About Abandoned Awareness
To bring awareness to these places, and to promote this website, I decided to try and "tag" the places I'm going to. Instead of the standard spray paint tag, I worked with Luna Garisto to make a sticker that incorporated a symbol people would get and the URL to this site. So, when I decide to go to different abandoned places, I’ll place the sticker somewhere visible to the people. This way anyone who goes to these abandoned places will see the sticker and wonder what the site goes to.
I chose Caspar the Friendly Ghost to be the symbol on my stickers because when you think of ghost you think of scary, frightening, evil, etc. Caspar stems away from this by being a friendly ghost and not scaring people. When people think of abandoned places, most thoughts are that they're haunted, scary, and there are ghosts in them. I want to show that abandoned places have history behind them and that these places aren't scary The architecture of some of the abandoned places is a true art and inside this building holds so many questions. Why are these places abandoned? What was the building used for before it became abandoned? What is the history of this building and what memories do people have of this building? I want people to see the good parts of the abandoned places and all the history and memories that lie in them. Currently the sticker is a little smaller than I would like it to be, but during a second trial of making the sticker, I can make it larger so it’s even more visible to the people.
Click the button below to go look at my website that talks more about my art process and coming up with this whole project!
English: Blog Posts
These pictures are from Kyle Rose and his different experiences in Henryton, Salton Sea, and Linefield.
In the Beginning:
These blog posts consist of my thoughts throughout all the research and exploring I did with abandoned buildings. Before doing this project I thought of abandoned places as scary and full of ghosts, as the stereotypical rumors would make people to believe. This website, along with my blog posts, are used to shine a light on abandoned places in general, in hope to change the rumors and stereotypes.
I've always had a curiosity for the unknown and for the things we don't see everyday, which is where the topic of this project came from. Over the summer I got the chance to go to "the abandoned highway" in Centralia, PA. It was an amazing sight and intrigued my interests to look further into Centralia and other abandoned places. It made me want to adventure to more places and explore everything that is out there that many people don't know about.
Starting the Project:
When first starting the project I didn't know how far I wanted to go with it and how many places I wanted to look up and what places I want to look up. There were a lot of questions on my mind and it was a little overwhelming.
I talked to my History teacher, Mr. Wimmer, to answer some of my questions and he told me to watch Abandon on Viceland, a tv show that host, Rick McCrank, visits different abandoned places in the United States. This show gave me ideas for different places that I would like to research for my project and also gave me an idea for how to portray the buildings and shine a good light on them. After watching some episodes from the show I started choosing buildings that i wanted to use in my project. I chose Eastern State Penitentiary, Old York Prison, Centralia, and possibly some others added onto that. I would look at the history behind the buildings , get some pictures of the places, and try to find people that have been to the buildings and experienced things.
Contacting Outside Sources:
During the course of this project I tried contacting three outside sources through the duration of this project, but was only able to get ahold of two of them. The first person is a graduate from Central York High School and currently goes to college for photography and film. Kyle Rose helped me a lot with different information about a lot of different places and even shared his work with me. He did some photoshoots at abandoned places like Salton Sea in California, Henryton State Hospital in Maryland, Linfield Industrial Park in PA, Centralia in PA, and Slab City in CA. He gave me a lot of great information about these places along with his opinion and personal experience with these places. If you want to check out more of Kyle's pictures you can check out his Instagram @kylerose.
The second person I contacted is a photography and blogger that has an article and a good amount of pictures on the Old York Prison. I emailed him and looked more into his article and photos, as well as looked up other videos to get more of a good look. One video really portrayed the prison well and gave a lot of good views of inside and around using a drone.
Old York Prison:
The Old York County Prison closed in 1979 and prisoners were transferred to the new prison which currently lies on Concord Road. Within three years, the abandoned building had new owners and drama would soon unfold. Talks of turning the prison into a restaurant or tearing it down for a parking lot were only a few of the many ideas, but it never happened. The new owners lost the property when the Redevelopment Authority of the City of York claimed the abandoned 2.9 acres. The prison currently cannot be entered by the public and enclosed by a chain-link fence with barbed wire.
As someone living in York County, it's interesting to hear that there is an abandoned place near me that isn't being put to good use. The building is six stories high and could be revamped to make it more usable to the public, or to even make the land usable for something else.
Eastern State Penitentiary:
The Eastern State Penitentiary is a former American prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was operational from 1829 until 1971. At its completion, the building was the largest and most expensive public structure ever erected, and quickly became a model for more than 300 prisons worldwide. Most prisons were used as mere holding cells for people that committed crimes, but Eastern State Penitentiary stemmed away from that. The prison was built to showcase solitary confinement and how that can be beneficial to people that committed crimes. The solitary confinement system eventually collapsed due to overcrowding problems. By 1913, Eastern State officially abandoned the solitary system and operated as a congregate prison until it closed in 1970. It is now open to the public for tours.
I went to Philadelphia for a weekend and got the opportunity to tour Eastern State Penitentiary and take videos of the tour and what I saw. Unfortunately, some parts of the prison were closed off to the public due to lack of structure and reconstruction to preserve the building. The whole experience gave me a new perspective of the building and of other abandoned places. While walking through the long hallways and looking into the different cells I felt sad for the people that had to stay in the Eastern State Penitentiary. There’s so much history behind this building and a lot of people look over that and only focus on the negative things. Sadly, a lot of bad things did happen in this building. People were beaten and tortured and some even hanged themselves due to the isolation from others and poor treatment they got.