Thursday, March 30, 2017

Abandoned Train Substation

Today I tried to access this old abandoned substation on a quiet residential block. Previously, I've been here before to scout out access and potential foot traffic of local neighbors. It is quite easy to access if you don't mind jumping the fence but the tall windows are a problem without any type of supporting ladder or fellow explorer shoulder.  Inside holds old machinery that once powered the local train line before the municipality agency for some reason left it to rot next to an adjacent substation that is also under maintenance and repair. A substation's function is to convert high voltage AC to DC in order to power trains along the transit line. In New York City, there are many old and new substations across the five boroughs that can be found next to subway stations. This particular one still has the vintage equipment from other sources I've seen during my research. There is also one in another borough I almost got to explore before coming across a security guard wondering why am I entering the property. A look of bewilderment and confusion usually smooths things over but that is for another post if I ever access that particular substation.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Abandoned Pigeon Church: Forgive Us For Our Trespass

Pulpit Views

Forgive Us Dear Lord For Our Transgressions...

Finding this abandoned church of worship was pretty easy. The exact location of this former house of worship would surprise many urban explorers. It's located right in the heart of a rather busy neighborhood surrounded by so many changes. I won't go into detail on the history of this place since it is quite a gem once inside. Let us begin on my mission to get inside this place of God.

It took me four scouting missions to finally realise that what I thought was the entrance was not actually the entrance until on my third scouting mission I realised there was the entrance on the other side staring me in the face. From then, I knew I had to explore this church on all days of the week; a Sunday. The day of rest and worship. The irony finally came to me while drafting this exploration report.

Upper Balcony View


Center of Religious Indoctrination

Once inside this once grand and former religious institution, I was joined by a different flock of congregants. They made their presence known cooing and flapping around my head as daylight began to trickle inside. I could already tell that these faithful pigeons had made inside their home. Large quantities of pigeon feces were everywhere. It would take large and extensive renovations to fix this epic mess. The pigeons had already made a cosy home within the holes of the roof. Plaster and roofing materials had already come down in some places. Looking up you good see this church was a grand and beautiful house where many came to worship. The elaborate banister and ceiling tiles on the ground floor were intricate and symbolic. Seating numbers were etched in seating cushions.

Numbered Seating Arrangements

Once majestic ceiling.

Views from the middle of church seating.

One point of note was there was no awful graffiti as some abandoned churches have been desecrated by unmoved artists angering local and historical preservationists to no end. No piping or artefacts seemed to have been absconded with into the night. A large selection of religious texts was still on shelves and down in the basement much more were sitting unopened. As the many pictures showcasing this "church", I took no pictures of the basement. Why do you ask? Well, down in the basement I came across some rather large rodents scuttling around without fear. I quickly took some video and headed back up. No rodent was going to fight me for pictures.

Beautiful architecture. 

Church selfie? Am I going to hell?

Much of the property stood as the day the doors were finally closed to the last of the faithful congregants. Drapes were still in place and opened religious texts covered in mounds of pigeon feces lay open with no one to read from them to the ears of the faithful. I would assume the sacred and most cherished prized possession of this institution was probably removed a long time ago. I certainly didn't look for it.

Where I like to sit in church most of the time. 
When the religious literature puts you in a state of eternal slumber. 

Seating pews gave phenomenal views all around wherever you sat for worship.

In the end, only time will tell what happens to this property. The ravenous appetite of property developers will have to wait a little longer as the property deteriorates even further by the elements until demo day arrives. Let us forgive those that trespass against us...

Usher views.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Abandoned "Supermarket' Warehouse

Heading into the Supermarché!

This abandoned warehouse takes a special place in my life. It is the very first abandoned building I explored. The very first. The number one. The cherry popper. Yadda yadda. It all began on a cold early morning, jumping into my car, picking up my friend in Queens and taking the three-hour journey north. We arrived early ahead of the meeting time and chilled for what seemed like an eternity as the car became colder by the minute. My friend and I met the local connect who knew this city well and was showing us around for the entire day. Our connect led us to the property as we parked our cars on the grass median and walked our way to the active rail line and walked behind the building. The rail line was also involved in a feature movie that for some reason I forgot to commit to memory. Entering the building, we headed straight to the roof. We were going to take in the roof views first and make our way down.

Untitled movie tracks. I forgot the movie!

Fishing around on the roof. Sea bass anyone?

Inside contained about eleven floors. All the floors from the second onto the last floor before the roof contained the same pillared landscape synonymous with early factories if you've been enough factories as I have been. It was pitch black on some floors the further away you were from the windows. We were warned to look out for gaping freight elevator shafts. Dark and ominous entrances one step too far and you would be meeting the ground floor pretty quickly.

This warehouse also contained a unique structure within the second floor. It housed actual train lines right inside the building. A very unique and one not to be emulated anytime soon in the future. The tracks entered from the west and continued on east to the other side of the building. This 90-year-old warehouse stored many supermarket items many of us are accustomed to on our supermarket shelves. One story goes that about 3,000 pounds of butter once vanished in storage here during a government relief effort. Paula Deen that you?

On the left, the railroad spur enters the second floor.

Looking down from the roof.

The railroad dock where goods were unloaded and loaded onto trains.

The other side of the dock.

Seven years ago this eleven story behemoth survived a fire a modern warehouse building would probably never have withstood. A fire started at the top of the floor and burned all the way to the loading dock on the bottom floor due to an illegal scrapping of pipework inside the building. This behemoth was built with concrete, steel and cork installation for its cold and dry storage operation. It seemed fire was only a flesh wound. There is evidence of that fire when I explored years ago but the building stands strong today. Shaming this generation of builders for the next ten years when it reaches 100 years if no redevelopment or demolition in the next decade misses this storage facility.

Dock gates on the ground floor.

As per the usual, this property has changed numerous hands and still has not seen any changes as of 2017. A truly exciting first expedition I ever made.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Documenting the Jumping Jack Pump Plant

For a long time, this venerable and formidable pump house has withstood the treachery and explorations of many urban explorers. Only a few have ever found its true location within the state lines of New York. Before, only well researched urban explorers found this pump house long before it graced the pages of Will EllisAbandoned NYC's long heralded and well-published website. It has stood for many years from the gaze of any unsuspecting explorer travelling within the state who may by happenstance found it just by driving. Unfortunately, you cannot "drive" and see this pump house. This place is located deep in a mixed-use neighborhood encased in businesses no one unsuspecting would find for it to be located there at the end of the adjoining driveway.

Once inside, the treasures to behold can be found. Inside you will find old boilers, coal dust, century-old coal, a flooded basement, three entombed car frames and an infinite supply of remarkable graffiti artwork. This place will not disappoint the most ardent explorer out there. But be forewarned, inside has become wildly dangerous as stairs rust and fall to the ground and crumbling ceiling walls give way to the encroaching elements.

One of the most sought after and most photographed has to be the remnants of the forgotten chop shop located on the ground floor. Based on historical findings by Will Ellis, the ground floor housed a vibrant chop shop before being sealed up by authorities during the crime clean up during the 80's and 90's. The one complete car frame forlornly sits on two bricks leaned to one side. This Chevy Citation has now received three coat of paints on the side of the driver's store since its location has become more knowledgeable to other explorers and vandals.

Inside is a smorgasbord of incredible lines and old machinery tucked inside. This power plant was once a humming energy conduit for the nearby neighborhood but has long been forgotten. I've spent countless times trying to find the true name of this abandoned power plant but all my research has pointed to future developments of a different type of modernised power plant for this up and coming neighborhood.

In addition, the plant holds some iconic and legendary graffiti artists such Klops and other unknown artists I've yet to identify. If anyone out there knows any of the following below, let me know so I can update this post so they can be recognised. You definitely know good graffiti from the amateur since many people respect it so well they do not erase or cover up with their own works. Respect earns mutual respect.


A very weird piece but very interesting.

Hello Jen!