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Friday, November 12, 2010

Ruin Porn

So, I'm really into ruin porn.

I'm glad to finally know that there is a name for this because I'm tired of listing, "I like abandoned stuff", as an interest on bios and applications. Ruin porn sounds so much better.

Ever since I was a little kid I've been fascinated with run-down, derelict, and vacant structures. I love history so to me each building tells a story- a moment that was captured in time yet all the players have been removed and is ever so slowly deteriorating back into the earth.

My love for "abandoned stuff" often poses a problem during family vacations because I could care less about things, oh say, like, the Grand Canyon. I'm off looking for some shack someone left behind.

In fact, during our Grand Canyon trip, I couldn't wait to get to f'ed up place known as The Salton Sea. That was my Grand Canyon.

Here are some of my favorite examples of ruin porn:


Ambassador Hotel- Los Angeles, CA

Built in the the 1920's in the Mid-Wilshire District of Los Angeles, this grand hotel with sprawling land covered in bungalows catered to the creme de la creme of Hollywood. Celebrities performed and partied at the world famous Coconut Grove. The Academy Awards and Golden Globes were also hosted there. However, The Ambassador Hotel is probably most notable for being the place where Robert Kennedy was shot and killed in 1968. During the 70's and 80's due to the area becoming riddled with crime, the hotel closed to guests by 1989. The hotel continued to be used as a filming location until its demolish in 2005 to make way for a new public school. I believe that the film, Bobby, which is actually about Robert Kennedy and The Ambassador Hotel, was the last film to shoot there. I used to live near The Ambassador Hotel and would sadly watch on as they tore down this beautiful relic of history. A news report said that the Kennedy Family encouraged the hotel to be tore down and make way for the much needed school.

Photographer Whit Wagner chronicled the last two years of The Ambassador Hotel in his book, "Late Check-Out: Images from the Ambassador Hotel's Final Two Years" Check out more of his beautiful photos here.







Salton Sea- California

The Salton Sea is a ruin porn fanatic's dream come true! I came across so many beautiful pictures of this abandoned lake located in Southeast California. Imagine a beautiful valley housing the largest lake in California surrounded by abandoned town after abandoned town! The history of the Salton Sea is a short one- The lake was spawned accidentally at that turn of the century from irrigation run-off. Not long after that it became a popular vacation getaway for Californians. By the 70's and 80's a series of events led to most of the inhabitants leaving: hurricane weather, botulism that caused mass death in fish and bird populations, and stinky algae. Now it is a ghost's playground. Many of the businesses and houses were left behind. The "beaches" are comprised of fish bones and the whole area smells like death. It's heaven!



By ME!

Beautiful picture by Ben Willmore

Source



Detroit- Michigan

And of course there is the King of all Ruin Porn- Detroit, Michigan. Below are beautiful images taken by French photographers, Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, from their book, "The Ruins of Detroit"






You can find great photos of abandoned buildings and other gems at one of my favorite websites, Web Urbanist.

Do you like ruin porn? What are your favorite abandoned places?

Labels: ,

25 Comments:

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Christopher said...

For one of my internships in college I was interning in this medium sized rust belt town north of Chicago and part of my job required that I go into and photograph all these old creaky buildings from the early 1900's so they could be advertised for redevelopment. It was realllly cool. I love old buildings, they make me swoon.

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Ian Credible said...

I blogged about the Detroit article you mentioned a few months ago. What a great piece! That alone makes me want to visit Detroit.
My friend, Mimi, says that she likes my blog, but not so much "all those posts regarding 'look at this run-down building'". I think that's pretty funny. I think we might be catering to a very particular ruin-porn audience.
In any case, good post! Keep up the good work. I'll check out Web Urbanist asap.

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger Ian Credible said...

Also, here's a link to a LiveJournal piece on Pripyat, Ukraine, which was abandoned after the Chernobyl disaster. Very cool.

 
At 9:59 AM, Blogger Ian Credible said...

http://community.livejournal.com/abandonedplaces/1651741.html

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger Artmusicdesign said...

You have to watch this video of the abandoned Six Flags in New Orleans. Abandoned theme parks are especially awesome/creepy. http://www.gadling.com/2010/11/05/abandoned-six-flags-new-orleans-video-is-creeping-us-out/

 
At 10:35 AM, Blogger Trina said...

I like that! Ruin Porn! I agree with Artmusicdesign, that Six Flags in NOLA was awesome/creepy.

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger VegKat said...

Here are a couple shots I took of the house my grandfather died in. It was built well over one hundred years ago, and was never wired for electricity, nor did it have any plumbing. It sat abandoned for close to 20 years, then he moved in in the final stage of his schizophrenic life and lived there for two years before dying in it.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger Benny said...

NYC has abandoned places, but it's different. They all pretty much have price tags on them already. Upstate NY has some pretty fascinating abandoned factories. One by the Albany waterfront has a big set of freight train tracks covered in graffiti and an abandoned stack of Rolling Stones as well.

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger Melanie's Randomness said...

There is a song by a band named Frou Frou called, "Let Go" & in it there is a lyric "Beauty in the Breakdown". That's what these are. I LOVE the pic with the mushrooms growing up through the carpet. That's so cool. I love photos of what once was. It is beautiful. =)

Melanie's Randomness

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Tara Rose Stromberg said...

Now I can put a name to my odd obsession!

Love the last photo; that is the friggin creepiest place I've seen thusfar.

I wrote about a bunch of places in NYC awhile ago:
http://unkosher.blogspot.com/2009/09/my-historical-nyc-obsessions.html

Why hasn't someone made a TV show of this yet?

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger Penny Lane said...

Wow, those pictures are great, I think you would really like the Abandoned Farm Colon in Staten ISland, NY , it is right by my house.

I am actually doing a historical feature story on it now,
The architecture was beautiful and the buildings were just amazing, but now that they are abandoned people just break in and trash it which is sad.

http://www.forgotten-ny.com/STREET%20SCENES/Seaview/seaview.html


http://www.cognitiveresponse.com/?p=100

 
At 2:34 PM, Blogger IT said...

So, if you go out into the country, like around farms 'n stuff, is that rural porn?
I've been in Detroit and what's happened is really too sad.

 
At 4:37 PM, Blogger Ludwig said...

When I was home for grad school and taking the LIRR to class, everyday we'd pass by this ruined bldg near Baldwin station. I had no idea what it was until I GoogleMap-stalked it, it's the abandoned Brooklyn Water Works, and someone took some nice photos of it. http://www.flickr.com/photos/asv/sets/72157606398849962/

 
At 7:00 PM, Blogger Ian Credible said...

Also, PeeWee Herman was on Fresh Air tonight. Hope you caught it.

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger starcakeastrology.blogspot.com said...

in a way the abandoned myspace profiles are ruin porn lol... seriously though i do love dilapidated forsaken buildings, especially theaters

 
At 10:11 AM, Blogger theTsaritsa said...

I've always been fascinated by derelict building, too. One of my favorites, the Divine Lorraine Hotel in Philly, was recently gutted and is left an empty shell. I was really sad b/c I never got to see the inside, but here are some lovely photos: http://www.google.com/images?q=divine%20lorraine%20hotel%20philadelphia&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1244&bih=778

Check it out!

 
At 5:39 PM, Blogger Hannah Miet said...

Wow.


We share this fixation. I didn't know what it was called either.

Thank you for the link to that site. You should also check out http://www.fuckyeahghosttowns.tumblr.com

 
At 8:41 PM, Blogger Tara said...

I had never heard of "ruin porn" until I read this post. It's really a fascinating topic.

 
At 1:49 AM, Blogger craighallam said...

You know, of all the blogs full of crap and random meanderings of nobodies, it's nice to come across one every now and again that's actually interesting.

Really enjoyed your photos. Thanks for sharing.

Craig

 
At 2:04 AM, Blogger NeonRaine said...

I like abandoned hospitals the best :). And I'm glad to start calling ruin porn! Saying you like ruined buildings gets old quickly.

 
At 3:26 AM, Blogger Riley Carson said...

You should see Heidelburg, Germany! It's a glorious castle that got ripped apart to make parts for several wars. It's beautiful in it's destruction.

 
At 7:55 AM, Blogger Mr. Condescending said...

omg you are going to go ballistic when you see this website I know about.

I really hope you get this message. Go here

I've spent HOURS on here.

 
At 2:44 PM, Blogger Milfytime said...

I also share a ruin porn addiction ;)

Look at pics from the Chernobyl aftermath and also Japan after Hiroshima.

 
At 3:21 PM, Blogger Milfytime said...

Also, google image search abandoned pools and abandoned suburbia.

 
At 10:43 AM, Blogger msmerlin said...

I've been fascinated with abandoned things for probably 40 years, but like others have said, people just sort of think you're mental when you want to sneak inside or around ruined things and photo them. I discovered the term "ruin porn" just now, and I like that that gives it a name, makes it not so odd. It's like having some strange disorder and then finding you're not demented, that there are others with the same tics.

I went to the house I lived in as a very small child (about two-three years old) several years ago, which is now buried in brush and trees, still standing but barely. I could see the wallpaper I remembered as a child a few places on the walls, between the gang graffiti and the gaping holes that made up most of the wall covering.

The weirdest thing was stepping over something that looked like a large rotting pillow in the ruins of the living room and realizing, as I was above it, that it was the decaying corpse of a large dog. Now that was WEIRD, being as I freakishly adore dogs (not in any perverse way, mind you).

Anyway, I'm glad to find people online that feel this same way, 'cuz no one in my f2f life does... Thanks!

 

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