It was a little over a year ago when I first photographed this abandoned apartment and dormitory complex. A completely chance find, it was once home to cement company employees relocated to the area — the apartment building to presumably house families, and the dormitory rooms for unattached workers or those who opted to move out there alone.
Returning again after 12 months or so did not disappoint in the slightest, although despite being empty since the early 1980s, one or two things had moved since that first visit, and some parts were roped off, with several new-ish signs suggesting passersby don’t do what we did and enter the buildings. By far the biggest changes, however, were positive ones. The light was much softer this time, and being out in the mountains, a few trees were already in full autumnal mode — the beauty of which made for a striking contrast to the decidedly less conventional appeal of decay and long-term abandonment.
Going back also proved interesting beyond the simple pleasure of photographing a genuinely interesting set of structures. It offered the chance to see things I’d missed the first time, as well as try some different shots and angles. The more manageable light aided those experiments, and the aforementioned seasonal hues made for a few truly unique visual gifts. All of which is more than enough in regards explanation, so here is what 40 years of Mother Nature and abandonment do to former homes and living spaces.
Those fall color window shots are awesome. The first one looks like it could be a giant tv!
They really were special. Not something I’d thought about, but walking in and seeing that was incredible.
Those views! Makes you think it could have been a resort rather than a company dorm. The remnants of shops suggesting something more. Of both solitude and community. Amazing!
That’s very true. Lovely location, so it must have felt like that back in the day when everything was new and modern. A definite sense of community too. Would love to see photos of it when lived in.
I like these so much. I keep thinking of how it looked when people lived there.
Cheers. Yes, me too. Must have been quite the place. Probably quite idyllic in the warmer months. Perhaps not so much in winter…
Wow. Quite stunning.
That’s a very effective framing in the first photograph.
I’m working on a similar CGI scene – old and decaying apartment blocks – and shooting through a broken window is an idea I might steal 🙂
The children calendar looks to be a Jan/Feb 1979 page. I wonder how long the abandonment took.
The poster and knitting pattern paper must be made of some pretty unpalatable stuff to have lasted so long. Though I suppose, being in woodland, they are surrounded by much more appealing cellulose materials.
Nice to see the Bobson poster again – which seeded the discovery of these rather nice poster/advert designs…
Thanks. Have my mate to thank for that broken window shot, so by all means steal away.
Yeah, I can’t find any exact dates. Read online it was the early 80s. One suggesting it was as late as ’84, but that 1980 calendar was the latest one I saw. Perhaps as the plant wound down the workers left in stages rather than all at once. Whatever the case though, it’s always interesting to speculate about such things.
Oh, cheers for the link. What a wonderful poster. Very taken with that.
Well done. But for me the contrast between the beauty of the fall colors and the desolation of the decaying rooms was distressing.
I can easily understand that. I know from experience that such places and scenes are definitely not for everyone.
Martin B says
The Lyons Maid ice cream fridge seems oddly out of place to me, maybe a bit unsettling even, a brand image I have long associated with bright summer holidays in the UK and Europe as a child suddenly popping out of a picture of a grey, derelict building on the other side of the world in late autumn, definitely kept my attention for a while.
I know exactly what you mean. There’s a real disconnect there. Absolutely not what you expect to find in such a place. Even in central Tokyo it would have been a surprise, but out in the mountains…