Skip to main content

tv   Book Discussion on Abandoned America  CSPAN  March 2, 2015 6:48am-7:56am EST

6:48 am
6:49 am
6:50 am
6:51 am
6:52 am
6:53 am
6:54 am
6:55 am
6:56 am
6:57 am
6:58 am
6:59 am
i'd like to thank my aunt and although who also helped quite a bit in setting this up. my publisher and the preservation alliance for their donation and olivia who has been wonderful and there's been my support throughout all the. i'm sure there's a lot of other people i want to thank all of you as well but i know you'd
7:00 am
like to see the presentations i don't want to take up the whole time so thank you. but again i'm grateful you all came out tonight. it means a lot to me. so basically in terms of how i've done presentations for those of you who've seen in the past, i enjoy doing things that off-the-cuff and talking about the places that i've been too. what i would like to do is just show you a little bit of what some of places are not in the book and tell you a little bit about them as we go. so the first place i wanted to show you is the packard plant which is in detroit. it's probably one of the most famous and also the largest abandoned site in north america. its sprawling. it's been out of commission since the 1950s 1960s. it's just kind of a stunning campus. it's enormous. there are places where you go to the top of the buildings and you
7:01 am
look out across and it's hard to imagine there's a part of the world that is not abandoned. very interesting set of buildings, and also right now basically this cannot happen after the book went to print a developer had bought them and apparently they're starting work on trying to rehab in which is kind of in the things i know a lot of people are skeptical about including myself a little bit but i think it would be amazing if they could return them to use because there's just these beautiful, iconic buildings. this is a motorcycle salvage shop in new york. and this basically was one gentleman who rent a motorcycle repair business, and collected just an ungodly amount of motorcycles in it. it's very interesting place in part because after he lost control of the place and then later passed away, all of these bikes were still in it. the floors were just atrocious.
7:02 am
that was a really frightening place to be because there were these huge holes all over the place, and particularly up on the second floor and think as a photographer and being into building my concern was that not only would i go through the floor and then punched through the floor below that put them all the bikes would fall on me. and actual it's interesting because one of the things, i think actually one of the nicest things that kind of having a big social media radius i guess you would say is that i get to hear from people that had their stories in these places and that they've been part of their lives. one of the things that was really cool about that was one of the guys who unfortunately many of these bikes were scrapped, and one of the gentlemen who was involved with unloading the bikes from their contacted me about it. it was cutting interesting because i said i'm surprised you didn't die. i was just going around and
7:03 am
taking pictures and he was actually moving all the bikes and machinery around. and he said that he fell through the floor two different times that at one point when he was taking some of the pieces off some of the bikes that he was working in one spot all day, came back the next and whole section have fallen through the floor. so yeah, just a very interesting place, their unique. and at this point it not only was cleaned out but didn't get burned. it's not really there to see anymore. this is more of a regional one. the landsdowne theatre which are developing a view of the money with but if you're not you should be. it's one of the last golden age theaters in philadelphia, and particularly after that destruction of the boyd. it's important think in terms of sort of preserving our theatre heritage because we are really lacking behind a lot of other major cities in that area.
7:04 am
the guy who spearheaded the preservation effort has done a tremendous amount to keep this building open and to get renovation done on it. it's pretty amazing to wonder the recent i included this place in the book is because i wanted to have a balanced so that wasn't all just doom and gloom and always places got turned down and burned. i wanted to show why they're so important also that there are people out there that are fighting for them and a lot of them are kind of battlegrounds of sort. anyway actually the theater is one that if you go onto facebook page you can periodically say they will have events for things like that like fundraisers. i would encourage all of you if you get a chance to go and check it out sometime because really is a beautiful building. this is one of my favorites. the church of the transfiguration. i think this is at 56th and
7:05 am
cedar. it is, all the places i photographed i think it would probably be on my top 10 or top five list of places i love the most but is also when i hear the most about from people, people contacting about this quite frequently. there are a lot of people who are parishioners and their parents were married to their or their baptized there, they went to school there. it was just a very meaningful place, a beautiful building. one of the things that is interesting about it is that you know that like what is it, the seven degrees kevin bacon game you know what i'm talking about? this would be my three four degrees to anne hathaway, because she actually, her boyfriend for time was a guy named raffaello who is a con man and the best that this scheme that he was telling people he was going to get all these church properties and then
7:06 am
rehabilitate them, return them to use and who's going to do all these great things like insuring the uninsured and students artist, housing all these great things. he took gobs of money from rich investors, including the owner of the pittsburgh penguins and then just, you know, had a great time with anne hathaway and then he got arrested. he went to jail and for stealing millions of dollars, he served as shocking penalty of four and half years in jail. he's out now but i'm sure he's very remorseful about it. [laughter] but i didn't explain, the thing is that this transfiguration was one of only three churches he was actually successfully able to get and that was part of the reason why it sat there. once he went to jail and the council to somebody else, they just wanted a school building and they tore down and actually is a garbage strewn lot right now. i should have planned that out.
7:07 am
so this is a little boat brothers clothing factory, this was in baltimore. -- love boat brothers. basically they went under the crown cork and seal company was with the building original was in the beginning clothing factory. just really interesting past. they went under in part because of the fact that people guys don't wear likes of jackets to work anymore. that's not really sort of part of our culture the way it used to be. the demand was there but the ritual me very high-end clothing and one of the things that people always ask me about this place, is how is it that all these codes were left of the? their hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of codes. i mean, it was pretty minor boggling. delivery wading through an ocean of codes. a lot of them so the slip covers on them are still in good
7:08 am
condition. negative gone through that cycle and become -- the thing that is interesting about that is that basically when the site goes bankruptcy proceedings they often will shutter the place and keep everything in there so that it can be sold off to pay off the debt but things like coats are kind of nickel and dime stuff to a bank, and particularly if the place that own them wasn't able to sell enough of them anyway, what bank is going to want to do that? so that's part of the reason why they're left there for years and years. i could talk on and on about a lot of these places but just want to give you an overview. that one has actually been rehabilitated into a school. this place i'm going to use a pseudonym of harmony house for and harmony house was a really
7:09 am
interesting restore the basically was formed by the textile union. actually the original people who purchased it, some of them are the survivors of the triangle shirt waist fire which i thought was kind of interesting to do a number of people than that when it kind of went from being a regional textile seem to be sold at the larger textile union when that happened there was a lot of philadelphia textiles company that were involved in this place as well. and so a lot of people that were really kind of like al gore was looking to speak to. they were put a progressive place in terms of probably approached race, how they approached women's rights. their labor views. they were a more left leaning place but that this sort of radical notion that people that were blue-collar workers should be able to go out and stay visually nice resort and see great entertainers and read and
7:10 am
hear authors and things like that. you know, so one of the things that i think that is kind of important into the overall is to look at things not just as the death of one fiscal place but also the ideology that is behind it. so when you look at a place like that, what i see is there's also this ideal of the blue-collar workers about the textile plants being able to enjoy sort of the finer things in life at an affordable rate they could go to with her family. i don't know really that our generation has that. certainly the textile workers in bangladesh probably don't. this is another hotel that was basically area was originally a very sort of high-end like a mineral spot. so a lot of people go there like
7:11 am
the rockefeller's, macy's went there, oscar wilde had gone to that town. this would've been before this hotel was built but this is give you an idea of what significance of the place was but it was kind of high-end, and then pass the sort of cycles with a well-to-do go, there though other places they wanted to go instead and that town kind of slumped a little bit but it had a resurgence with a lot of jewish vacationers actually that were kind of unfortunately shunned at other resorts. so they went out and this was one of the buildings that they used and so they were synagogues and kosher restaurants and everything in the town. this was one thing i'd like to point out with this picture that is kind of veering off the historical into things is one of the reasons you'll see them at work that i'm so fussy about straight lines in making sure everything is really balance is because when you look at a picture like this what i would
7:12 am
like you to do is that i just didn't have my camera kind of cockeyed. that definitely is a lift in the staircase and it was actually pretty scary to go up. [inaudible] >> i am, first of all not going to tell you where places are if i don't mention it. and second of all, please let me take questions at the end. so this be the grand staircase year, i this also is at an angle. the building is in pretty atrocious shape, and basically i'm not surprised if it will collapse at sometime very soon. this is a regional site. this is homes very present in pennsylvania. it's the same radial kind of style. this would be i believe, and they can't say with 100% certain but i think this is one of the newer additions that you're looking at because the older
7:13 am
editions have this kind of but there'll baldaccini like that, just like eastern state pennsylvania -- penitentiary. they have the slipped where the light of god could shine down on you and make you think about all the awful things that you get. so yes there's quite a bit in the book about homeless bird had an appalling pass. -- holds berg. a lot of medical testing that when i go into in greater detail their weather tested just about anything you would want to be tested with they probably tested on people. they also had a bunch of riots and some of them were really grow. one, the deputy and the warden of were murdered. i'm sort of working from the
7:14 am
present back but one of the early incidents was a hunger strike with the people were unhappy about the quality of food and so they took the strike leaders and put them into buildings that no longer exist called the klondike that a bunch of radiators and steam pipes. they changed into the wall close the windows and basically boiled them alive. and so the governor actually came out and was really upset and shaken by it. it's just a terrible thing. they did do would do much of anything about it after that but it was a terrible occurrence even if there wasn't any repercussions for anybody about it. this is one of the ones i put in. i tried to put somebody kind of all the more off the map or a note that i tried to put some that are kind of really iconic sites that everybody knows about. this would be one i think many people if you're from the pennsylvania area particularly to go along the central p.a.
7:15 am
court or at all, probably have driven by on route 81. when you go by that area that the 11 story behemoth is looming up out of ashley pennsylvania. it was an iconic place. i think close and 76 with the abandoned a little longer than i've been alive. i always expected it would continue to be there but unfortunately, or fortune fortunately i guesstimate which we look at it, it was torn down for scrap earlier this year. basically the breakers are, you think coal, steel and textiles are really what made pennsylvania's economy to pick someone else said like the railroads and yes the railroads but in this particular case, coal breakers were an enormous part of insulin usage and this was one of the biggest ones and they're all but gone to the other one, saint nicks there was right by there is in the process of being stripped apart for scrap as well.
7:16 am
so this idea of having an 11 story machine that breaks apart goal as a coast and is something that i think is going -- rakes apart coal. only exist in picture to this is what i would want to put it in the book. you don't always get what you want but i am sharing it with you. this is then rank in pennsylvania just outside of pittsburgh. i would love to you all little stories about these different places but it just so we can move along to get to the today. one thing i would tell you is first of all, read about it but the other thing is that one of the things about this is they do tours after. you can go out and can walk
7:17 am
around it. you can climb up on the crane or whatever but some the stuff like the blast furnaces you can actually see. i think that's important, to show that there's a positive into things where would i believe to be cultural treasures can be shared with other people. betamethasone always have to be torn down. i really believe that kind by sharing and appreciating these places it doesn't always have to be something where they are torn apart. is actually quite a lot in the past about leaving ruins for the sake of being ruins without having to make them redeveloped or whatever. that's one of the few places that is lucky enough to kind of be able to be what it is and what it is an that have somebody say okay, we are going to make a shopping mall out of it, which is what happened to the rest. so this is the westport power station in baltimore, was.
7:18 am
this has been torn down. this was at the time those built the largest reinforced concrete building in the world. reinforced concrete was then fired up with a good basically consolidated all of the gas and electric for baltimore. this place was just enormous. it had these huge turbine halls all over. there were three different turbine halls our at least as big if not bigger. and then an enormous a with all the furnace. is just a beautiful building. on top of the building there was a small oil road that went around taking coal to the furnaces which was a first for me. i don't see anything like that that was real shock is a very dreamlike thing but also just one of i think they need is surprised i've ever had when it went into building. i certainly was not expecting it. this is the new castle oak lodge in newcastle pennsylvania, not new castle delaware.
7:19 am
that was the dumb luck fund. sometime people ask me about how fireplaces i'm usually say research networking or dumb luck and this would fall in the dumb luck. i just drove by category. it was an interesting building a this was the ballroom at the top and you can't really see here. i've a better picture in the book but on the floor and all the while they still had the alcan on the far in but it was really creepy. -- health had. i was expecting to win. so not on what i got to the point where i could really see where the elk head was and looking at it in looking at it and pour into my foot my foot went through the floor, too. but this was one of the pack back areas behind the ballroom. interesting thing about this is that i don't know what is real ferns and water like -- fake flowers they came to the city. i think there are both. this is 1940s coal powered
7:20 am
plant those just south of pittsburgh and that was torn down and i think 2010. if you look you that's the turbine hall. i think one of things i really love about powerpoint is just how enormous the spaces are in them. the scale is just kind of unheard of in other places. i was very lucky to get to go through this place with an engineer as well whose able to tommy about how everything worked which probably just a lot the other side of my head but it was interesting while i was there. and the other thing that was cool he actually fired up one of the furnaces again. i have a picture of it not in the book but he's sitting there with this kind of crazy '80s action movies looking cigar out of his face lighting a cigar with one of the little things that they were sticking to light the furnaces up.
7:21 am
this is another power plant. this is one of the want that is under a pseudonym that i wouldn't tell you where it was but it is actually very historically significant building, enormous building as well, and one of things that's interesting about it is like many of these places, in fact was for would be another one like this. the more you read about these places the more you see about how much corruption hampers places like, for example, when westport was torn down and we mediated it was supposed to be something that is waterfront development, and that never happened. the city and bunch of other people dumped all this money into it and just nothing happen. this is kind of the same thing where there was a lot of just sort of corruption in terms of people putting money in to rehabilitate this building. nothing ever happened with the. in fact, the mayor of the city it's in is getting handed his hat and this is one of the
7:22 am
reasons. it's just interesting but a lot of times people ask why buildings are left abandoned and there are many reasons as there are buildings that often times corruption is pretty good want to fall back on when it's anything that the city has control over. this is and i don't know how we're doing so don't want to talk too long so we don't -- 21 minutes, okay. basically going to go through some of this but i think i'm going to skip some of the middle part but i will tell you a little bit more about some of these buildings. this writer was a tuberculosis sanatorium and it is where the cure tuberculosis. event arguments i put drug-resistant strains of tb it is not officially complete cure. and i would say you are right, but this is what went from being something, and i have to check my notes from something ridiculous, like a quarter of new york deaths were tuberculosis world. it was just all over the place.
7:23 am
think about that like one of four people but, you know and that's why you don't really hear people dying of tuberculosis much anymore. and so in this case the place was so successful that it shut itself down essentially. you know i mean, they discharge all the people that were patients but it's kind of sad because you think about it -- let me go back -- you think about it and it would've been nice if it preserved it considering how many people tuberculosis has killed since prehistoric times. that's how long it's been wiping people out left and right and that's the place where they got it. okay, just let it rot. this, the home bell labs is another really, really significant place and i would love to go into each and every one of these scientific discoveries here that happen but there are too many of them early to go into.
7:24 am
cellular technology, microwave technology, i guess maybe to put in perspective, this is where they developed what was called the home bell horn which was what they used to verify the big bang theory. so really just all the modern technology that we use today and take for granted was developed in somewhat at this facility. interesting thing about it was that they're going to just tear it down and the scientific community got so ticked off about it and filled out these petitions. there were these articles about it and everything, and so the developer didn't go through. they have a new architect who is turning us into a mixed-use building, and they will be saved so that's actually pretty exciting. this on the other hand is
7:25 am
pardon me, bethlehem steel, the lackawanna campus would've been the lackawanna the company originally but interesting thing about that is, and i could go into the preservation and how sad it was when he decided to tear it apart but the thing that kind of interesting to know about this are people who are regional folks is that so the guys who found this to company with the scranton brothers and their original in this grand area and they had this had a very successful steel company and had all these bloody labor disputes and problems with unions so they said the heck with you guys we're going to go out to the buffalo area we can get things in on the canals and we don't have to do with the labor union quite as much. so they had to towns named after the. they have described was named after the scranton brothers and then they went up to lackawanna and lackawanna was named after the lackawanna steel company was
7:26 am
named because it was in the lackawanna valley. with that being said scranton place is also in the book. i thought it was an interesting of you start start to see all these little connections between places like that. this is that was when originally saw it. these are nodding hand looms in the, sort of famous mid-1800 looms that were 20 feet long and 50 tons about the size, it looked to me like locomotives and to work. i've been told that last one's in the united states. i can't verify that. had not gone all over the u.s. checking people space that are anything but you know, ma basically this is the only one that is left. they scrapped all the rest of them. this is the hotel that was dan bellefonte p.a. and that was such a real historical till. it was a residential tell by the
7:27 am
time i went into it. there was an arson related fire and thankfully no one was killed but was left pretty much as is like nobody wanted to get their stuff back. i don't believe you can see. if you look where the stairs are going up and coming back towards the camera, if you can see that whole in the staircase, those were scary stairs but it was a scary building. there were a lot of holes in it and when you carbonized wood, you have no idea how much weight it's going to take, so that's why he was in such incredibly good condition. and this was the building right next door, the garment upper house, and this was a really really sad loss for the committee. they really wanted to preserve this under really angry about the default about the building. user i'm the guy who is for historic preservation in all cases, but this place had the worst luck in white mall i've ever seen. in part because of the fact the
7:28 am
garment fire had burned holes in the roof. so theaters don't typically have windows on a lot of light coming in or whatever, and when i went in it it hadn't been raining but the whole place was like moist and the carpet squished and their was this horrible horrible white mold growing out of the walls everywhere. real sad thing for the community. this is the new jersey plant come and begin trying to script his way to get to the q&a but i just want to give you an idea of some of these places and what makes them interesting. this place was one of the larger superfund battles but it actually, if you were to look right there you will see that there is not a thing growing. part of the reason is because that place was so lasted with heavy metals and pollution that not only did no plans lived but the bacteria that decompose the plans could not survive either. you had a bunch of plant money
7:29 am
in the area and have been doing a lot to remediated. because a lot from people that have been to these places or in these communities there still is big back and forth and people are like, it was never that bad. they're doing this great job of remediating theory, but have to say that i was there it was that bad. it absolutely was that bad. it was like to go to the pennsylvania mountainside and assault lash and green and birds and then all of a sudden you feel like you're driving through utah or on an asteroid or something. so again i feel like this is kind of an important one to show, again that a lot of these places, whether or not you are somebody who worked at it or it was part of, you know, your life specifically, if you live in that area you are paying the price for it. a lot of these places it's kind of like the idea behind it is this idea of a lifestyle that we lead and the idea that these
7:30 am
places still represent enormous problems for the community, and something that we need to talk and think about. so i'm going to skip through a few these places but i wish i could say more about this once because there is an interesting thing when they sent a letter to the vatican actually to try to raise funds for this window is first built, and the ship caught fire and sank and the letter back washed ashore. it was singed but it got to roam and it was like an act of god save the letter bag. so that's saint -- i always get -- boniface. we have saint bonaventure right there and that was during the demolition. they were sister churches. they were actually formed by the same german immigrant population that moved out of the area. i got to see it when it was getting torn down, pretty
7:31 am
heartbreaking, special because i tried for like six years to get into a photograph that that when it was whole and i was very lucky actually that i was able to photograph it. i don't know if any of you guys know chris of philadelphia salvaged but he was actually the one who made that possible. so wherever you are chris thank you. this is saint peters church in germantown. that is a beautiful, beautiful church. that is a happy story. that is being saved to it is being converted into a school in philadelphia and they're doing wonderful work to i was just over a week or two ago. we did a photography workshop there, literally the day before they started. we got to see the last day before it was transformed, and it's a very different now although i'm happy to save a lot of really beautiful features they kept intact on the amount of work they had to do.
7:32 am
it's 30 stunning actually. i'm looking forward to going back when you're done with it and photographing it and kept having this as in your face sort of thing to people who say you can't say the churches that are in bad condition. because i thought this one was going to go. when i first photographed that the realtor that it let me in was not real optimistic about it. scary prison and. full of people doing drugs. that's where they live. again, read more about in the book. definitely scary because one thing i will say is sometimes you see like shadows out of the corner of your eyes when you're in places and maybe it's you or maybe it's just a tree branch outside of something and you're like that's just a shadow, my mind is playing tricks on me and there, no, that's a dude. [laughter] but also i would say very sad. i don't mean to present that is
7:33 am
something that is humorous innately because of the fact i was there in the dead of winter, and it was a bitter bitter cold in there. and just the idea of living in a rusting, falling apart prison with nothing but your drugs. and then you see a little, i'm pointing at the monitor you see the dead with a little teddy bear on it. you just think like that is just the most heartbreaking and worst thing ever. and the funny thing is when i took these pictures, maybe some of you on these people i don't know, but are these people like sirs them right, they are doing drugs. how could you wished on somebody? whether or not but anyway this is also, i wanted to show do was the oldest s. extended jail and this this was the essex county jail annex. again unlucky to a lot more about the effort to keep scooting along.
7:34 am
we will probably run over a little bit, so when way, that basically is just a real house of horrors. there was a lot of really atrocious conditions therefore the people. so this would be why be going on to tell you about how i got into this pic because i want to get your tunic we will say i set us mentors is a centrist in the silence. i started researching asylum. i got into philadelphia state hospital library which you see right there, without the, i change expect from. couldn't explain that to people what it was something that meant so much to the what if it was so significant about it. i start feeling like photographs were better way of conveying that. i never got good pictures. double hat me until the day i die. but if you like it very important to document these stories and show these places and soda with mental health with all these items that are vanishing. these are people's lives and just a really kind of terrifying
7:35 am
and sad chapter in american history as a place are torn down one by one the opportunity to discuss them is also deleted. skip right through the people that i like. there's a lot of cool people have been doing this for a long time and there after it would ask me about them at some point. one thing going in with and that's going to read two chapters because i was recommended and doing as i should read at least an excerpt of the book. i'm going to read you a bit about a high school and then we will run a little bit late but i'm sure you guys will all live. i will stay here a little late. so this is the edison high school in philadelphia. the northeast high school in philadelphia known as the magnet middle school and thomas edison high school was built in 1905 it
7:36 am
was a time when i get publicly funded preschool for the working class was progressive and controversial. structure like a medieval -- lions and gargoyles, northeast high school was a prestigious institution. albert einstein, babe ruth herbert hoover and amelia earhart were among the dignitaries who visited the school but as the minority population increased in the 1950s, it was decided build a new northeast high school anymore suburban area. the old school slip to get to to to to the systematic neglect. during the vietnam war of the former northeast high school at the distinction of having the most casualties among its alumni. i the 1990s it was infested with rats and falling apart. fewer than 50% of the math teachers to do basic math themselves. outburst of violence were, but. named the worst school it was taken over by a private contractor edison which was to provide education to edison
7:37 am
built a new building and close the old one shortly thereafter in 2002 leaving it to them to move some and decay. -- vandalism and dk. after the school was abandoned for nearly a decade a four alarm lays broke out in august when left and causing havoc on 10 -- causing heavy damage. a large portion of buildings was unaffected. several section with four need repairs. it appeared to be structurally sound. in 2013 the building was torn down. a distinctive gargoyles were saved and the art deco is slated to be restored. development partners plan to bring a restore in a dollar store to a lot. visiting northeast high school during its demolition was heart wrenching experience. even though the possibility of saving it became increasingly mode as the years went by particularly after the fire that destroyed much of the roof and
7:38 am
front section of the building i had always hoped someone might be able to see what a phenomenal building had. during my visit workers scurried around the site with wheelbarrows fulltext books even after all these years to come with him to to store a pile in the central courtyard. mounds of hardwood flooring wainscoting coming cabinetry and all other things are stacked that measured a half a block in any direction. a narrow path had been made through. thankfully salvaged opened by trying to reclaim is much better as possible but most of it was destined for atlanta. responsibly seeking to invest to see what could be reused and was not the priority. tearing down the site as fast as possible was the one thing i will point out to is you are looking at this picture is that i'm on the second floor as i'm taking that picture. you can see actually the window frame for the lower floor. i felt like an ant crawling around on the bones of a
7:39 am
mastodon. trying to fathom how many people have been a part of this place for better or for what was humbling. in the in whatever edit once been amounted to little more thanthan a trashy other people than a trashy for the people can't than a trashy other people take it apart. there was no reflection or ceremony, just a bunch of guys liking it with hammers and powerful but it seemed more than anything to be a final crowning moment of stupidity in failure and such a long string of stupid after the tracing its origin was impossible anymore. not that anyone was bothering to do so. for a great beacon, it would be another parking lot another trash heap. where northeast have been founded as a trade school to teach people skills to use in the once thriving and dutch landscape of philadelphia, it would be destroyed on to be replaced by store that would intrigue to the decline of american industry, in a place where joblessness and poverty were the norm. you only worked at tearing apart the things that once made a
7:40 am
grand. as a photograph the building that last a passerby stopped and comedy, i went to that school but it was beautiful. what a shame. they will never build anything like that again. never. in my opinion is probably correct. so with that i'm going to open it up to questions. one thing that i will ask is that if you're going to ask a question, they will bring a boom mic around so you can wait until they have the boom mic over you so the folks at home can hear. okay. >> you mentioned mental hospitals. have you ever visited the state hospital in connecticut which parts of it are being torn down? >> that right there is a. that's a shame there chairing it down because among other things
7:41 am
them look at that auditorium. it's gorgeous. norwich is in the book. other questions? climate crowd. >> the general salvage business, i'm, i'm looking at bricks and reusable items for whatever the case may be. are you pretty much aware of what is salvageable, what isn't? >> well, i mean, it depends committee look at the demolition companies, they really don't seem to care as much about that. they can make money from the salvage companies. there are two of the bigger ones in philadelphia have been very nice to me in the past. so they both go in. and, in fact, they were the ones working on such would photograph the middle school which i read the excerpt from. but the priority there was
7:42 am
chairing the site down as fast as possible. in all of the cases where there working, my experts has been that they're kind of trying to snatch as much from the jaws of the line as they can. but most of it gets tossed. two-seater craft is mostly for historical purposes, or also to present opportunities? >> could you elaborate in terms of presenting opportunities? >> well, you mentioned that there have been projects of rehabilitation, specifically with theaters and reproducing buildings. is that part of what you do or is that just something that happens out of natural course of? >> well, i'm always an advocate for the. there are a lot of preservation groups and smaller agencies that i have partnered up with that people are really trying to plug. you will notice that people like
7:43 am
the waldorf school that is reusing the building or the theater. i really try and balance some positive light on the efforts that they are making. i would say that photography workshops i've had also that is a business for me. so i would be the first to say that that is something that is not just a charity thing that he did because, frankly, it would be impossible i think to do that unless i were independently ridiculous the wealthy. but that being said, in the last two years we've raised just shy of $50,000 for the very sites that we have had it and. i really did try and get back answered put my money where my mouth is with these places. but that being said it's also not something that i have the knowledge or the finances to do. there are people, when you're talking about developers that go on site, these are people my
7:44 am
yearly earnings would be something they throw away in half hour on a gambling table. i don't know if that answers your question. >> how do you find these places and gain access to? >> the finding of them is mainly a dumb luck research and networking, a combination of the three. and gain access that is so different for every place. i've written detailed proposals to work with people on it. i have played phone tag with people. there's one guy that i did. in fact, it's funny because people who were in canada clubs and groups, people we like have you ever been to to a silk mill? that something always ask me about. i bugged that guy for a year and a half to get in there, to the point literally a year and a. i called him up like maybe two times a month and would have a talk with him and think it was
7:45 am
going somewhere and then he would back out at the end. and, finally, i showed up at his house with my portfolio and i said look, new, not kind of scary when new, not trying to scare you anything, if you want to get me -- if you want me to give up but i will get off the land but i want to show how important this is to be. he let me in and we did the first fundraiser for the place. in there was another guy named tom from new york who took it even further. he was in one of the workshops and then decided to reset the people were coming from japan because their ancestors have been the ones who were exported the silk to it, the raw silk. there were people from all over. sort of lost my train thereby identify answered what you asked. sorry if i didn't. >> you have a lot of power plants in your presentation. i was wondering, our power plants generally don't have the
7:46 am
majesty and glamour of cathedrals. were there any power plants that really struck you as worthy of rehabilitation of? >> oh, my gosh. yes, they are magnificent. yes, there have been some that were kind of trashy brick boxes especially if you talking about power plants that are supporting structures like a college or something like that. they can be pretty dull. if you're talking about some of the ones that were built particularly around the turn of the century, those guys are amazing. there's one i had been to a don't really know whether i can name it or not just going to not annual pride in my next book, but the turbine hall which is one of the largest open-air rooms ever built. it looks a lot like a cathedral. as the domed roof like 180 feet to the floor. it used to have a huge
7:47 am
chandelier hanging from it. so yes i mean i would definitely say power plants are deceptive because they are the sort of place you would think wouldn't be that awe-inspiring and to go in and you like wow they were using this themselves could they didn't let everybody in to see what they did? there was a question over here. [inaudible] a factory that has relics. is there anything in philadelphia that doesn't and warehousing at least pieces of these billing? >> that actually comes, some pluck a place i would love to go to. really the only thing, somebody will public correct me or tell me i'm forgetting something, but i think the places we come to my mind are philadelphia solid to a number of churches you can see
7:48 am
pictures of them there a number of schools. so that's as close as i can think of at least. i'm going to go with the gentleman in the back. >> you mentioned a lot of building that burned down and torn down. some of them are pretty old. how much longer do you think you will be able to keep recording them on from? >> evening because of the fact like how many more are there left sort of thing? that's a good question. really i feel like i love philadelphia, i really do the this is my city a mail but i don't think we're doing a good job of saving our buildings. you look-alike the boy to debacle and look at all the churches that again destroyed every year. i could go to a long list of buildings that i've on the chopping block or are getting burned down.
7:49 am
there's not an infinite resource. that is something that is a finite. the sad thing is much like the extinction of many species i guess or something like that. one day you're like that was the last one, what do you know? i think it's important to appreciate them and that's part of the reason why i have these places. again like i got that balance of, so many of the places are lost and sisters agreed as to what way it is. i wanted to have someone there to show the are people doing great work to buck the trend. you have a question. >> a little bit about your photographic methodology? i know you do workshop that looks like a lot of your photos you use and candlelighting. >> yesterday. not to go too far into my technique but it to multiple exposures and then a blend them together. it is all natural light.
7:50 am
i don't like the metal. i just use a tripod and later on i will blend different areas of the picture together. dog loved of the ways to do this. i use hdr for quite a long time that is more like a global adjustment now because i'm a fussy guy and like to do all by hand. i basically paid in the different areas with a different exposure to so if the windows are blown out in you can see the details outside because at the that area from a different exposure. again i could go a lot further into that i don't want to lose everybody. this gentleman right here have a question. >> the question for the last one, you studied the broad economic forces that lead to the abandonment of our plants in theaters and other kinds of buildings but in the future do you see any trends leading to future structures that we left abandoned, shopping malls or hospital's? >> that's a great question
7:51 am
actually. i think the one there's been a lot of coverage of, shopping malls, and actually the one who probably be in a follow-up to this book i photographed by randall park mall in cleveland that basically i had the commission from the developer so i've been sitting on those. because they wanted me to wait until that was further along until they released the okay for me to publish them. but shopping malls are certain one that people bring up. if you look further down the road there will probably be a lot of like nursing homes. the sad thing for today is schools and churches are going left and right. that's certainly, all of you philadelphians know how many schools are getting close every year, and that's pretty atrocious. i can adjust spent on the time period you're looking at but one of the things i think is interesting is there's a lot of
7:52 am
pressure to tear down these great civic monuments that were built to stand the test of time because i have a wealth of copper and bronze and metal in them. they can take a whole bunch of tax money to tear the building apart and then you can get all the money from all stuff that is inside the building and then you can make more money by building up that area again and remediating it. and this is all tax money going down the toilet to destroy things that don't need to be destroyed. so it's kind of a disposable culture. in that sense i think anything that is of any architectural merit is in the bull's-eye right now, sad to say. any other questions? i can take maybe two more. was there somebody over here? did you have your hand up? i would even. >> is there a city that is valuing these roads and preserving them for renovating
7:53 am
them? >> a city that is doing a good job respecting the ruins? that's a tough one because you see on a case-by-ccase-by-c ase basis. one thing that i so recently i read about that was interesting was gary indiana which is a long way from the music man let's just put it that way. it's pretty beat up right now. they have basically come if you pay for a photography permit to shoot a gun you can go the. one of the pattern of churches they talk about making into a ruined garden which i think about the coolest thing ever. so there's actually a number of places where they are doing things that are like that sort even to the degree of mason foley's which are ruins that are made for the sake of being ruined by not the actual buildings. i would have a hard time thinking of a particular city because i think that everywhere the trends are kind of running in the same direction to level
7:54 am
everything. what you're saying is that more and more people are becoming aware of the valley of preservation. i think there are a lot of people who are younger than the kind of realizing that these places are really need any theater doesn't have to be a little black box i go in. just like any other theater out of there. i would like to hope that picks i think maybe people are kind of waking up to this in a number of different areas. the question is how much it's going to be lost by that time. you had a question back there and then i will take your question as well and then i've got to call it a day. >> with all of the huge factories that you photograph, there must be a lot of individual dwellings around them out of been abandoned. have you ever turned your eye on home's? >> absolutely. absolutely. in fact, the are a number of places that are communities that just got knocked off the face.
7:55 am
i tend to think that the factories are often times the genesis point of the community starting to collapse. because when you take out the factory, then where is the tax money for the schools and libraries? and people start to move out of the town and nobody's is putting money in church call. there's a ripple effect. i've seen that in times of major cities but everyone talks about detroit as they're like the poster child a look at cleveland or buffalo or rochester philadelphia, baltimore. you can kind of throw a dart at a map of the u.s. and pick a city that's nearby it and likely will be looking at somewhere that is reeling from the loss of the industry. so yes, i have done that. that will probably be something that i have and the follow-up book is maybe a section that is more just homes in and of itse


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on