordnance Works, was up and running in 1945, but the War ended seven months after it opened.
Once Hitler surrendered, America’s need for huge quantities of gunpowder fizzled, and the plant was retired. The University of Minnesota took over the land in the 1950s, keeping the remains of the factory there. They turned the rest of the land into UMore Park, a place where they could conduct academic and agricultural research projects. Still, the eerie factory towers loom overhead, jutting above the Rosemount skyline.
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Cost: $837,000 to build*
Located in Kansas City, Missouri, this abandoned prison castle is now an imposing, unmissable gallery of graffiti art. The Kansas City Workhouse is a medieval-style, moldering building that, despite its appearance, was built in 1897. It was a place where nearby prison inmates (usually petty offenders like “beggars and drunks”) would mine limestone and perform other tasks.
The castle style in which the Workhouse was built was trendy at the time, and it was also thought to be imposing and intimidating. The Castle remained in operation until the early 1970s, when it was shuttered permanently after changing hands dozens of times.
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Cost: $900,000 to demolish*
The Southwestern High School was once home to around 1,600 students in Detroit, Michigan, but this high school is now abandoned and slowly crumbling into ruin. The school opened in 1922, and it remained in operation until 2012, when parents were sent a letter announcing Southwestern’s closure.
The number of students there had been declining yearly, and Southwestern was one of the state’s lowest-performing schools. Nearby schools were hesitant to absorb Southwestern’s students, as they feared overcrowding and fights, but, eventually, they had no choice, and Southwestern was closed and abandoned.
Location: Thiells, New York
Cost: $2 million* (2022 Development Plan Cost)
Thiells, New York is a quiet hamlet with a bit of a dark history. In 1911, Thiells was established as the home of a utopian-village progressive experiment. The entire town was a home for the mentally ill, as 2,000 patients lived in 130 buildings spread across 2,000 acres. Called Letchworth Village, the sprawling complex segregated the mentally ill, though it was, at the time, progressive.
Despite such good intentions, Letchworth eventually became overcrowded, and a majority of its patients were kids. The town was also short-staffed, and allegations of abuse and human rights violations abounded as time went on. Before its closure in 1996, Letchworth was even the site of experimental vaccine testing on its kids.
Location: Pescadero, California
Ano Nuevo, a relatively young island, was once connected to the northern coast of California via a narrow land bridge. As water levels rose, causing a channel to form between the island and mainland, Ano Nuevo was cut off from the state. Its buildings were abandoned, but only by humans.
Thousands of sea lions and seals have now taken residence on Ano Nuevo, using the old grounds as a place to repopulate their species. Northern Elephant Seals, as well as Steller Sea Lions, are Ano Nuevo’s most frequent guests, and it is nice to see this formerly manmade structure become a wildlife haven. The area around the island is strictly protected, but you wouldn’t want to take a swim there anyway, as the waters around Ano Nuevo are heavily shark-infested.
Location: King Island, Nome, Alaska
Located on King Island in Alaska, this stilt village, known as Ukivok, was once home to sea-faring natives who spent their winters there until abandoning the town. Ukivok hosted a local Inupiat population, who constructed the town using precarious arrangements of huts hosted up on stilts.
The Inupiat, who called themselves the Aseuluk (AKA, “People of the Sea”), spent their winters there, as they could hunt for seals, crabs, and other game to keep them fed through the cold season. Eventually, the Bureau of Indian Affairs forced Ukivok to close in the mid-1900s, requiring the Aseuluk and their children to live on the mainland year-round.
Location: Yonkers, New York
Cost: $10 million endowment in 1920*
Known as the Boyce Thompson Institute, this Yonkers institution was abandoned years ago. Boyce Thompson was once a horticultural institute, full of greenhouses. It was founded by William Boyce Thompson in the early 1900s, as Thompson was inspired by similar institutes he saw while on a visit to Russia.
The horticulturist bought twenty-two acres of land and decided to dedicate his life to finding a sustainable food supply for the world’s population. The Institute ran from 1920 until 1978, until a Yonkers tax hike forced the educational facility to relocate to Cornell. Now, the rows and rows of greenhouses lay abandoned, and they have grown wild over the years.
Location: Potomac, Maryland
Cost: $10 fee to tour the ruins*
During the Civil War, a soldier for the Union was absentmindedly panning for gold while cleaning pots and pans in a stream when he found a gold nugget. He remembered that find, and, after the War concluded, the Maryland Mine Company was founded to dig in the Washington D.C. area.
The Company dug its first shafts in 1867, and the mine was active until 1939. Alas, despite decades of efforts, the Maryland Gold Mine never yielded enough gold for the operations there to be profitable. The long-forgotten gold mine has a few dilapidated buildings along the C&O Canal, but, for the most part, most of the evidence of gold mining here has been removed.
Location: Litchfield, California
Year: Late 1800s
Secret Manor is a house that is full of legends, the most haunting of which are, reportedly, the ghosts of the women who used to work in the manor’s brothel. The Secret Manor is tucked into the sagebrush of Litchfield, California, and it was once part of a bustling, rowdy railroad town. Now, Secret Manor is in the middle of a ghost town.
The grand, sprawling manor home was once a house of ill repute in the late 1800s, catering to rail workers. When the rail declined, Secret Manor declined as well, becoming isolated and hard to find. It shuttered for good in the 1900s, but, rumor has it you can still hear the echoes of bawdy nights there. Some say there are still women’s spirits lurking through the former Manor.
Location: Centerport, New York
Cost: $72.08 million to build*
Located in Centerport, New York, this saltwater pool once belonged to William Vanderbilt, a member of one of America’s most-distinguished, wealthiest families. Vanderbilt’s sprawling mansion (and its pool) were built by Warren and Wetmore, the same company that designed the Grand Central Station, which was also owned by Vanderbilt.
William, somewhat of a playboy, built himself a luxurious castle that included a 70,000-gallon saltwater pool, consisting of water drawn from the sound. There, William entertained famous celebrities such as Coco Chanel, Samuel Goldwyn, and Irving Berlin, though, now, the sounds of lawn parties around the pool have long-since faded.