I have a sort of “If I’m in the neighborhood” list of old buildings I want to shoot. For like two years, this has been an “If I’m in the neighborhood” building. Which is stupid, because I’m in the neighborhood a lot.
I’ve just forgotten about this place. I think it’s because one of my favorite abandoned spots ever is in the vicinity, and that’s what usually has my attention. So, after shooting a nearby wedding, we spent the night at our cottage and finally decided to check this place out. Initially, I had no idea what this even was. I had to do some research later to piece it together. This little building is so hidden that if locals hadn’t mentioned it to me, I would have never known it was there at all.
Inside, I had the fun little experience of taking out my camera and watching NO CARD pop up on screen. That was followed by opening my camera bag, tearing it apart on the filthy floor, and realizing that my memory cards were nowhere to be found. I had double checked they were on me when we pulled up.
I had a small panic attack (hi, memory cards are not cheap and I have a lot of them), then ducked back out. I combed through the tall grass around the building, through the woods, and finally back to my truck — where my card book had fallen out of a side pocket and landed under the seat. Cool.
With that taken care of, I could finally shoot and get my bearings. The gym + theater was obviously some kind of rec center, but there are no other buildings here. This is it. I later read that everything else was demolished 20 years ago.
We’ve been getting nonstop rain all spring, so the inside of this place was a swamp. You could hear water running off the ceiling and down flights of stairs like someone had left taps on. The humidity kept fogging up my lenses. The air was heavy and the wood flooring was shot. The few minutes in here I spent without a mask on had me hacking my brains out later driving home.
Under the gym was a soaking wet basement with a few old classroom desks and a lot of garbage. There was nothing down there worth shooting. Above the gym was a projector booth with two gorgeous old carbon arc projectors. They were definitely the coolest find there (…the only find, the building is empty).
I’m…busy right now. Busy is a drastic understatement. This is the time of year when I balance two full-time jobs simultaneously and everything goes into hyper speed. I’ve pulled a few all-nighters and my dreams consist of sitting at my desk working, only to wake up disappointed that I didn’t actually get anything done in my sleep.
I’ve been planning to take next week off from both jobs for a few months now. I’ll be using some of that time to travel around parts of the northeast I’ve never been to, carrying nothing but a camera bag, working on my own photography. Hopefully I’ll have lots more photos soon.