Building Falls to The Street in Cleveland

So this will be a bit of a quick post – but something crazy that happened today. I mean, it’s not everyday that you see some wild stuff like this happen, which is why I ALWAYS bring a camera with me wherever I go. As a photojournalist of any kind, I feel that’s probably the most important thing to remember. It’s also important to remember that anything can happen at any time.

I was headed out to Cleveland to meet about a photography job downtown. After speaking to whom I was initially meeting with, I decided to walk over and photograph The Arcade. (Of the numerous times I have been to Cleveland, I have never once been inside there.) Since it was a very short walk – basically across the street – that is where I headed.

The Arcade was pretty relaxing. Only a couple of people were wandering back and forth, including one man who I had met at the Cleveland Museum of Art earlier this year. After sitting around inside the arcade, shooting some photos, listening to smooth jazz and talking to people, I packed my stuff up and was headed out to my car.

As I wandered from The Arcade’s doors, I turned a corner and “BOOM!”

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I see a car smashed beneath the wall falling from a building on E6th street. Apparently the parapet became weak, turning to basically sand from acidic rain, and due to heavy winds was just pushed, literally, over the edge. The sound was like a bomb going off, as a massive 20 foot section of wall came crashing to the streets. Meanwhile, my car is parked about 70 feet away. I’m quite glad my car wasn’t smashed, but I am very sorry to the man who was parked here. Ohio is ridiculous.

“Here’s some 80 degree weather! And a wall. Followed by a storm, with cold wind and rain.”

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Thanks Ohio.

Other than that, I did actually get some photos of the Arcade. I can successfully check that off my list of “why the f876 have I not visited these places?”

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The World Sits Frozen

The world sits frozen, as skeletons of tree branches reach up toward the empty white sky. Deep sighs leave the air clouded with a crystallized haze of my breath as I sit, facing the broken glass of a rusted bus window.

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I wonder – why do the good things have to die, and sometimes seemingly before their time? Not only people, but the entirety of life that surrounds us?

In the distance, a scattered image of death paints the horizon, but to my eyes…to my eyes, this death can be beautiful.

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Spring brings us rebirth – flowers push from dirt, reaching upwards toward the trees towering over them. The Earth displays life, and as these trees are now covered in green leaves, do you see? Can you see that this world is still beautiful? Do you see that death does not end a living thing? All continues to breathe – physically…spiritually.

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PHOTO # 139

Let us look past these seemingly sad days, the clouded skies and cold winds. Without darkness, we would not understand the light – we could not comprehend these important emotions. Use these emotions to learn, and push them away as you use them to create.

– Written during winter of 2013

Abandoned Abbeys – Good Friday

(Scroll to bottom of this article for a full photo slideshow)

All across the country, these former houses of worship now sit empty. As I lean back beneath the crumbling ceilings, behind altars covered in dust, all I can wonder about is the life it must have seen. How many people must have spent so many days inside, walked the aisle or were even wed here? Below, I will share a section from my first book “Empty Spaces” which will be out April 21st – all pre-ordered copies will be shipping on that date as well.

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I’m always taken away by the architecture of old churches. There used to be so much thought and work put into the sculpting of these beautiful designs.
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As we stood static beneath the crumbling mural of the apse, a cold wind fluttered in through the openings surrounding us. Where once stained glass was held in place now remain bare frames circling the upper walls, pouring chilled air into the desolate chapel, and down towards the altar like waterfalls into a small oasis. The fluttering of birds fills the space high above the altar, and even higher up through the towers that remain, slowly collapsing in the chapels front.

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This church was completed in 1933 to serve a part of Cleveland’s  Carpatho-Rusyn population. The Rusyns are an Eastern Slavic ethnic group originating from the Carpathian Mountains; primarily near the borders of modern day Hungary, Ukraine, Slovakia, and small parts of Poland.

Come the 17th century, after having practiced Orthodox Christianity since the 9th century when brought to the Slavic people by saints Cyril and Methodius, they had now become part of the Catholic Church. In the late 1800’s, many Rusyns came to Cleveland, and had established many ornate Byzantine Catholic Churches throughout the area.

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This beautiful Romanesque-style temple, designed by Polish-American architect Joseph E. Fronczak, now covering a smaller structure previously built in 1913, lies tucked away within a small Cleveland neighborhood. Symmetrical bell towers peak from the tops of trees, overlooking the streets that run along its sides. Two flanking side isles run along its interior, supported by beautifully decayed columns, topped with Corinthian-inspired capitals. Various biblical scenes remain painted, faded by rain and the elements, within the barrel vaulting. Crumbled plaster hangs from the archway as the sun shines brightly through the opening where a door used to sit. So what has become of this 80 year old architectural landmark?

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The St. Joseph Byzantine Rite Catholic Church will sit abandoned on its 80th birthday as it has spent half of this life in ruin. For the past 40 years, rain, wind, snow, and time have begun to paint over the beautiful murals throughout the structure. Summers burn through into autumn; while in the same way, autumn falls to winter. Some of the murals have been faded by the rain, as others have fallen to the floor, crumbling with the passing of time; ceilings caving to the weight of heavy snowfall, and strong winds of winter.

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The most preserved mural as of today, is that residing in the apse, above the cracking marble altar pallet. It depicts the Christ child, joined by his earthly parents Mary and Joseph, for whom the church was named, on either side of him. Above and behind him dwells God the Holy Spirit as a dove, and God the father as an aged man bearing a glowing, triangular halo. To the further left, we find Moses holding the Ten Commandments and to the right, John the Baptist.

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A beautiful red-bricked facade showcases the St. Peter and St. Paul Catholic Church, topped with incredibly tall, narrow bell towers reaching towards the sky. These architecturally superb steeples tower over us like a giant as we stand beneath the entrance to this Neo-gothic masterpiece. Built around 1890 as a German Roman Catholic church, it housed (and still houses) one of the largest organs of its kind in the country. Above this organ, the wall is fitted with an alluring rose window filled with captivating color. The church was rebuilt after a fire in1909 with some interesting cement over the red brick. As we journey through time to 1964, we find that famous actress Susan Hayward and her husband were baptized under the apse of this chapel. A multicolored brick school house resides in the back lot, and atop the floors of that sits a large gymnasium. Parts of the famous movie, “Dogma” were filmed outside the front of this church.

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These structures will continue to crumble beneath the pressure of destructive elements as long as we let them sit uncared for. Temples will become tossed to the hands of Mother Nature, sanctuaries will sink into the Earth as she consumes the beauty we have left behind.

View the entire gallery with even more photos below:

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Empty Spaces: Photojournalism Through The Rust Belt

It’s been a little bit of a wait, and I apologize to everyone for how long it has taken, but wanna make sure everything turns out awesome! I know many have ordered my book, and have been waiting for them to ship out. Things have been hectic, but everything has been set and as I have announced they will be shipping out April 21st! I can’t wait for everybody to receive their copies. I’ve been working on quite a lot since writing this first book, and have made some insane progress with some awesome stuff that I can’t wait to share with you a few months from now!

Thank you all again for being so awesome and thank you for your patience in waiting for these to ship out! You’re all the best!

I will share below some pieces of sections that will be included in the book!

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PHOTO # 140

The Abandoned Paramount Theatre of Youngstown, OH

This Adamesque architectural masterpiece was built during the year of 1917, finally opening its doors as The Liberty Theatre in 1918. This theatre was a monumental, ornately brilliant structure designed by Detroit architect C. Howard Crane along with associate architects Stanley & Scheibel, overlooking the streets of Central Youngstown. The exterior was lined with white glazed Terra Cotta ornamentation, complete with swags and pilasters, while inside, a beautiful mezzanine hung over the wide and elegant auditorium. A catwalk once lifted brilliantly above the stage now only collects pigeons and rust.

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A lot of us buy into the “new thing”, to become hip or trendy, to create a sense of happiness in having the shiny, brand new products that are available to us. Some people create a false sense of happiness for themselves by flaunting what they have at the time, and most of us are no exception to this. But what happens when that area of time has been phased out, along with all of its treasures? Out with the old and in with the new, right? We leave our past possessions behind, once those new and more advanced items become available to us. This market sits forgotten, crowded with now relics from the past years strewn throughout its interior. We leave behind our days and then look back on them with a sense of nostalgia, wishing that we could have those days back. So why did we bury them and let them rot away under the rubble in the first place?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Let’s now take a venture down Taylor Road of East Cleveland, about 4 miles from Case University. This curving hill of a road once housed one of Cleveland’s greatest space observatories and schools; The Case School of Applied Science, or better known as “The Warner & Swasey Observatory.”

Built in 1919 by Worchester R. Warner and Ambrose Swasey, donated to Case in 1920, the observatory which sat atop the hill looking out over a once thriving city housed a 9.5-inch refractor (currently known as ‘the rooftop telescope’) which seems to be the popularized named it has adopted.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On Sunday, August 5, 2001 a report was filed for 30 center residents escaping from the institution. The patients were now free to roam the streets and yards throughout the city, leaving civilians in a state of panic, fearing for their homes and safety. It was common for residents to carry police scanners with having the establishment located in the center of their own neighborhood.

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Images of blighted, broken industry, through the decay and destruction of nearly post-apocalyptic scenes have become a much greater intriguing subject for the people of our world in current time, it seems. Flashback to the 1960s, or even the 70s when life was a bit more free, lacking technology and the constant grinding chatter of an online social networking presence. The general outlook on our future world was a wondrous one, filled with smoothly operating hover cars, tall chrome and glass buildings, complete with an incredibly perfect networking community nearly free of depression, or half of the issues we are facing today.

Fast-forward 30+ years later, and here we are stuck in a madhouse.

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We wander these classrooms, where students would have joined for lectures and schoolwork to strengthen their minds, as well as the gym, where they would have practiced and disciplined themselves through sports. In the early 90’s, school sports teams, cheerleaders and families would fill the auditorium and gym for functions. A school where students once would sharpen not just the fresh pencils, which remain, left behind in debris, but also their minds. Now a crumbling, yet beautiful mess of decay, destruction, and street art through its walls from the main auditorium, through every locker remaining within the bays, to the very depths of its boiler room.

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Why were these places vacated? And why are they left to sit, uncared for? The remains of a person’s bedroom, bed still intact, covered in a layer of mold and dust. Walls surrounding with cracked complexions and vivid, yet transparent voices telling a story of time. Living through the history of abandonments as you explore what once was an entirely different scene; now transformed into a desolate, yet incredible, stimulating image of complex patterns and great detail.

You can purchase my book “Empty Spaces” at www.emptyspacesbook.com

Mechanical Centipede

Have you ever woken up, and in a groggy, clouded state of mind had the slightest thought that it might be an incredibly fun experience to set up camp between rusted relics atop a ground coated in glass shards, surrounded by 80,000 spiders risen from hell, sizing closely to the width of your palm from leg to leg, and swarms of bees so loud you’d think Skrillex was lost in a frenzy, trying to escape through the brush of a forest? Now, we’re either a set of especially deranged individuals, or an oddly adventurous group, because to us, this was the perfect expedition to accompany the following two hot summer days.

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Like a large mechanical worm, this collection of forgotten streetcars sits sprawled out, wrapping and curving its way through a forested alley of trees. A slim break in the canopy overhead creates a narrow valley of light, allowing the evening sun to shine onto this stationary parade of cars, frozen in time.

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We had just begun setting up our tents, when we noticed that the entire ground, or most of it surrounding us was covered in layers of glass, busted from streetcar windows. Deciding that it would be far from a good idea to lay tents out on top of sharp glass, the search for other spots began. Eventually, after much scattered debate, a final decision was reached to set up camp directly in the middle of some old tracks, leaving us a good distance from glass, and more importantly, a great distance from any mammoth spiders of the apocalypse.

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Setting up camp, in most normal situations is a relatively easy and safe activity, until you are faced with the dangers surrounding an area such as this. See, where much human interaction has been lacking for years, nature begins to mix in whatever it sees fit, and in this case, the choice was a bed of towering, flowering plants stationed aside the front row of passenger trains. The flowering foliage surrounding the cars was quite impressive, looked very beautiful, smelled of fresh, natural life coating the air and sounded like…bees? As I stopped, silencing my footsteps, standing between the flowers, a loud buzz filled the air around me; an angry sound, like a large-scale honey robbery had just taken place in the Hundred Acre Wood. It had finally hit; the true reality of what we had been walking back and forth through with our gear, a near mosh pit full of wasps and honey bees…this would make the next few trips a bit more uncomfortable. Being faced with two options, either walking through the center of each connected passenger train, which would ultimately take us past the wasps outside, or to man up and push through the bees, we continued with the opposite of what you would think. Wandering back once through the cars, it was realized that even inside here did not shelter us from wasps. These large metal containers had now become home to the bees, coated in massive nests spanning across ceilings of each piece. The small doors connecting each car furthered the difficulty of transporting our equipment and it was settled that we would rush through the tall plants just a couple more times. With each passing between the towering plants, it seemed like the buzzing continued growing louder and louder, but we had finally collected everything at the campsite.

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Cars from Boston, Tennessee, Ohio and more all lay in rusted waste around us as we find ourselves in need of dry supplies to start a fire, so we did what anybody surviving in times like this would do, we began scavenging train cars. Earlier in the evening, during a run through some cars, we noticed a roll of dry toilet paper, and figuring this would work perfectly to ignite a flame in our fire pit, we set out with flashlights in search to find it once again. Dodging sleeping wasps, we were finally reunited with the savior paper, allowing us to finally start our fire.
Like a large metal vein stretching through the trees, these cars have begun to exhibit a space where many creatures of the surrounding forest now make their home, not limited to bees and spiders, but birds and raccoons as well, and as the night sky laid itself overhead, all sounds of surrounding nightlife became louder and louder. The starlight glittered in a black sky above, it felt as if we were lost. The thought that we are nothing more than a simple pin prick inside the black ink of our galaxy, simple specks of stardust floating along inside an ever expanding universe, but surrounded by such massive destruction, it’s difficult to imagine the planet after the end of life, but this hits pretty damn close.

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Waking up, we were greeted by the loud ‘tip-tap’ of falling rain pelting our tent roofs. I unzipped the tent, and stepping out, glanced down the line to see a faded and fogged image of a scene much different than when viewed in sunlight. The entire forest had an overcast grey, ghostly feel as if I had entered the tent at night only to be transported to a separate, otherworldly zone come daylight. The chilled rain dripped between empty frames, which once held windows, from top to bottom in sporadic splashes. As I walked by our fire pit, I kicked about the few remaining bits of sizzling embers, hissing in the rain like an angry cat as the drops crashed upon them. It was one of those moments where you could feel completely alone in the world, more or less, a moment where you couldn’t shake the feeling if you tried.

The Aurora Over Erie

Wait a minute, the Aurora over Lake Erie? You mean the Northern Lights? Near Cleveland? Like, the Northern Lights in the sky? Dude…

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On March 17, 2015 I set out for an adventure with my camera in hopes of witnessing something I have always wanted to see – the Aurora Borealis. Most people in my area remained doubtful that it could even be a possibility to truly see this phenomenon give where we are, but when I heard about this huge solar storm, I prepared for any and every bit of this adventure. The photos I had captured have received some wild attention, from hugely positive, to very angry negativity from those who stick to their belief that something of that nature could not possibly happen over our very own Lake Erie.

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The Kp level, or Geomagnetic Activity level during my viewing began at around 6 Kp, later rising to a level of 7.3 when the light began dancing, showing off in the distance. A lot of people, including myself (even though I personally witnessed it) are still having a hard time imagining that it was viewable to our eyes at the Southern end of Lake Erie. Normally never viewable this far South, especially in such a vivid display, the extreme intensity of the recent solar storm blew that thought straight out of the picture. If someone tells you that something isn’t possible, don’t listen.

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I have been confronted numerous times, being accused of Photoshopping these images. Now, why would I do that? I believe in capturing nature how it is, sharing the beauty that it can display on its own. Of course I know how to use Photoshop, and I am not saying I won’t mess with some photos here and there, but those are completely separate from any of my photo portfolio images, and I will ALWAYS make a special note to say that it is Photoshopped.

It’s so hard for people to understand beauty such as this exists in today’s society because many of us refuse to GET UP and see, learn and experience things. Trust me, I know it’s a wild thought, but nature can produce some magical scenes, all it takes is a bit of adventure to seek them out!

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Below are two photos taken during the night of the aurora, straight from my camera’s screen.

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I kept at it, waiting at the frozen water until I began to see it – great beams of light dropping from the sky, dancing incredibly across stars on the horizon. I’ve never seen something so wonderful, naturally displayed through our skies right before my own eyes. It was amazing to have this chance to witness it on our very own Lake Erie.

I hope that some of these adventures urge people to get up and get out, to see the world and find things they might have never noticed existed even in their very own towns. I hope to inspire people to learn and witness the amazing beauty our world has to offer. Things are always changing, and if you don’t take a moment to see your surroundings, you might miss some really great stuff.

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I’m the type of person who doesn’t care what others might say, I will still reach for what I hope to achieve. I believe that through being a photographer or an artist of any kind, it’s something that you should make sure to practice. Despite people drowning me in a sea of negative input such as “yeah, I doubt you’ll be able to see that over Lake Erie” to “oh, the news said it’s going to be far too cloudy,” I still went for it. It’s not an adventure without possibility of failure.

The Fall of The Falls

DSC07649 On March 14, 2015 plans were set in place to venture into and around the crumbling, forgotten pieces and places of Niagara Falls, New York. When many think of Niagara Falls, what would you believe normally comes to mind? One might imagine a wonderful tourist destination full of life, sights and sounds of rushing water, a vibrant, happy community with so much to offer. If you had visited Niagara Falls, New York in its booming years, you would be correct. Sadly, this once wonderful piece of America’s great collection of family friendly tourism has turned away from happier days, while much falls into a state of disrepair, becoming further and further forgotten beneath crumbling rooftops, flooded hallways and the passing of time. During this adventure, thanks to a wonderful friend of mine, Emily, I was able to learn about the fall of the Falls, and photograph many new subjects. Emily is a wonderful supporter of the arts and without her and her family this trip would not have been as possible or even as amazing as it was, and I thank her so much for giving us the opportunity to do this. She did not take any part in where we went during the project, nor did she tell us anything that we should do, she simply lent us an amazing helping hand through her support of art. I can’t say thank you enough. DSC07454-6 During the first day, just as we arrived, navigating our way up and down the grey, foggy streets, I notice that much of the town surrounding me has become blighted, strewn throughout the hectic maze of everyday life around it. Building after building, street after street, we pass many broken buildings, window panes cracked beneath distorted awnings, collapsing roofs hovering over empty homes now held up only by decay encrusted walls. Warmer weather was finally beginning to sweep through, even if in small bursts. A chilled wind blew softly as the town sat quiet; it was difficult to imagine that this was once a thriving community. I crossed the road walking toward our first location, slipping my way down stairs that had become iced over. Gripping the railing to my right, I held my weight from sliding down the frozen stairs, only to be surprised after making it half way when my feet became submerged under snow where ice had already melted away. My feet were immediately soaked, but that was not going to push me, nor any of us, away from the goal at hand. Mysteries of this location flutter throughout halls and corridors, unknown to those passing by. This building holds a collection of closely guarded secrets hovering eerily over the streets of Niagara Falls.

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Standing in any one of these rooms, it would not be strange to think that you have become lost in a dark and desolate future of life minus people. I felt far too distracted by the beauty of blight, which surrounded me, to a point where I barely gave thought to the fact that the world continued to move normally outside these walls. With the strangely beautiful and wonderfully surreal scenery enclosing me inside of this damp and darkly destroyed space encompassed by decay, it would be hard to imagine otherwise. Each room was lit softly with the outside light as it passed from a bright white overcast sky through fogged glass windows, coated with the hazed effects of water damaged interiors.

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A dark and dreary, rather damp observation room sits empty inside of the former nursing home, while stagnant water covers most of the floor at my feet. An adjacent hallway on one side of the building was used mostly for main traffic of doctors, while the opposite was used for observation, as well as caring for patients that may have been carrying deadly diseases or any other type of sickness that would require doctors to suit up when dealing with treatment. Alternatively, the glass door side may have been used as a simple visitor’s walkway. Many of this building’s hallway railings continue to hold on for dear life while the rest of the structure crumbles and collapses around it. Paint rips itself from walls and the only remaining sounds are that of dripping water falling into beds or to the rotting floors.

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The entire place was littered with rusted remains of bed frames and old equipment, room after room, covered in inches of water in most areas, many floors frozen as icicles hung from the ceilings and bed railings. It appeared as though the nursing home had been shut down for good sometime in the 90s, but nothing is certain as no date information remains that any of us have been able to locate.

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Most of Niagara on the US side now sits a dreary mess, while preservation societies push for revitalization of specific buildings with little to no positive reaction from the city. A collection of structures all sit gathering dust as people continue to pass by paying little mind to what has been left behind.

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Niagara Falls, New York was incorporated as a city on March 17th in the year 1892, when the bill was signed by Roswell P. Flower; then New York State governor. The bill was signed officially on St. Patrick’s Day. During the 1950s through the early 1960s, the town witnessed a large economic boom, while several industries moved into the city looking to harness the fall’s hydroelectric power, which there was plenty of at the time thanks to Nikola Tesla. Not only did Tesla contribute largely to the people’s ability to harness this power, but operated his own workshop right up in town. Now, even Tesla’s former workshop collects dust, tucked away in the shadows, while what remains of the city continues to grow further forgotten, with little to no notice by most.

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Niagara Falls was once a main hub for the production of paper, rubber, plastics, petrochemicals and abrasives, which were the major industries running within the city. It was during the mid-1960s, when the Schoellkopf Power Project collapsed into the Niagara River that the end would begin for this flourishing industrial period. The community would from there on begin to rapidly collapse, bringing the decline of collective communities making up Niagara Falls, New York as a whole. After the 1978 Love Canal incident, the cities fortunes began to fade as several factories closed and the population dropped by half, while many of the blue-collar workers fled to find jobs elsewhere. Love Canal was a contaminated town, where toxins leaked from a chemical waste landfill within the site, forcing United States President Jimmy Carter to declare the area a national disaster, with hundreds of residents relocating.

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This brings us into to the year 2000, Y2K, when a few more pieces would begin falling away from the city’s shaking grip, as it would attempt to hold onto the little industry that was left. The old National Biscuit Company (or Nabisco) factory now sits abandoned in 2015 as it has for years. The company was originally created in 1901, brought to life as the Natural Food Company factory, started by Henry Drushel Perky, who was 58 years old when he came to Niagara Falls to begin his business. In 1908, the factory was renamed to the Shredded Wheat Company, producing mainly shredded wheat biscuits and Triscuits. The company began putting images of Niagara Falls on their boxes this same year. In 1914, the Rainbow Boulevard location would be built, only to eventually become a large industrial shell that many now simply pass by.

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In 1992, the production of shredded wheat was put to an end at the Rainbow Boulevard location. Though this production was halted for good, the company would continue to produce Triscuts until the year 2000, when Kraft purchased the building. Soon after, Kraft would shut this facility down in its entirety in 2001. Once Nabisco moved from their factory, shuttering its doors, this meant that a large chunk of jobs would be dropped from Niagara’s list of employment opportunities, leaving entire families out of work. Shortly followed by this closure, entire streets once home to former Nabisco employees would start to become abandoned as families began fleeing the city in search of different work. After more than 200 workers lost their jobs, this only meant the furthering of a falling economy.

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Population numbers documented in the 2000 census were at 55,510 residents, and only 10 years, a short decade later, the city found its population fallen, sitting at only 50,193. The most recent census was taken in 2013, where the population had fallen even further to 49,468. Current population in 2015 is now slowly dwindling away. DSC07488

With some families relocating beginning as early as the 1950s through mid-1960s, this meant relocation of children as well. Many baby boomers were brought into the world during these years, meaning most families would be taking children with them, leaving a large hole in the numbers attending facilities of the Niagara educational system, bringing a slow movement into closure of some of the city’s educational buildings years later. With not enough students to fill the space, there was simply no need to keep them all active. DSC07470-2

The area becomes illuminated with the glow of city lights as night falls over us, and I stand at the street’s edge, admiring the broken beauty of St. Mary’s Manor. An orange glow beams from streetlights lining sidewalks, giving the building an eerie and ominous appearance. Opening first as a hospital, the former manor now remains no more than a massive, empty shell of memories for those who may have experience life inside its halls. After moving from their old location, many patients were moved into this larger facility. Closed fully in 2004, St. Mary’s has since sat, left to decay under the power of Earth’s elements.

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I walked the ambient lit corridors, meandering up and down each eerie hallway. Wandering in and out of each room, I attempted to find anything that could provide me with further information, or a better glimpse into the building’s history. Making my way towards the lower floors, I was eventually met with the foreboding darkness of a cold main lower floor. Traipsing through the pitch black darkness with only cellphones for light, my friends and I found our way to a former dental office of the facility. Tucked away in artificial night, I examined the ominous room where the dentist chair remained, tools and all, As the building seemingly melted away around us, paint peeling from the dripping walls, the room was turned to a quite surreal and macabre view of an otherwise normal scene. What’s worse than a rusted, rotting and squeaking dentist chair? I’m sure quite a lot of things, but can you imagine having your teeth drilled here? I would not want to find myself in a situation like that.

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With only a few hours before two members of our group had to depart, it was decided that we would at least make a few more quick stops.

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A heart posted on this factory wall reads “I don’t want to become a parking lot.” While people want to see the preservation of a history lost to time and the falling economy, most signs point to a very unlikely restoration as many pass by seeing these spaces as nothing more than a dead factory. Amongst everything that now sit as empty shells, even the Hotel Niagara towers above the streets like a looming reminder of what the town once was. Marilyn Monroe stared in the movie “Niagara,” which was actually filmed partly inside this very hotel. So what else can I say about this city? DSC07631-2

I love it. Venturing these streets you can find the strangest of things.

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I feel that there is so much history, which needs to be seen, heard, examined and saved. Sadly, I feel that those of us who believe the same are left in silence, as we continue to witness the fall of the Falls. DSC07657-5

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