Tuesday, August 1, 2023



ALL  I CAN SAY IS WOW ....WASTE OF MONEY ..........................

World’s Most Expensive Abandoned Structures

©JazzyJoeyD / Wikimedia Commons©JazzyJoeyD / Wikimedia Commons

Grandiose projects can cost an incredible amount of money, but bringing ideas that are true feats of engineering to life is never a cheap business. While the amount of money poured into a palace, a luxury resort, or a stately home can be quantitatively measured, the longevity of the structure is almost entirely unpredictable. 

A building can stand for a hundred years before falling into disrepair in a mere decade. Entire Olympic villages can cost billions, only to be left to rot once the last javelin has been thrown. From theme parks that once buzzed with the footsteps of thousands to stately homes that are only shells, there’s a whole world of forgotten places out there.


Can you imagine pouring over $40 million dollars into a project that only ends up lasting a handful of years? It’s certainly not a business to be in if you aren’t willing to take the risk. Read on to discover the true stories behind some of the world’s most expensive abandoned structures. 

1. Ryugyong Hotel

Location: North Korea
Year: 1987
Cost: $750 million* 

We all know that hotel chains like Hilton have made fortunes from their never ending string of locations – but have you ever heard of the Ryugyong Hotel? The answer is most likely a resounding no. Construction on the 1,080 foot tall towering structure in Pyongyang, North Korea started back in 1987. 

Ryugyong Hotel, North Korea @Torsten Pursche / Shutterstock.comRyugyong Hotel, North Korea @Torsten Pursche / Shutterstock.com

Despite dropping over $750 million on the hotel, known as the 105 Building, developers never opened it. Work was halted in 1992 before the exterior was finished in 2011. Although plans were made for a partial opening in 2018, the insanely expensive hotel remains an empty vessel looming over the rest of the district. 

Will the Ryugyong Hotel ever be the place that developers wanted it to be, or is it just too late now for the tide to turn? Given how much money has been dropped on the project, it could be a losing game no matter what happens next.


2. Land of Oz

Location: North Carolina
Year: 1970
Cost: $5 million*

There are fewer spots in the world more eerie than North Carolina’s abandoned theme park, Land of Oz. Based on the 1939 movie and the original novels, the resort was designed by Jack Pentes at a cost of $5 million. Over 44,000 bricks were glazed yellow to give theme park guests the ultimate Oz experience. 

Land of Oz @architecturaldigest.com/Pinterest.comLand of Oz @architecturaldigest.com/Pinterest.com

Disney’s Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher opened the park back in 1970, but by 1975 disaster had struck. A fire destroyed two buildings containing the lion’s share of equipment. After struggling on for a further 5 years, the park closed its doors in 1980 and lay to waste for the next 40 years. Some of the park was restored in 2019, with limited open days occurring throughout the year.

Now, visitors can walk through certain parts of the theme park on specific days annually to get a taste of what the park was like in its heyday. Although it has a long way to go, it’s good to see that Dorothy and her pals haven’t Toto-ly been forgotten…

This Week in History (12/27 - 1/2)

3. The Aquatics Stadium

Location: Rio de Janeiro
Year: 2014
Cost: $38 million*

When Rio de Janeiro won its bid for the 2016 Olympics, the city spared no expense in creating a world-class Aquatics Stadium for the swimming and water polo finals. After all, if you’re going to be featured on Comcast’s NBC Sports, you need to look sharp. $38 million went into constructing the venue, with work commencing in 2014. 

The Aquatics Stadium, Rio de Janeiro@Sufian Farrukh / Pinterest.comThe Aquatics Stadium, Rio de Janeiro@Sufian Farrukh / Pinterest.com

The building took an enormous amount of capital and an enormous amount of work to complete. Although the government initially said they would repurpose the venue or at least salvage the pool for use elsewhere after 2016, it never happened. The entire structure lays abandoned and crumbling.

Sadly, this Olympic structure isn’t the only one of its kind across the world that has faced such a fate after the games have come and gone. Many different host cities have struggled to find uses for buildings erected for the games in the years following. 

4. San-Zhi Pod City

Location: Taiwan
Year: 2010
Cost: $50 million+*

For over three decades, the San-Zhi Pod City in Taiwan, lay absolutely desolate and incomplete. Construction on the brightly colored, oddly UFO-shaped houses started back in 1978, when avante garde buildings were all the rage. Initially planned to be a vacation spot for U.S. military officers, the project was never finished. 

San-Zhi Pod City, Taiwan@Susannah Lois / Pinterest.comSan-Zhi Pod City, Taiwan@Susannah Lois / Pinterest.com

A series of strange occurrences and accidents meant that by 1980 investors were losing money at a rapid rate. Instead of completing the project they left the site as it was and moved on. For years it became a popular destination for urban explorers, many of whom uploaded videos to Google’s YouTube. 

These videos showed the strange interior of the pods as little self-contained apartments complete with an open plan kitchen and living space, with a small bedroom leading just off to the side. Could this project have been successful if given half the chance? 

5. Buzludzha Monument

Location: Bulgaria
Year: 1981
Cost: $35 million (adjusted for inflation)*

The Buzludzha Monument has a complex past. It sits atop the Buzludzha Peak in central Bulgaria as a reminder of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Building first commenced in 1974 as designs created by Georgi Stoilov started to take shape. By 1981 it was finally finished, although it cost an eye-watering $35 million. 

Buzludzha Monument, Bulgaria @Milen Dobrev / Shutterstock.comBuzludzha Monument, Bulgaria @Milen Dobrev / Shutterstock.com

Many fine details including extensive mosaics that cover over 900 square meters are housed inside, but the monument has been abandoned since 1989. Weather, vandals, and other factors have all impacted what’s left of Stoilov’s impressive design. A project is currently underway to try and preserve what’s left. 

While the history surrounding the monument may prove divisive, the sheer scale and detail that went into the build is almost universally appreciated by architects. It’s state of disrepair is understandable, but also costly when it comes to repair work. 

6. Coco Palms Resort

Location: Hawaii
Year: 1953
Cost: $135 million*

When the fabulously luxurious Coco Palms Resort in Hawaii opened its doors in 1953, Hollywood immediately came knocking. {{NSE:Sony’s}] Columbia Pictures even filmed parts of Rita Hayworth’s Miss Sadie Thompson there not long after it opened.  

Coco Palms Resort, Hawaii @Vintagepix / Shutterstock.comCoco Palms Resort, Hawaii @Vintagepix / Shutterstock.com

In its prime it was a $135 million paradise that kept visitors coming back again and again. Until one day in 1992 when it was suddenly devastated by a hurricane. In 2016 there were plans to inject Coco Palms with new investments to restore the resort to its former glory, but the deal fell through. Now, the once-pricey resort remains an abandoned ruin.  

Coco Palms also holds a special place in the hearts of Elvis fans. The King filmed Blue Hawaii there, with his character even tying the knot at the resort. To this day, people are still eager to visit the ruins and take a look around Elvis’ favorite bungalow. 

7. Istana Woodneuk

Location: Singapore
Year: 1932
Cost: $3.7 billion*

Close to the Singapore Botanic Gardens in Singapore lies an extensive palace known as Istana Woodneuk. First built in 1932, the impressive two-story building has a rich and complex history as a home for Sultan Ibrahim and his wife, Scottish-born Sultanah Helen. 

Istana Woodneuk, Singapore@Jiae Azad / Pinterest.comIstana Woodneuk, Singapore@Jiae Azad / Pinterest.com

In 1990 the government decided to purchase the estate of Tyersall Park as well as the house, but there was no restoration. Instead, the palace was just left to fall into ruin, despite being worth billions. In 2006 a huge fire ripped through the property leaving it dangerously derelict and, ultimately, beyond repair. 

Given just how much the property cost to build in the first place (an eye watering $3.7 billion including furnishings) it’s an extraordinarily sad story. Today, the palace remains an empty shell in a beautiful setting of lush greenery and unkempt gardens.  

8. NRG Astrodome

Location: Houston
Year: 1962
Cost: $300 million*

At the time the NRG Astrodome was built back in 1962, responsibility for the project was largely  placed on the mayor of Houston, Roy Hofheinz. Hofheinz fully backed the idea of a modern stadium that could be multi-purposeful and draw in crowds. Ground was broken on the $300-million-dollar project in 1962. 

NRG Astrodome, Houston @davidderueda / Twitter.comNRG Astrodome, Houston @davidderueda / Twitter.com

Three of Houston’s major sports teams called the venue home at some point throughout the Astrodome’s history. The stadium even helped shelter survivors of Hurricane Katrina, but by 2008 it began to close because of broken fire regulations. Now it lies empty, with some parts entirely demolished. Despite several different attempts, the Astrodome still hasn’t been saved.  

Instead, Houston and its various sports teams turned their focus to the NRG Stadium, formerly known as Reliant Stadium. This fancy new stadium with a retractable roof was built in 2000, ushering in a new era while making the astrodome look even older than it did already. 

9. Burj Al Babas

Location: Turkey
Year 2014
Cost: $200 million*

Back in 2014 developers were breaking ground on Burj Al Babas, situated halfway between Istanbul and Ankara. The development of pristine, pearly white homes was supposed to lure in buyers wanting a vacation home in a picturesque spot. It should’ve been an easy return on a $200-million-dollar investment. Instead, it turned into an expensive waste of time and resources. 

The Burj Al Babas, Turkey @emasali stock / Shutterstock.comThe Burj Al Babas, Turkey @emasali stock / Shutterstock.com

The French-style homes look like miniature Disney castles, but when the company that was behind the project went bust in 2018, they were left unfinished. Although 587 of the buildings were completed, the future of the project remains in limbo as the once grandiose scheme tries to find a way to move forward. 

Ideally, developers would sell all of the units and finish the ones they have yet to complete. The alternative would be a demolition project that would likely cost more than the initial build. Let’s hope there’s a cost effective solution, for the sake of everyone involved. 

10. Haludovo Palace Hotel

Location: Croatia
Year: 1971
Cost: $45 million*

When the Haludovo Palace Hotel opened its doors back in 1972, it didn’t take long to establish a reputation as the place to be for the jet-setting elite. The resort, which was so lavish it had a swimming pool full of Moet, was backed by Penthouse owner Bob Guccione. As a result, many wealthy Americans eagerly hopped on a United Airlines flight to what was then Yugoslavia to visit. 

The Haludovo Palace Hotel, Croatia @xbrchx / Shutterstock.comThe Haludovo Palace Hotel, Croatia @xbrchx / Shutterstock.com

Lush gardens, beautiful hostesses, a private casino, and constant caviar helped make the Haludovo Palace Hotel popular, but by the next year the casino went bust and closed. New management came in to try and salvage the rest of the hotel, but it was a losing game. Today, the structure remains closed as new investors plan to redevelop. 

It’s a tragic end for a place that was once the very definition of opulence for the wealthy upper middle class. The hotel later went on to become a shelter for the homeless during the Yugoslav War, so it’s history isn’t quite as cut and dry as it may seem.

11. Hudson State River Hospital

Location: New York
Year: 1868
Cost: $14 million (adjusted for inflation)*

New York City might be known for huge, expensive structural attractions like the Empire State Building but not all of the state’s structures are flourishing. Along the Hudson close to Poughkeepsie is the infamous Hudson River State Hospital. 

Hudson River State Hospital, New York @Sherman Cahal / Shutterstock.comHudson River State Hospital, New York @Sherman Cahal / Shutterstock.com

Built in 1868 at a cost of $800,000 ($14 million in today’s money) the Victorian Gothic building was originally used as a psychiatric hospital. The sprawling facility is a sight to behold, but it hasn’t been home to any patients since 2003. After several fires major parts of the building have been damaged, but it is currently undergoing renovation to transform into a mixed-use project featuring offices, a hotel and apartments. 

The development is a welcome resolution for local residents who have had to watch the building decay year after year. With a bright future in sight, it won’t be long before the Hudson State River Hospital starts a new life as something else entirely.

12. Michigan Central Station

Location: Detroit
Year: 1914
Cost: $15 million*

When the original Detroit train station was burned down in 1913, the local government needed to whip up a replacement. The result was a $15-million-dollar building set on West Vernor Highway. Towering above the city, the imposing structure was designed by the same people behind Grand Central. 

Michigan Central Station, Detroit @Matt Ragen / Shutterstock.comMichigan Central Station, Detroit @Matt Ragen / Shutterstock.com

As the need for such a huge train station declined, Michigan Central closed its doors for good in 1988. Ford Motor Company purchased the building in 2018, before unveiling plans to turn it into a working hub. Renovations are currently underway, after the building has lay dormant for over three decades.  

Ford will likely turn the historic location into a vibrant spot in Michigan, injecting it with some much needed capital. The building might look dejected now, but wait until the car manufacturer has worked its magic on it. Miracles can happen. 

13. Cape Romano Dome House

Location: Marco Island, Florida
Year: 1979
Cost: $20 million+*

The Cape Romano Dome House looks like an alien structure left to float out to sea. Originally built by businessman Bob Lee in 1979, the interconnecting buildings were once on land. Each dome was made out of concrete and featured under-floor heating across its 2,400 square feet expanse. 

Cape Romano Dome House, Marco Island, Florida@Ralph Krugler / Shutterstock.comCape Romano Dome House, Marco Island, Florida@Ralph Krugler / Shutterstock.com

The house remained lived in until 1992 when Hurricane Andrew destroyed the interior, leaving it unlivable. As a result, the Lee family moved out and didn’t return. The new buyer tried to save it by moving it to a new location inland, but it was too late. Now entirely in the sea, two of the domes have collapsed with the other four are terribly corroded. 

The Lee family have often talked about all the happy memories they experienced in the house, so it’s a shame that such a treasured location was left to slide. Had Hurricane Andrew not hit and the structure been placed slightly further ashore, perhaps the outcome would’ve been different. 

14. New York State Pavilion

Location: New York
Year: 1962
Cost: $14 million*

Somewhere in Queens lies an intriguing spectacle: an oddly-shaped shell of a building that doesn’t exactly fit in with the modern world. Built back in 1962 for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the structure was designed by Philip Johnson and Richard Foster at a whopping cost of $14 million. 

New York State Pavilion @EarthScape ImageGraphy / Shutterstock.comNew York State Pavilion @EarthScape ImageGraphy / Shutterstock.com

Made from concrete and steel, the New York State Pavilion was supposed to be repurposed. Instead, it became a mere background object for movies like Men in Black and Iron Man 2. It soon fell into a more dire state of disrepair until the NYC government finally agreed to restore it at the cost of $14 million. It’s expected to be completed in 2021. 

It isn’t clear what the Pavilion will be used for after restoration is completed, but it will likely emerge as a revamped event space that the area can be proud of. With so much money going into its makeover, let’s hope it’s looked after this time. 

15. Penn Hills Resort

Location: Pennsylvania
Year: 1944
Cost: Unknown

While it’s unknown exactly what it cost France Paolillo to transform a small tavern into the booming, luxury Penn Hills Resort in the Pocono Mountains, it wouldn’t have been cheap. First established in 1944, the location had turned into a 100-room hotel by the 1960s. It was home to a ski resort as well as a sprawling, well-kept golf course. 

Penn Hills Resort, Pennsylvania @StuffYouShouldKnow / Pinterest.comPenn Hills Resort, Pennsylvania @StuffYouShouldKnow / Pinterest.com

It was the epitome of luxury, perfect for young couples looking to get away. Sadly, when Paolillo passed away at the grand age of 102 in 2009, the resort died with him. Just a few weeks later Penn Hills was closed as it became clear the resort was bust. In 2017 the bulk of the once glorious building was destroyed by fire, while what remains is a wedding bell-shaped pool and overgrown shrubbery. 

Although the majority of the resort remains as an eyesore, certain parts of it have been demolished to make room for other, more pressing projects. The golf club house was flattened in 2017 to make space for the ForEvergreen Nature Preserve. 

16. Star Jet Roller Coaster

Location: Seaside Heights, New Jersey
Year: 2002
Cost: $2 million*

Star Jet delighted tourists and locals alike when it was built in Seaside Heights, New Jersey in 2002. Situated on Casino Pier, the 52-feet tall structure was a popular attraction until Hurricane Sandy came to town. 

Roller Coaster, Seaside Heights, New Jersey @Sky Cinema / Shutterstock.comRoller Coaster, Seaside Heights, New Jersey @Sky Cinema / Shutterstock.com

When the hurricane hit in 2012 it caused some of the pier to drop into the ocean. As a result, Star Jet tumbled into the Atlantic. Amazingly, it retained much of its original shape. Sadly for fans it was beyond repair and was torn down in 2013 before being replaced by a different coaster, Hydrus, in 2017. 

Makers did take note of what happened to Star Jet before they built Hydrus. Instead of erecting a new one where Star Jet once was, they moved it from the pier to the beach in order to give it a better chance at weathering any possible storms. 

17. Mayan Ancient City of Tikal

Location: Guatemala
Year: 600 B.C.
Cost: Unknown

The ancient Mayans have fascinated modern day scholars for years, with many archaeologists becoming entirely enamored with new and old finds. Disney’s National Geographic has aired multiple documentaries on the subject over the years. Perhaps one of the most interesting sites of all is the Mayan Ancient City of Tikal in Guatemala. 

Mayan Ancient City of Tikal @Simon Dannhauer / Shutterstock.comMayan Ancient City of Tikal @Simon Dannhauer / Shutterstock.com

As one of the biggest sites of its kind, it’s believed that the capital was a powerful kingdom that thrived. However, by the Late Classic Period it had ceased to grow and the population had started to dwindle, leading to its desolation by the time the 10th century rolled around.  

Thankfully, plenty of evidence has been left behind so historians can try and get an idea of what life was like for the civilization back then. Although there is still plenty we don’t know, these ancient cities are a window into a different time. 

18. Chernobyl

Location: Ukraine
Year: 1193
Cost $1.5 billion*

Nuclear power plants are not cheap structures to build by their very nature – and if something goes wrong it’s costly on multiple levels. But Chernobyl is a prime example of all these worst-case scenarios combined. The Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Nuclear Power Plant was built just outside of Pripyat in 1972, providing lots of city dwellers with jobs. 

Chernobyl @Valeriia Manzovitova / Shutterstock.comChernobyl @Valeriia Manzovitova / Shutterstock.com

After the Chernobyl disaster occured in 1986, the surrounding area was so heavily contaminated with nuclear radiation that it had to be abandoned. 14,000 people lived in the vicinity at the time, but now only 1,000 people remain. The town is littered with abandoned homes besides ones marked with signs saying “Owner lives here.” AT&T’s HBO turned the disaster into an award-winning series in 2019.

The disaster and the aftermath holds an important place in history. Not only does Chernobyl lie in waste as a permanent reminder of the danger of nuclear power, but it just goes to show how fragile entire cities are, even if they don’t appear to be.  

19. Underwater Sculpture Park

Location: Molinere
Year: 2006
Cost: Unknown

Hidden in the Caribbean Sea just off of the west coast of Grenada is the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park. Divers wanting to see something entirely unusual and spine chilling can visit the spot for juist $2 a pop. Designed by Jason deCaires Taylor, the concrete human figures feature a ring of kids holding hands and even a man riding a bike. 

The Underwater Sculpture Park, Molinere @R Gombarik / Shutterstock.comThe Underwater Sculpture Park, Molinere @R Gombarik / Shutterstock.com

It’s not clear how much the artist would’ve shelled out to turn his underwater dream into a reality, but the sculptures have been lurking in the deep since 2006. Now heavily tarnished and marred by the tides, the tourist attraction is still visited, but strangely haunting. 

Even on a fairly busy dive day, visitors can expect to be met with an eerie sight. After all, it’s not everyday you see human-like figures at the bottom of the ocean, seemingly playing. While not entirely abandoned, the sculpture park certainly isn’t as shiny and new as it once was. 

20. Constanta Casino

Location: Romania
Year: 1910
Cost: $8 million (adjusted for inflation)

Although the original structure of Constanta Casino in Romania dates back to the 19th century, the modern shape didn’t come to fruition until the early 1900’s. The city wanted to emulate something that would draw in big crowds, like the fashionable casinos popping up along the French Riviera. 

Constanta Casino, Romania @malanca_adrian / Shutterstock.comConstanta Casino, Romania @malanca_adrian / Shutterstock.com

By 1910 they had spent $8 million on a truly impressive building complete with luxury fixtures and fittings, from sparkling chandeliers to plush carpets. Although it flourished for a time, by 1990 it had become far too expensive to run. As a result, it has been closed for over 30 years. Despite funds being allocated to try and repurpose the building, nothing has been done as of 2020. 

The building has one of the most beautiful locations in the entire city, overlooking the ocean and the promenade. Situated close to the Aquarium, it’s a perfect spot that could earn developers a lot of money if only they could come up with the cash. 

21. Disney’s River Country

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