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Old 05-23-12, 12:18 PM   #1
BenzFanatic
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Anyone else into "Urban exploring"?

If you don't know what it is, urban exploring is basically just exploring abandoned structures, drains, and mines. Sanitariums, hospitals, schools, drains, and industrial plants are the most often explored, but everything from houses to unused nuclear plants make the list. Most of the people that do it would also consider themselves amateur photographers.You would be amazed at the beauty a crusty old dilapidated place can create. Unfortunately though, kids and hooligans kind of ruin it a lot of the time with graffiti, breaking things, and theft.

I was going through some pictures on uer.ca and noticed a decent amount of pictures of people's bikes that they had ridden to their exploration, so I figured I'd ask you guys if you've ever done it. I wish I could do it more often, but there's not too much around me that wouldn't run the very real risk of getting a trespassing charge. The only notable place I've been is Manteno State Hospital, and unfortunately there is only one building left unused. Creepy place.

Right now I'm in contact with a few developers in my area and I really hope they'll give me permission to photograph the interiors of a long abandoned hospital near me and a closed masonic temple.

Here's a link to the photography section of the urban exploring site I frequent. I've spent literally the majority of the past 3 days or so just looking at pictures, and I'm less than 20 pages in. Amazing stuff here. http://www.uer.ca/forum_showthreads.asp?fid=1&catid=103

Also check out the movie "urban explorers:into the darkness," if this sort of thing interests you. Unfortunately it was just taken off netflix.

So anyone else do this sort of thing? Stories? Pictures? Suggestions?
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Old 05-23-12, 12:23 PM   #2
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Last time I did some urban exploring I got arrested.
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Old 05-23-12, 12:29 PM   #3
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No, I don't feel the need to trespass in what is often an unstructurally sound building. There are plenty of things to do and see with out needing to go to those extent, besides, nothing beats going out and exploring nature in a woods.
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Old 05-23-12, 12:37 PM   #4
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I'm a big nature buff too, but there just isn't enough around me. I've been to virtually every nature preserve in northern illinois enough times to have seen everything. It's not trespassing if you get permission, which is the only way I do it. Being able to judge a structure as safe or not is part of the risk, but when it's on the edge I personally don't risk it. I think your tone would change if you ever actually experienced the profound beauty and feeling of the history contained within some buildings. You just can't get the same feeling from even a very historical occupied building.
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Old 05-23-12, 12:43 PM   #5
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I'm a big nature buff too, but there just isn't enough around me. I've been to virtually every nature preserve in northern illinois enough times to have seen everything. It's not trespassing if you get permission, which is the only way I do it. Being able to judge a structure as safe or not is part of the risk, but when it's on the edge I personally don't risk it. I think your tone would change if you ever actually experienced the profound beauty and feeling of the history contained within some buildings. You just can't get the same feeling from even a very historical occupied building.
Building don't do **** for me, I think old decrepit building are quite ugly and can't be torn down quick enough.
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Old 05-23-12, 12:44 PM   #6
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****, you can't say ****, well that ****ing sucks.
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Old 05-23-12, 12:45 PM   #7
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****, you can't say ****, well that ****ing sucks.
That's silly. Of course you can say ****. You might pronounce it differently than me though.
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Old 05-23-12, 12:53 PM   #8
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I <3 it!!!! I think old buildings are beautiful. We actually went last year to the Pennhurst Asylum just for the ability to be in and around the old asylum. It was pretty kick butt. http://www.pennhurstasylum.com/flash/index.htm
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Old 05-23-12, 01:12 PM   #9
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thats how horror movies start
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Old 05-23-12, 01:19 PM   #10
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Most unused old buildings are nothing but eyesores, I agree with that... but there are some gems.

That place looks wicked Mango. Asylums have the coolest/scariest feel about them.

And C0urt, yes, it is. Both in fiction and real life, especially since abandonments are often a mecca for junkies . It's definitely not the safest hobby, but it's probably no more dangerous than going for a drive if you know what you're doing.
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Old 05-23-12, 01:20 PM   #11
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I <3 it!!!! I think old buildings are beautiful. We actually went last year to the Pennhurst Asylum just for the ability to be in and around the old asylum. It was pretty kick butt. http://www.pennhurstasylum.com/flash/index.htm
Heh. Seems like a different experience when they have a flash-based website that says "Buy tickets online now!" and "Special offer, save $5 on VIP and combo pass."
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Old 05-23-12, 01:22 PM   #12
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thats how horror movies start
Some pornos too.
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Old 05-23-12, 01:35 PM   #13
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There's an abandoned paper mill in my town, but it's currently in the process of being demolished. And besides being highly illegal (and often monitored) it didn't look like the safest place to explore.







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Old 05-23-12, 01:36 PM   #14
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Wouldn't want to walk out the wrong door at that place.
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Old 05-23-12, 01:37 PM   #15
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No...I'm in Atlanta. I prefer not to die at the hands of a cracked out meth head who discovered PCP.
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Old 05-23-12, 01:38 PM   #16
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Wouldn't want to walk out the wrong door at that place.
I was just thinking that after I uploaded that last picture.
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Old 05-23-12, 01:40 PM   #17
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Heh. Seems like a different experience when they have a flash-based website that says "Buy tickets online now!" and "Special offer, save $5 on VIP and combo pass."
Yeah I mean it's obviously commercialized but it was still pretty neat to see the inside and the grounds of the place.
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Old 05-23-12, 01:51 PM   #18
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No...I'm in Atlanta. I prefer not to die at the hands of a cracked out meth head who discovered PCP.
Exactly what I was going to say. Most abandoned buildings here have been converted into crack and meth dens. There's a beautiful old Beaux-Arts style building, in Atlanta called the Medical Arts Building. In any other city this thing would be converted into high priced lofts. In Atlanta it sits rotting with drug addicts and the homeless regularly breaking in and starting fires.

Notice the racist graffiti near the roof.
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Old 05-23-12, 03:05 PM   #19
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When I was much younger I did a lot of this.

When I was in grade school there was an abandoned arsenal in my neighborhood. It featured these high-speed escape routes out of the buildings - long slides that dropped several stories. Some were straight tubes with a curve as you got to ground level but the best was an enclosed spiral that fell maybe 5 or 6 stories. We kids would bring wax paper to sit on as we rode these slides for extra speed.

The state bought this property from the feds at some point with the plan to turn it into a college (it became Augusta College and now is Augusta State University) and a security force was installed. This actually doubled the excitement for us because now we had the added danger of getting caught.

Probably the coolest abandoned place was somewhere in rural South Carolina, I think it must have been near Bluffton, and it was an old plantation house. It had been closed up with a lot of the furnishings left in it.
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Old 05-23-12, 03:13 PM   #20
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The places will eventually be consumed by nature. For example, the background of the picture below is a small town with a peak population of 1000. You'd never know it was there if there weren't any signs.



I have a similar favorite area that contains a WWII prison camp.
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Old 05-23-12, 03:21 PM   #21
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That's part of what makes some of the much older buildings so beautiful; they become consumed by nature and before you know it, it is nature. Symbolic and contrasting.
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Old 05-23-12, 04:30 PM   #22
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I always thought those places were fascinating, but a trespassing charge might be cause for my security clearance to be revoked. Then I'd have to get a suckier job.

So in the meantime I explore them vicariously on the web.
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Old 05-23-12, 05:28 PM   #23
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I'm pretty much the same way, usually doing it vicariously, but I don't risk it unless I have permission or on rare occasions if it's known to be a place where the owners don't care and won't prosecute. Are you MP?
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Old 05-23-12, 05:40 PM   #24
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I always thought those places were fascinating, but a trespassing charge might be cause for my security clearance to be revoked. Then I'd have to get a suckier job.

So in the meantime I explore them vicariously on the web.
Is the old Columbus state prison still around?They housed rebs during the civil war like Morgans raiders.
I believe they did tours at one time.
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Old 05-23-12, 05:44 PM   #25
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Exactly what I was going to say. Most abandoned buildings here have been converted into crack and meth dens. There's a beautiful old Beaux-Arts style building, in Atlanta called the Medical Arts Building. In any other city this thing would be converted into high priced lofts. In Atlanta it sits rotting with drug addicts and the homeless regularly breaking in and starting fires.

Notice the racist graffiti near the roof.
They have a dumpster chute installed so it appears they are renovating the building,maybe not tearing it down.
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