The Toll Tomorrow Takes.
A look at what once was.
It's something that has fascinated me for years. Abandoned and derelict places. I see them on rare occasions. Perhaps a condemned building or a defunct school, lost to the ages. These places always seem to stir a feeling of wonder and sadness in me. Because at one time they were alive with activity, vibrant and occupied. Now their only silent, lonely testaments to the ravages of time.
Abandoned resort outside of Taipei.
RetroJunk is about remembering the past. So I would like to devote this article to examining some of these forgotten places. Finding information on these obscurities was difficult and in some cases, nonexistent. So where I can, I'll try and fill you in with a little background and also my impressions on the images. So let's start our journey back in time...
Rocky Point, Rhode Island USA
Rocky Point, Rhode Island USA. Hailing all the way back to the 1840's, Rocky Point amusement park was once one of America's premier parks. It's most famous rides included the classic "Corkscrew Loop Coaster," and the now common "Log Flum" water ride. The park was closed and abandoned in 1995 due to financial difficulties. The story of Rocky Point is quite famous, being the subject of a documentary entitled, "You Must Be At Least This Tall: The Story of Rocky Point Park." Sadly, the park is frequently hit with vandalism, the worst of which being a fire started in the main building. It is a shame, as Rocky Point is truly a small piece of American history. -Excerpt taken from weburbanist.com
For me it's surprising that this place would still be around. Usually after a foreclosure the place would be demoed. And all that would remain is a field or something. We can see in the pic that that people still frequent the place often as evidence by the graffiti. I never really thought about all the damage until now. It's not like the owners ransacked and destroyed the place before they left. I think that most of it is due to vandalism. Or else the place would most likely be in the same basic condition as when it was first closed.
Okpo Land, Geoje S. Korea
Okpo has an abandoned amusement park, Okpo Land, on the outskirts of the city. It was shut down in 1999 after a number of fatal accidents.-Excerpt taken from Wikipedia, so it's probably 35% true.
I would love to spelunking around in that building. This place seems like a obvious public health hazard though. I like the generic copyright infringing pic of Mickey on the entrance gates.
Even in places where nature was demolished to make way for man made structures, after awhile of neglect, nature reclaims it's land. Just look at this barely discernible Ferris Wheel. It's chocked with vegetation and has a tree growing in it!
Tsuga Amusement park, Japan
It's in Japanese, and is apparently a amusement park that closed in Heisei 11 - 1999 - after being "renewed" in 1982. Exact location is unknown - it's simply listed as "Abandoned Amusement Park T" in the Touhoku region - but it appears to be in the boonies. Excerpt taken from Avoidinglife.com
This was one of the first images I came across. And perhaps the most ominous. The mist really makes the Roller Coaster look huge, almost as if it runs through a jungle mountain range over the canopy.
Pripyat Park, Ukraine
Titled "Prypjat VergnÃ¼gungspark," this amusement park was never actually opened! The park was completed and scheduled for a grand opening just a few short weeks before the disaster at Chernobyl in 1986. The park has been left abandoned ever since the evacuations. The gloomy atmosphere of the park reminds us of the horror that was Chernobyl and serves as an eerie anomaly of chance.-Excerpt taken from Weburbanist.com
Chernobyl was a nuclear reactor that exploded. It released such a tremendous amount of radioactive fall out that the nearby city of Prypiat had to be abandoned. Basically the WHOLE city is like this. A modern day ghost town. Look it up. It's really interesting.
Places of Business.
Change is the only constant. And it proves true time and again. How many of us remember our favorite stores or hangouts growing up? Then looking for them now only to find out they have been replaced,rebuilt or just plain forgotten. The age of the Mom and Pop store is fading. Big corporations are buying them out and replacing them with huge shopping Utopias. Call it progress, if you want. Here are some places that I found on my internet journey in search of abandoned places. Info was scare, so I won't bother too much. But just try and imagine these places in there prime, and then now.
Toys "R" Us. What can I say?"Old gray mare ain't what she use to be." I remember working for Geoffrey, a few years back. Before I was hired the manager was telling me how the company was in sore straits. How 80% of their profit came in at the Holidays, and how WalMart had replaced them as the worlds leading Toy store. Dang.
Although this isn't the particular Toys "R" Us where I live, it might as well be. Every time I go there the place is under new management. The store is empty and the employees looked tired. It sucks because this place was a delight back in my younger days. They would have large events like Pokemon tournaments. One of earliest memories was looking with awe at the Super Scope through the glass, when all of a sudden a huge Giraffe mascot startled me and gave me a free gift bag. Things are different now.
I know for a fact, people here can relate to me on the disappearance of Arcades. They used to be everywhere! Like a liquor store and check cashing business's in the ghetto. You could not ignore the lure of the Arcade. The above picture I first saw in an article by LuckyHawk. Tried as I did, I could not really find any info on the pic. But it's one of many closed gaming establishments.
Here's the Surfside arcade located in Delaware. Looks to me like it was a pretty cool place at one time. Located on the Boardwalk, I bet this place was a hot spot for kids in it's heyday.
But here it is now. With the advent of home video gaming, the popularity of Arcades fell. Especially when the home games started looking as good as the Arcade versions. But I blame the owners themselves for their untimely demise. Charging a dollar to play a game was almost the norm towards the end. Inflation I guess.
This was taken in Athens. So the demise of the Arcades apparently was a global pandemic. It's almost shameful seeing them there. Like Kings of Old, reduced to homeless vagabonds.
I was surprised to notice that there is a almost cult like following for "Dead Malls" as they are often called. Usually they consist of bankrupt complexes that could only be abandoned. There are some great sites that really go into detail like Deadmalls.com. Do a quick search and I'm sure you will find many amazing examples of derelict shopping malls.
This is one of the most intriguing pictures I found. Imagine wondering around that place at night, armed with only a flashlight. I'm surprised the place still has electricity. Notice the graffiti and old Burger King sign.
Here's one special place that I couldn't leave out.
Hey Dude. I loved this show as a kid. About 5 years ago I stumbled onto this great little fansite. The site itself looks about as empty as some of the places noted above. But it's still a great little nook on the internet. http://www.swlink.net/~danichi/heydude/ -Check it out sometime. That site is where I found some images of the now defunct set of the show.
Remember the intro to the show and they would show the entrance to the ranch? Well here it is now, years later.
Not sure what this part originally was. Perhaps the lobby. Hard to imagine it was once a teeming TV show set.
Believe me when I say that I could on and on about this stuff. But I don't want to overload you guys. So here are just a few more brief and random places I wanted to include.
This is an old Drive in theater in New Jersey. You can barely tell with all the overgrowth. It's really a nice picture though with all the Fall colors.
This is taken from a school in Michigan. I hear Detroit is practically filled with examples like this.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this little trip.
I can say that this was one of the few articles that I am not satisfied with. The reason being is that there quite literally dozens more of examples I wanted to mention. From famous places in movies to once popular land marks. I really hoped you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. I also want to express my thanks to the photographers who took these sobering images. I'd also like to leave the comment section to your personal experiences with these types of things. Thank you once again for reading!