On Abandoned Buildings

Norwich Hospital District – Admin Building

Plinky.com asked me about old, abandoned buildings, whether I find them cool or creepy, and whether I've ever explored one.

We are on vacation in Puerto Rico at the moment and yesterday took a tour up to El Yunque rain forest.

[fantastic place, just fantastic]

On the way there, the guide was giving us a history of PR and, more specifically, the Luquillo area – fascinating stuff, answering many of my long-time questions as to the island and its history.

He pulled over near a graffiti covered husk of a manufacturing facility, which was being taken over by palm trees, ferns and vines; mould climbing walls, stucco collapsing, pavements cracked and breathing grass.

This, the guide told us, used to be a GE facility and the main employer of the area before the jobs were shipped overseas.

I had an urge to get out of the bus and explore this old, abandoned building, open myself to any lingering energy or stories.

My inner film-maker wanted to shoot there, right now, beginning to visualize scenes that could make best use of such a paradoxical sight; jungle and industry entwined.

So, to the question. Old, abandoned buildings are cool

[unless they're on a Caribbean island, in which case they're hot and humid but cool all the same]

Old buildings decay and so we think 'creepy'.

Whether they're creepy is all down to the story you would want to tell about them. Certainly, it'd be hard to walk around the Danvers State Hospital (used as the main location for the excellent film, Session 9: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Session_9) or the Norwich State Hospital (pictured here and in beautiful shots at http://www.opacity.us/site64_norwich_state_hospital.htm) which looks similar if slightly less imposing and would make an outstanding film set, without immediately thinking of the aftermath and resonance of insanity.

So, old, abandoned buildings are cool, we make them creepy and I'm always drawn to them.

And that, plinky.com, is my answer for today

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