Tag Archives: abandoned

Old Fort Bliss Barracks

Heading up Fred Wilson Boulevard, there’s an entrance into Fort Bliss for William Beaumont Army Medical Center.  What’s interesting is a large collection of largely unused old barracks and a lone empty chapel, baking in the west Texas sun.

The first 3 easily accessible buildings are right across from a parking lot, making it easy to check out.  Given that this is an active part of base, I heeded all trespass warnings and didn’t check to see if any of the buildings were open.  Plus who knows why these aren’t in use, there’s probably all sorts of contaminants like lead or asbestos inside.  At the very least there were large piles of nasty pigeon poop all over the place, so I stuck to the dirt.

The 3 barrack buildings were all the same construction in various states of disrepair.  It’s too bad they can’t be used for some more interesting purpose.  Donald Judd’s Chinati comes to mind. Down the way was a small boarded up chapel.

Upon closer inspection, the front door that was boarded up had been kicked in, exposing the interior:

Looking in, you could tell it was completely empty so I didn’t venture any farther than my lens would go.  A curious feature was the bridge to the entrance which I guess in the past would have had water.   There were probably lots of past marriages here with lots of photo opportunities.

I didn’t want to get stopped and asked  a bunch of questions, so it was time to bug out.  After grabbing a few more shots, I headed out.  The full set can be seen on flickr here: Old Barracks on Fort Bliss

The Old Lodge

On the way back from the White Sands EPMINIS rally, I stopped to take a few pics of some old buildings in Old Organ on the outskirts of Las Cruces, along Highway 70:

The first set of buildings look to be part of some old motor lodge.  It had an attached restaurant that invited visitors with its selection of Sandwiches, Lunches, Beer and Dinners.

The old sign is still visible from the highway though I had a hard time making out what it said:

It most likely was Organ Mountain Lodge, with the O and R having fallen off long ago.  It was pretty overgrown and thick with weeds, locusts and large grasshoppers.

Every building has been broken into and has been subject to the elements for quite some time.  After walking around the property I headed over to a old gas station across the street.  It had pretty much the same story going on as the lodge, boarded up long ago and currently being used as storage.

 We were pretty burnt from the full day at whitesands so we hit the road.

More pics are here: Old Organ

Abandoned Farmhouses 3

Empty Farmhouse and Packing Plant

I think I have saved the best for last.  This was the last stop on a quick tour of three, easily accessible, derelict farmhouses in and around the Upper Valley in El Paso.  This last property is not far from the Gato Road House.  It’s along Highway 28, on the way to La Union New Mexico.


View Empty House and Packing Plant in a larger map

I hesitate to call this property abandoned.  There is a house on the plot that while it’s empty at the moment, has been maintained and even has a security system visible from the front porch window.  All of its doors and windows are intact with no signs of vandalism or forced entry.

White House
White House

To the left of the house is a storage shed. It contains a lot of old supplies and stuff you would expect to see on a farm. There was a pile of old Glidden paint cans and a cool old oil lantern that was missing its glass.

Lights out
Lights out

The next building on the property is the largest.  It looks like it was some sort warehouse or packing facility. Old refrigerators, stacks of flat cardboard boxes and other assorted junk are scattered all around.  The roof looks to have been removed save for a few pieces of corrugated metal left in a few spots.

Warehouse
Warehouse

This building could have started life as some sort of feeding place for livestock.  On each side of the building a concrete trough ran the length of the building.  There was one neat find in here, some old hubcaps.

Nice!
Nice!

Outside on a large concrete slab a old tracker trailer sits.  It won’t be going anywhere fast, all of the tires are rotted to the hub.

Not Truckin'
Not Truckin’

The last building on the property is the oldest.  Its an adobe structure that has lost it roof and all the wall plaster.  Slowly its returning back to the earth.

long gone
Long gone

This collection of buildings was the most interesting and really shows the range of how long it had been in use. It could have easily spanned two or three generations and been an important player in the areas farming past.  I took a bunch of pictures that I could not include in this post so if you want to browse the full set on Flickr click below:

Abandoned in the Upper Valley

The previous two abandoned properties I vistited are here:
Abandoned Farmhouses (pt. 2)
Abandoned Farmhouses (pt. 1)

Abandoned Farmhouses 2

The Gato House

After moving on from the shell of a house, I traveled down Westside drive turning left on Gato road to the next structure.  This one is a bit more traditional, It even looks like somebody at some point was trying to revive it but for some reason their plans had been cut short.


View House on Gato in a larger map

The adobe construction looks to have stood the test of time and it may have been a comfortable home in its heyday.  Its a single story dwelling with a storage shed in the back.

Gato House
The Gato House

Inside the house is gutted and what remains leaves little to be desired.  The original construction looks pretty rough and the fix up attempts don’t get past the basic stage.

Outside in
Outside in

I’m not real sure how salvageable the structure is.  The condition of the house may have been what derailed the reconstruction. Not much is left save for a few doors and some old cabinetry. The fireplace is a real wood-burning one complete with an old school chimney.

Brick Hearth
Brick Hearth

Out back in a gated area is a storage shed.  Whats interesting is how this area is fenced in with the house on the outside. There is a clothes line and in the shed is either a hot water heater or well storage tank.

Storage Shed
Storage Shed

Not much else is on the property so I packed it in and headed on down the road to the final abandoned property.  If you missed part 1 you can find it here:
Abandoned Farmhouses (pt. 1)

 

Abandoned Farmhouses 1

The forever advancing suburban sprawl has snaked its way through the upper valley, turning farmland into shiny new homes.  Most of the time when a field gets bought, it’s quickly subdivided with ease. Occasionally a relic to the areas agricultural past gets left behind.  Many of the older established farms had very big houses that were well maintained and will continue to live on well past their previous life.  Often the less successful ones wind up forgotten and left to the elements.  There are 3 good examples of this not far from where I live.  I went and and captured them because at some point their land will be bought and they will most likely get razed.

Topless in the Valley

The closest one to me is in the worst shape.  It is not far from the intersection at Borderland and Westside drive, a short drive down a dirt road gets you there.


View Topless in the Valley in a larger map

The first building on the property is the farmhouse.  It has no roof and has been exposed to nature for some time.

The Farmhouse
The Farmhouse

Given it’s close proximity to the new neighborhoods, It has it share of graffiti from local kids. The graffiti isn’t that remarkable most likely because its easy to be seen with all the windows and roof opened up.  A couple of the interior rooms have some more detailed pieces but again its just a grade above regular tagging.

Graffiti ???
ZOAG ???

The structure also houses a large assortment of shipping pallets. Most were wood, but there were a few plastic ones.  The other odd thing is there is no sign of any part of the roof in the structure or on the grounds nearby. It may have been a simple flat roof that has long been scavenged for something else.  Nearby is a small pump house, storage shed and large metal awning.

rest of the property
The rest of the property

The storage shed had been opened but nothing interesting remained.  The pump house has been left alone with no obvious attempts at forced entry.

The Pump House
The Pump House

The size of the property and collection of buildings is pretty interesting. It would appear that it did OK at some point in the past, maybe some sort of onion or cotton processing. However in its current state it won’t be returning to its farming roots anytime soon.  Next I stopped at a more traditional structure not far away. Stay tuned.

Southwestern Portland Cement (Pt 6)

Into to the Dark

I finally had the opportunity to venture into the old main office building at the Southwestern Portland Cement Plant.  I didn’t want to wander around in there alone so I asked a friend of mine to go with me.  His only request was that we not get arrested. Given all of the other possible dangers when exploring abandoned buildings, I’m glad he was only concerned about the police.  Time to head in!


View Southwestern Portland Cement in a larger map

In the map above the office building is outlined in orange.  The stairs to the second story front entrance can be seen from Piasano drive but there is no access there, it’s welded up tight.

Locked!
Welded up

The easiest entry point is from a lower entrance at ground level.  You have to walk around to the side, looking for a set of stairs that go below grade. In the picture below the stairs are right behind the bush. The stairs to the right, lead up to a door that is locked.

v

The lower door that has been pried away, exposing a large room that has a bunch of cabnets and work surfaces.  It looks like some sort of testing area where they may have preformed quality control on their products.

Cabinets
Cabinet work area

To the right is another room that has a narrow set of stairs that lead up to a mid level.  That is the darkest, most claustrophobic part but once you get to the top, light from the second story windows fill the area. This odd area was in the middle of the building with a second set of wider stairs leading up to the office level.

Going up?
Going up?

The building has kind of a weird feel about it. A long narrow hallway runs its length.  Offices hang off to each side letting light in but the low ceiling and cinder block walls negate any openness the light provides.

Long Hall
The Long Hall

the place is gutted with little reminiscent of previous office activity.  The offices had wood paneling which has been removed in large sections and in any area where copper pipes may have been, holes have been punched in the walls to remove it. The long hall ends in a large open office area and judging by the largish corner offices, this was the executive area.

Open office area
Large open office area

The windows have been broken out everywhere exposing the interior to the elements.  It’s also obvious that vagrants have been here making sleeping areas from insulation ripped out of the walls.  I though that these offices might have fared better than the rest of the plant but the passage of time and vandalism have really done a number on the place.

looking out
Looking out

Heading back out we passed a curious breaker panel:

Pulverizer Chipmonk
Pulverizer Chipmonk

These little curiosity’s are the best finds when exploring abandoned places. Pulverizer Chipmonk? Who knows what that was but it sounds like a great band name.  Once out, we walked around a bit more but time soon found us. We both had 1:00 meetings that we needed to get to so we hit the road.

The full Flickr set can be viewed here: Southwestern Portland Cement 6
The previous Flickr sets can be viewed here:
Southwestern Portland Cement 5
Southwestern Portland Cement 4
Southwestern Portland Cement 3
Southwestern Portland Cement 2
Southwestern Portland Cement 1

Abandoned Terminal Redex

Several months back (July) I went to a weird site at 3670 Doniphan.


View Abandoned Terminal in a larger map

There are a few scattered buildings and a single sign that displays “Terminal” at its top.

Terminal
Terminal, that way

The few buildings at the back are the only remnants of industrial activity and they don’t match the age of the other foundation bits and pieces scattered around.  There are these weird blocks that seem to be marking some sort of station locations set next to train tracks that snake through the property.

Six
Six

The last time I was here the main “office” building had been locked up with entry accessible only through a hole in the wall. A side storage area was broken in to but not very interesting.

Open for business
Open for business

This time around the front door had been pried open and the second story graffiti was new, overlapping the older tagging.   Once inside I noticed something kind of weird, the walls had sections broken out in seemingly random spots.  I also noticed some exposed ceiling tiles and cut sections of pipe insulation on the floor and then it hit me… copper scavengers.

Plastic fantastic
Plastic fantastic!

A couple of fake plants and a desk was all that had been left behind. The drawers had been rifled through, though I wager there wasn’t anything to begin with. After walking back out I headed over to the electric station were it was obvious that nothing is going to be going on here for a while.

 Off
All Off

At about this time a white Jeep Liberty with a flatbed trailer drove up behind the building.  I continued to take pictures, waiting for some sort of acknowledgement for the driver.  Eventually I got a nervous “¿Qué Pasa?” from the driver who was holding some very large bolt cutters.  I approached him with a “Hey what’s up?” trying to explain that I was taking pictures because well you know… abandoned stuff is cool.  Confused, he clearly had no idea what I was taking about and asked if I understood Spanish. I went with “No” to make things nice and simple and continued take pictures but not of him fearing I would spook him further. There wasn’t much was left around to look at except for this nice canister:

RUST!
RUST!

I headed out leaving the scavenger behind, I guess there was still some copper to be had that he wanted. Recycling is all the rage right now, so I guess he can be considered to be doing his part for the environment??? The full Flicker set can be viewed here: Abandoned Terminal Pt. 2, for comparison here’s part 1: Abandoned Terminal. My very first view of the site from next door with my Holga can be viewed here: 2008 Graffiti