I have bought the domain dcurbanexploration.com and will be putting all of my abandoned photography on that site from this point forward. (So you will no longer be seeing posts about my shoots at abandoned places here.) You will be able to access the new website from my celestejheery.com home page once the site is up and running.
On April 15, 2016, we went to Lansdowne, PA, to shoot the abandoned Lansdowne Theater. The Lansdowne Theater opened on June 1, 1927. While the theater was primarily a movie house, it did host live performances on its stage. Many people remember the famous Lansdowne Theater organ which originally accompanied silent movies and then was played nightly before shows and during special events. The organ was removed from the theater in the late 1970s. On July 3, 1987, during a showing of Beverly Hill Cops II, an electrical fire broke out in the basement of one of the building’s retail stores. The 100 patrons were safely evacuated from the theater, but significant damage had been done to the electrical system that serviced the auditorium. Raff and his partners continued to make repairs, but the project was never able to regain a financial footing.
One of my photographs was featured on the Broken Light Collective website. The Broken Light Collective is “comprised of photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time.”.
On February 3, 2016, I was given the opportunity through one of my Meetup groups to photograph the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. We were given special access to photograph the part of the Cathedral that is normally not open to the public during tours. During what they called “Seeing Deeper”, they removed the 2,000 chairs that are normally in the church. From their pamphlet:
“We draw from the medieval tradition of cathedrals where there were
no chairs, and the vast open space served different human needs and
activities. Worship took place at the high altar and the rest of the
space was used for community gatherings – merchants selling goods,
people sharing ideas and taking shelter, pilgrims seeking spiritual
strength and solace – it was sort of a medieval community center and
indoor town square. ‘Seeing Deeper’ offers an opportunity to simply be
in the empty space, to be enveloped by sacred music, to consider
important issues of our day, to pray…”
There were other groups there to photograph the space, so sometimes having someone in your shot was unavoidable. I decided to leave the people in my shots instead of removing them in Photoshop because it helps demonstrate how vast the space is. Here are my chosen shots:
In April, I got a chance to go to the infamous “Trolley Graveyard”. It’s exact location is a secret, but I can tell you that it is near Johnstown, PA. Most people get access through renowned abandoned photographer Matthew Christopher, but one of the people in my DC Urban Exploration Meetup had a connection. There are lots of abandoned subway cars, about a mile into the woods. Here are some of my favorite shots from the day:
Some shots in the town nearby:
We didn’t know what we were going to shoot when we signed up for the workshop to be held October 17, 2015. We were just told that the location was near Harrisburg, PA and that it was worth our while. It turned out to be an abandoned school. Since we had just shot an abandoned school this summer, we were a bit disappointed. The other location was more interesting. I did, however, get a few good shots:
Today we are going to PA to photograph an abandoned “mystery”/secret location. We won’t know what/exactly where it is until we get there. We saw one photo and know it’s a large location. The event is being held by a well-known abandoned photographer. He gets access to locations others don’t. I have his book and he is going to sign it for me.
I will post some photos in the next week.
On April 25, 2015, I got special access to an old abandoned blacksmith shop in Johnstown, PA. The earliest surviving building of the Cambria Iron Works, the Blacksmith Shop was erected circa 1864. The Blacksmith Shop produced a wide range of metal products throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. With the decline of the steel industry and the closing of Bethlehem Steel Corporation in 1992, the Blacksmith Shop has since been vacant.
Here are some of my favorite shots from the day: