January 24, 2014

End of the Line

No building was more up-to-date when it was built, or is more obsolete today, than this train station. The captivating Victorian structure was once a bustling nerve center for the anthracite coal industry.
Located in PA facing the railroad tracks, the 2½-story train station still boasts an overhanging hipped and gable roof with a large wooden cupola. Today, however, the train station sits on a neglected lot in a state of disrepair, its 1½ story wings flanked by dilapidated boxcars. 
The 19th century was the halcyon era of the Great American Railroad. Locomotives charged westward to join the continent by iron rail and the nation was hungry for coal as a fuel to power its steam engines and urban factories. The train station was the communal hub of every town; the starting point or destination of adventuresome travelers, businessmen and parents sending loved ones off to college or war.
The Town came of age during this era, and its train station was an important part of its growth. Originally known as the "L&S Station," the train station was built by the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company in 1866. It accommodated railroad traffic between NJ and PA.
The CNJ Railroad leased the line in 1871 & in the early 20th century, the CNJ was the sole lessor of the tracks and the name of the station was changed to reflect that fact. Passenger travel also increased. To appeal to more affluent entrepreneurs, tycoons and political bosses who traveled the line, the CNJ made some lavish interior renovations to its station.
Fireplaces were added. Hand-carved mahogany paneling was affixed to the plaster walls in many rooms, along with hand-laid wooden flooring. Ornate frosting was spackled to the ceiling and a resplendent, curved staircase banister added, both of which gave an aristocratic air to the structure.
The fortunes of the CNJ Railroad came to a screeching halt with the Great Depression. Passenger service declined and anthracite coal prices plummeted, forcing the CNJ into receivership. Not until the early 1950s did it emerge from financial straits, by which time rail travel had given way to the automobile. Passenger service to the town ceased in July 1963, and the train station closed in 1972.
But a successful novelty and toy wholesaler who grew up near the station, purchased the seven-acre property for a reported $80,000 in 1977 and invested more than $3 million to restore the once bustling terminal and convert the property into a unique and opulent nightclub, restaurant, entertainment and hotel complex. He added dozens of fully restored dining, parlor and sleeping cars on the adjacent acreage to create a unique hotel comprised completely of rail cars. The train station site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and The Station Nightclub and Restaurant Complex operated successfully as a landmark hotel, restaurant and entertainment complex into the 1980s.
In 1987, a Steakhouse opened at the station site. In 1988, area businessmen entered into a lease purchase agreement and the facility continued to operate as a nightclub and restaurant complex through the 1990s under a succession of different nightclub and restaurant names. The KF resigned as officers and directors in 1992.
In 2006 it was sold to the LCR Authority for $5.8 million. The authority said the county wanted to turn the facility into a regional visitors center.
But in the ensuing six years, the station remained vacant and continued to deteriorate. Vandals targeted the complex, tearing copper from the roof and exterior, smashing windows and spray painting the station and remaining train cars with graffiti.
By 2012, county manager said he did not support a prior county decision to spend $2 million renovating the station. He asked the county redevelopment authority to consider selling the train station and adjoining properties to a private owner. The authority said it would begin preparing requests for proposals to market the property.
Today, many historic train stations across the nation are still in service as museums, banks, restaurants, and historical societies. In cities like Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, renovated stations are destinations unto themselves even for those not boarding a train. In other towns, entire neighborhoods and historic districts have been remade around these architectural gems, restoring their vitality in novel and interesting ways long after the last train has left the station.
Sadly, This train station is a vacant, dilapidated property in need of millions in restoration work, and one that it being held hostage by the inaction of local government.




















December 6, 2013

Nobles Theater

This One Hundred & Seven year old Theater building is a historic landmark, which was once a primary public performance venue. 

That’s all the History I can find on this location now. When I find more I’ll be sure to post it.

















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November 29, 2013

AbandonedNY Featured on Weather.com

Haunting Images of Abandoned Resort

Urban explorer and photographer John Walker captured what remains of an old resort that was a summer-haven for garment workers in the early 1900s in his photo series called “The White Pines.”
Walker went to the resort, located on 750 acres of land at the base of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, after a fellow urban explorer disclosed the location. In order to keep it protected, Walker doesn’t use the resort’s real name. He instead refers to it as “The White Pines.”

The resort was purchased by the Garment Workers’ Union in 1919 as a reasonably priced place for its members to vacation. In 1924, the property was sold to the General Executive Board of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union. The union renovated the building and transformed it into a wonderland for the workers, according to Walker.

The resort featured a lake with plenty or watersports, a theater, a library and an abundance of activities to keep guests entertained. Now, the front desk, bar and theater at the resort all lie crumbling and derelict.
Walker’s favorite part of the abandoned resort is the theater. “The theater and main building interested me the most,” he explained to Weather.com. “Just seeing what time and Mother Nature has does to the location since it closed always makes it exciting to see and capture with a camera.”
The photographer, who is based out of New York, says he finds old hotels incredibly "interesting” and has photographed many abandoned summer resorts in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York.
When Walker is shooting at an abandoned location, he prefers a little cloud cover to set the scene.
“Cloudy or overcast days I think make outside pictures more interesting to look at … gives them a moody feeling,” said Walker.
Go take a Look Weather.com 

September 2, 2013

Forgotten World Issue #2

I was contacted back in July about a new magazine coming out on Urban Exploring called Forgotten World and they wanted to feature me as the Artist of the month in the second issue. So I agreed and sent them some pictures. My Photo of Ravenloft Castle made the cover and there is a 10 page spread featuring my work from several locations in New York, Pennsylvania & Connecticut. If you like to pick up a copy of this issue you can by clicking this link below, http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/608546

August 24, 2013

Letchworth Village

Construction began in 1911 but completion of the original design did not occur until the early 1930s. The institution was planned as a farm colony where by patients were put to work raising animals and growing food. Superintendent Charles S. Little told the New York Times, In order to make this plan a success, it is necessary to begin to train the feeble minded when they are children. The feeble minded, if taken at an early age can be trained to do things better than if the education of which they are capable is postponed until the less pliable years. The site was named for William Pryor Letchworth, who served on the New York State Board of Charities from 1873 to 1896. Letchworth Village was one of the largest and most progressive facilities for the mentally retarded in the United States. Situated on 2000 acres of farmland with the Towns of Haverstraw and Stony Point. It was designed as a self-supporting community comprised of 130 field stone buildings.
The facility closed on March 31, 1996, but administrative offices remained open until 2002. The campus sprawls across the boundaries of 2 towns.  Some of the buildings located within one of the towns have been adaptively-reused, while much of the other section is neglected.




















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Here is a Video by my Friends at Antiquity Echoes