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Mount Moriah Cemetery

Posted on 2016.07.23 at 16:19
How Do I Feel?: excitedexcited
Hello all, it's been some time since my last post. but in that time. In that time Christina and I (for those unaware - Christina is my girlfriend/partner of ten years, with whom i run the website www.AntiquityEchoes.com). have released a book titled "Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital", a book in Arcadia's "Images of America" series. It came out on July 11th, and we're very proud to say that the book sold out twice on Amazon in it's first week available, and has made several best-seller lists. If you're interested seeing more about it, here's the Amazon listing - Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital

We've also poured ourselves heavily into this upcoming piece, which actually is aproject that we have been fighting witrh for two years, as the weather and seasons had to be perfect, and 2015 was a complete wash for us as we were writing two books simotaniously (both the Greystone book mentioned above, and a glossy hardcover coffeetable book called "Antiquity Echoes"). Anyway, we are very excited to say that we FINALLY were ablw to get out and film this past spring. This post marks my return to traditional 35mm black and white film, as well as our first attempt at black and white video. Enjoy!

Amongst fields of cloaked tombstones, strange trees loom and thorned weeds grow.
Land once famed, now dragged below by gripping vines that flesh did sow.

Countless eyes of statues stare, and though cold stone they seem aware.
Perhaps evoking a time that there were flowers here, and quiet prayer.

Rolling hills of family plots, lost to time, flora. Forgot.
The city beyond seems know not the lessons that these lands have taught.

What see you in these lost tombs, sadness for those here consumed?
Know that all is nature's womb, and here the dead return in bloom.

Where one sees souls no more remembered, these lost things the earth does treasure.
And through their quiet, slow surrender, return to life in newborn splendor.

All is not gone, but rather found throughout these hills of briared ground.
The graves below grass aren't drowned. That is the peace which here is found.

Leaves conceal but too embrace the dead across this desolate space.
The past remains in fractured grace beyond the Mount Moriah gates.

Through the gates...Collapse )


Withering Confinements

Posted on 2016.04.11 at 01:03
How Do I Feel?: excitedexcited

Hello all. It has been ages since I've been able to post something new here, so I am not even sure how many of the active members here even remember me. For those who remain from the old days - I'm back! For those of you who I have yet to meet - Hello, my name is Rusty. I hope we can all be good friends, like in an early 1980's family sitcom, but with less a less awful color palet.

Long story short - Over the passed year updates on www.AntiquityEchoes.com have been few and far-between. This was the result of there being too few hours in a day for Christina and I (for those who don't know me, Christina is my partner and the person responsible for the videos which I post) . Between the fight to save the old Greystone Psychiatric Hospital, the documenting of said fight, and the writing of two books for two different publishing houses, we simply did not have the time needed to make a proper update. That said - We are firm believers of quality over quantity, and we knew that posting a new location just to have an update would not be in the spirit of Antiquity Echoes... so we waited. However, during that span of time we did manage to get out and film regularly, and have amassed an amazing collection of content from our travels, the fruits of which will be rolling out in regular updates throughout the coming year. Kicking this off is "Withering Confinements", which follows below...

Withering Confinements

A leviathan of crimson brick stands at a crossroads in an urban Pennsylvanian neighborhood. It's an eerie sight, and one that the city surrounding it seems wholly oblivious to as they go about their daily business, never paying a sideways glance. This ignored and neglected form was at one time the county prison, but has been left without purpose since the late 1970's. Though several parties have outlined plans to rehabilitate the 100 year old structure, none have come to fruition.

Long ago the jail that stood here was actually quite beautiful, though it bares little relation to the building which greets you today. The first penitentiary on this land was built in the 1850's. At only two stories in height, it was considerably smaller than today's building, but it was also much more striking, having been modeled to look the part of a castle. Though beautifully designed, the prisoner populace eventually outgrew its walls, and forced the facility to remodel with duller form-follows-function mindset. In 1907 the castle walls fell, and in its place was built an infinitely-less impressive, but far more useful prison. The new jail shared the same foundation as the old one, but aside from some structural supports few of the interior elements remained. Almost every wall, ceiling, and floor was replaced to make way for a prisoner population of over 100.

Not all of the original castle-jail was lost though. Attached to the rear of the modernized building were the remnants of the old castle, gutted, and made into a recreational center for the inmates. Sadly we were unable to document this strange sounding sight, as it was razed long ago. Today a field of wild grass grows in a square patch of land directly behind the jail where it once stood. It is in this field that our journey begins.

We documented this location over a couple visits, at two dramatically different times of the year. Our initial expedition was paid on a warm and sunny summer's afternoon, a trip which focused primarily on photography. Our second visit occurred many months later on a grey and rainy winter day, one that slowly turned to freezing rain before our time was through. Seeing the old jail in such varied weather provided much insight into how nature slowly subdues an old building such as this.

In the summer months the lawns and fields surrounding the jail do their best to cover the facade in all manner of plant-life. It is the ivy which excels here above all else. Taking advantage of the solid footing provided by the weathered brick, thick vines cover several stories along the rear of the building in large green patches. As we approached the building we began to hear a strange sound coming from within. It was repetitive, occurring every couple seconds, and sounded as if two large pieces of metal were being hit against each other. Any sounds coming from an abandoned buildings are cause for concern, and that is twice as true in a neighborhood such as this.

Our pace slowed, and we proceeded with caution. Once inside the sound was alarmingly loud, and we immediately set about finding what/who was causing it (and hoped it wasn't going to end poorly for us for doing so). Luckily our search ended quickly, and without issue. In the former kitchen a large vent remains in the wall, which once serviced a long-since removed oven. Like all such vents, this one was equipped with a one-way flap to keep wildlife and weather from coming in from outside. It just so happens that the way in which wind whips through the lower level of the old jail causes a strange pocket of air to form in the former kitchen. The pressure spikes and drops within seconds, and each time it slams the old one-way flap open and shut with considerable force. We shoved a broken mop handle in the vent and moved on.

Animal life is not uncommon here, as we walked the darkened hallways leading from the entrance, we could hear the sounds of birds and squirrels scurrying the corridors and cell blocks above our heads. The lower level of this old jail housed the offices, and on each floor above were found the prisoner's cells. Being as the lower level was the staff quarters, it was much better appointed than the simple floors above. Of particular note were the embossed tin ceilings, now rotted and hanging in a precarious fashion. In some rooms the tin had fallen completely, covering the floor and screeching loudly as you traversed it. There were still small areas where the ceilings remained entirely in place, and seeing that allowed you to imagine what the rest would have looked like back in the days of operation, or even today if it had been properly cared for.

In the winter things are far different. The jail is bitterly cold inside, and without the plant-life adorning its exterior it looks as lifeless as it feels. The lack of foliage also exposes the sizable mounds of garbage which have accumulated at the base of the building. While filming filming, a thunderstorm slowly rolled in on us, and we quickly discovered that the jail is far from resistant to the elements. Pouring rain wailed upon the flat roof of the jail, and leaks promptly became apparent in the ceiling. Before long these slow drips became steady streams, pouring their way through all five floors of the prison, eventually pooling in the basement. Stairwells became waterfalls, and floors wading pools. Curtains of water flowed downward over walls and windows, coating all in a wet undulating sheen. It was difficult to discern the outdoors from the indoors after just a few minutes.

There's no telling what lies ahead for the old penitentiary. Though it appears there is currently little interest in redeveloping the building, is also seems the city is in no great rush to be gone with it. So it sits, as it has for over thirty years now. Collectively the jail has been forgotten by the city, even as it cloaks their streets and buildings under its ever-present shadow.

Heading inside...Collapse )

Awash in Red


Posted on 2015.08.11 at 13:00
How Do I Feel?: accomplishedaccomplished
Over the past year Christina and I have been working very hard on the creation of a coffee-table book with Skyhorse Publishing. This week the fruits of those labors have finally begun to arrive back from the printer, and are being prepped for sale. Titled "Antiquity Echoes" (the same as our website), the book contains a collection of stories about abandoned locations that run the gambit from overgrown asylums to decaying malls. You will not find ghost stories within, what we provide instead is an insightful celebration of the ephemeral beauty which can only be found in places left forgotten. Furthermore, we really wanted to do something different with the opportunity Skyhorse had given us, so we went about integrating original videos into the book. At the end of most chapters you will find a QR code, when scanned with your smartphone or tablet, it will play a short cinematic film of the location which you just read about. Music for these videos was supplied by Worrytrain, an artist who we have long been fans of. The haunting soundtrack they provided was far more than we ever hoped for, and gives the entire book an air of dark mystery. We are beyond proud of what the end result is, and we hope everyone enjoys what we were able to create. The book will be on sale in book stores nationally beginning September 15th, however pre-orders are currently available on Amazon.

You can click the image to visit the page on Amazon.

Awash in Red

Glad to see this in my lifetime.

Posted on 2015.06.28 at 23:27
How Do I Feel?: accomplishedaccomplished

Awash in Red
Posted on 2015.06.15 at 00:08
How Do I Feel?: amusedamused
*Double-posted in the AbandonedPlaces community*

Painted upon the cold tile walls of a subterranean morgue, located in the dark recesses which form the under-structure of an abandoned asylum, can be found a Latin proverb just barely legible on the decaying wall adjacent to the autopsy table. “Let conversation cease. Let laughter flee. This is the place where death delights to help the living.“ Across the property a lavender curtain billows as wind enters in over jagged edges of shattered glass which once comprised a large bay window. Overlooking a landing no one uses. Above an empty lobby. Abutted by hallways echoing the sounds of nothing.

It's mostly all gone now, plowed under by a crew of workers as part of a plan to clean up the immediate area surrounding the still-functioning sections of the Pilgrim Hospital Center. When such places are done away with, especially when care is not properly taken, we often run a real risk of losing our history along with the debris. Like it was with the Hotel Sterling - This place stood but for a relatively brief moment in a state of abandonment, before the plows eventually came to remove it from existence. Unfortunately it is in these short windows of disuse that we find history often becomes most tangible, evoking emotions and interest in those who gaze upon its forgotten form.

This was what remained of the vacated portions of Pilgrim State Hospital in Long Island, NY. What was at one time the largest psychiatric hospital on the globe, with a peak patient population of almost 14,000, came to be little more than a broken collection of buildings dotting the grounds of what is still a partially-operational facility. Undone by modern medicine, and overrun by nature, these massive brick corpses serve as eerie reminders to medicine's darker times. Like so many of the patients who traversed their now empty corridors, these buildings were given numbers to serve as their names. Of all the numbers on these grounds, none holds a history so dark, or so tragic, as the looming edifice named “23”. It was here, on the uppermost floor, in an operating room overlooking the whole of the campus, that prefrontal lobotomies were preformed. Altering the lives of over 1,500 patients from the 1940's through the 1950's.

The operating room had been stripped by scrappers long ago, and weathered by the many years it has sat without use. Its barren and blackened walls enclosed an operating room floor which had come to be flooded with rainwater. Fogged windows cast a mirror image across the wet surface of the floor, the reflection periodically disturbed by small ripples as water dripped off ceiling beams. It's a depressing place, and through the unrelenting forces of time it has finally come to reflect so physically.

The construction of Pilgrim began in 1929, due primarily to severe overcrowding in city asylums. It's design was one of a “farm colony”, an institution based around the ideals of living and working in the open space of what was then rural Long Island. As the title implies; patients were to farm crops and work the land as part of their treatment. Opening October 1, 1931 on some 1,000 acres, Pilgrim housed it's own power plant, post office, police station, fire department, cemetery, water source, and a neighborhood of housing for the doctors and administrative personnel. Most all of which were connected under the sprawl via an intricate system of tunnels and passageways.

As the population grew at Pilgrim, the campus itself began to spread out. In the end the massive property was reaching into four separate townships of Suffolk county; Babylon, Huntington, Islip, and Smithtown. WWII saw several buildings taken for use by the War Department and utilized to aid traumatized soldiers. After the war the population surged at Pilgrim State Hospital, at its highest point the campus saw use by almost 18,000 people; 13,875 of them patients, and approximately 4,000 employees. This massive populous heralded the end of the farm-colony concept, as it withered away in lieu of the more modern medical practices which were gaining traction nationwide, such as electroshock treatments and the previously mentioned prefrontal lobotomies.

Even during the most affluent years for the use of lobotomies, the practice was always seen as controversial. In some documented cases, typically with patients who were severely violent or erratic, the operation had a “calming effect”, making the post-operation patient “quieter”. However in countless other situations it removed the very essence of the individual who received treatment, in effect dehumanizing them. Of course, when we look back with generations of medical advancement between then and now, we see this practice as primitive in form and barbaric in concept. To be in the shoes of a doctor in that time though, would surely reveal a completely different perspective on the matter. You would see thousands of people incapable of keeping from harming themselves and others. You would look to medicine for the answers, only to be greeted with a complete lack of understanding as to the cause and cure for their condition. You hear that a simple operation, hailing from Europe, has the ability to calm those who are unreachable by any other means. The answer would seem clear to you, a miracle treatment.

Time marches on. As the practice becomes mainstream in the United States, and is instated in hospitals nationwide, it becomes more and more typical to use as a crutch than as a cure. Situations obviously vary dramatically from case to case, but somewhere along the line doctors surely must have seen all the moral issues contained in such a method of treatment. Perhaps these doctors were doing the best they could given the tools at hand, but I have to think that surely they knew, if perhaps only one some base level, that what they were doing was wrong.

As mentioned - Pilgrim State Hospital still stands today, but it now goes by the title of Pilgrim Psychiatric Center. Though it has a much different anatomy than it once had. It operates out of about a third of the campus, The farm-colony was sold, renovated, and in 1974 became the Suffolk County Community College's Western Campus. A large portion of the unused acreage was also secured by a developer, who has slowly been leveling buildings. There are still numerous abandoned edifices which endure on the old property, but for how long is anyone’s guess.

Building 23 (now razed) is where most all of the lobotomy procedures took place.

Let laughter flee...Collapse )

Awash in Red

Greystone's Last Stand - 2015 Update

Posted on 2015.03.20 at 14:57
How Do I Feel?: anxiousanxious
We just went live with an update for our film Greystone's Last Stand.
If you can, please share this around. We are really trying to generate public awareness on the matter...

Awash in Red
Posted on 2015.01.12 at 00:04
How Do I Feel?: amusedamused
Christina and I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed for the site "No Such Thing As Was". It was a lovely exchange,
and proved to be a bit more intimate than initially anticipated,in a good way though.
The end result delves pretty deep into our roots in documenting abandoned locations, with a heavy emphasis on "why?"

Click the image to go read the piece...


Awash in Red


Posted on 2015.01.08 at 14:09
How Do I Feel?: amusedamused
Thanks internet, for the 2000 YouTube subscribers!

Awash in Red

The Return of Antiquity Echoes

Posted on 2014.12.15 at 01:33
How Do I Feel?: excitedexcited
*Double-posted in the AbandonedPlaces community*
I do hope everyone has kept well here on LJ. It's been ages, so hopefully there's at least a few left that remember me here.
Things have been very quiet over at our website (www.AntiquityEchoes.com) for a good while now. There's only two of us, myself and Christina, and we've just been caught up in projects that we had no time to update our site, or YouTube channel, for many months now. Well... the hiatus officially ends NOW. This is our latest update, and the first of many things that will be coming from Antiquity Echoes in the future. Officially, we are considering this a re-launch. Our updates will continue to broaden in scope as time progresses, and I'm pretty excited with where things are headed, and to share our updates as they are released.

A Victorian era train station sits idly by, as the very city it helped to create ignores and neglects it into oblivion. Where once the rails of this enterprising station ran, can now be found a small strip mall and a McDonalds drive-through. The station itself lies just feet from a busy throughway, yet hardly a glace is given toward it today. The era of it's usefulness has long past, and the only visitors that pay this once lively station any mind are the family of feral cats that now call it home.

Constructed in in 1866, the station's ornate design directly reflected the then-flourishing economy of the large Pennsylvanian city in which it resides. Initially used for the transport of coal, by the early 1900's the Central Railroad of New Jersey took lease of the tracks and transformed the station into a thing of grace. Travel by train had become popular, and the station was redesigned to appeal to more upscale clientele. Hand-carved wooden trim and facades adorned many of the walls, and several fireplaces were constructed to give the interior an air of elegance. Perhaps most notable addition, however, was the installation of a grand curved wooden staircase which spiraled down through the center of the building.

The Great Depression struck the Central Railroad of New Jersey with a crippling blow. The station managed to limp on for years thereafter, but what remained was but a shadow of the former grandeur. By the time Central Railroad of New Jersey was able to get back on their feet, modern automobiles had replaced most all the need for travel by rail. Passenger travel within the city ceased in 1963, and the line shut down for good in 1972. That same year plans began being put together to level the old station, much to the dismay of a local resident by the name of Marvin Roth, who had grown up by the old station.

Marvin Roth purchased the ailing building and property in the late 1970's. He went on to invest millions of dollars in the old station and transformed it into a high class nightclub, restaurant, and hotel. He brought in several rail-cars and had them placed adjacent to the station. Inside these cars he had constructed a hotel setting called the Choo-Choo Inn. The operations at the old station were successful well into the 1980's, at which point the facility was purchased and turned into the Playboy Steakhouse. Unfortunately, the steakhouse proved a failure. Throughout the 1980's and 90's several different businesses tried their hands at the old station, and each one proved short lived. The last business to call the station home was a restaurant and pub by the name of Bananna Joe's. It closed after a short run, in 2005. The name that still reads upon the dust-covered mirrors of the station lobby.

Within the station, behind a veil of filth and animal musk, can still be found the beautiful designs and craftsmanship of years past. Nature has been running it's course through the seasons, and what was once a building of renowned elegance, is now weathering away more and more with each passing year. Ornate woodwork has begun to rot, the floors bulge and sag, and every strong gust of wind rattles the lose facade in a cacophony of noise. However, standing tall in the middle of all this can be found a beautiful curved staircase. It's form still strong, and it's beauty still clear. Almost as if the old railway station is trying to remind you that it was once, not very long ago, a thing of great beauty. Upstairs, the state of decay is similar - The damask wallpaper which runs the corridors has faded to a pale yellow, stains and creeping black mildew spread out as the roof above becomes less and less able to keep the weather at bay. A cool wind blows in through one of the shattered windows.

Just outside the darkened lobby, a small plaque is mounted upon the red brick wall. Though easily overlooked, it is perhaps the most poignant artifact to be found within this rundown station. In plan block letters it proudly and ironically proclaims - “Marvin Roth, a local entrepreneur rehabilitated this edifice so that posterity may forever enjoy its presence.”

Ghost Rails...Collapse )

Awash in Red

Friendly Feral

Posted on 2014.09.23 at 21:27
How Do I Feel?: pleasedpleased
We made anew friend today while out filming an abandoned train station. He was very friendly, but not into being pet... he also had one and a half eyes.
Grabbed this shot with my phone.

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