“How do you prepare for an epic American road trip?” This was the question on the tip of my tongue for the first quarter of 2018. The flights to New York had been booked, and adventure awaited! The race was now on to plan my vacation. This was not a typical trip across the pond. There was no shopping or traditional site-seeing hotspots on our map.
This was a journey in search of abandoned places; the constant obsession that takes me all over the world. I scoured websites, blogs, and news articles in search of lost American treasures. I made contact with some amazing local photographers, arranging meet-ups and exchanging locations. The months and weeks passed quickly. In the days before my flight, my map was a polychrome of multi-colored pins. Each marked a photogenic relic of the past, spread across ten different States. It was already clear that this was going to be an amazing trip!
Out of the ten States visited, I spent the most time in Pennsylvania. During this time I visited 21 abandoned locations, taking hundreds of photographs. I was so trigger-happy with my camera shutter, I ran out of memory card space partway through the trip!
Here are my Top 10 highlights from my trip. I hope you enjoy this foray into American Decay. Link to my Road Trip Blog with behind-the-scenes stories and photos from this unforgettable American Adventure is down below.
Blue boxing ring
This once famous venue opened in the early 1960s. It has stood empty since around 2010. There are imminent plans to demolish it.
Trolley car graveyard
This rusting collection of treasures from a by-gone age wait patiently for restoration, hidden in the woods.
This Church is over 120 years old and has been abandoned for two decades.
The room houses the records of a French-American immigrant tycoon and philanthropist. This collection documents the finances of his empire in meticulous detail, spanning over 50 years of trading.
Old government building
This stunning building was built in the 1920s, in a Classical Revival architecture style. The building has been disused since the late 1990s.
Trade school auditorium
This dramatic Art Deco and Classical Revival building is perched high on a hill, overlooking the city below. The school was forced to close in the mid-2000s.
This overgrown wooden rollercoaster was once the star attraction at this former theme park. The park has been disused and falling into disrepair for over a decade.
This auditorium was part of a former Catholic high school. Attendance levels became unprofitable early 2010s, and this once popular stage saw its final performance.
This school closed in the mid- to late 2000s, based on the information available.
Eastern State Penitentiary operated between 1829 and 1971. You can now visit this disused prison for tours.