Tag Archives: american

Chasing the American Dream

An excerpt about my sustained and so far unsuccessful job search on the American Urbex website.

When I am photographing an urbex location I see remnants of the American Dream. I see it in the ingenuity of the massive steel machines left behind in factories. I see it in the peeling paint on an abandoned home. I see it in the fading logo of an American made pickup trapped in a collapsed garage. When reconciling the past with the present I can’t help but wonder when America will wake up from the dream. One thing I try to accomplish with my photography is to show comfortable Americans that, yes, this nightmare is the part of the American Dream that is conveniently omitted.

If you have any job leads, I’d like to know.

The Trip To Gary

(This entry is a cross-post from my American Urbex blog.)

The urbex trip to Gary, Indiana over the past weekend was funded entirely by American Urbex contributors. Although the heat was at times stifling, it was very refreshing to be surrounded by two more talented photographers. Starting early on Saturday we hit up as many well known urbex locations as possible. On Sunday two of us contorted our bodies to make it into an otherwise inaccessible location and spent the next six and half hours there.

The total expenditures for the trip are as follows. Some items are approximated until all locations report their debit transactions.

  • Hotel: $156 for two nights at Quality Inn in Hammond, IN
  • Food: $30 for Subway, KFC, other food items
  • Gas: $26 full tank from Whitewater, WI to Gary, IN
  • Tolls: $16 for the upkeep of Illinois and Indiana’s highways
  • Gloves: $5 for protection
  • SD Reader: $2 to transfer photos

Some of the total cost was offset by Brett, who has a nice dinner coming his way some day in the future. Nick also deserves credit for pitching in for gas on the return trip and other miscellaneous costs. What remains of the funds contributed will go towards fulfilling contributor incentives. Extra funds will go towards future urbex adventures.

The trip was a smashing success. Thanks and keep an eye out formore Gary urbex updates than you can wave a stick at over the next few weeks.

American Urbex

Solvay Coke & Gas

Over the past few years I have developed a fascination with photographing abandoned buildings. I have also had a strong desire to unravel the secrets pasts of these locations and have been successful to varying degrees.

I met with my professor Dr. Zarinnia at Culver’s one day for lunch a few weeks ago to discuss what I could do for my LibMedia Virtual Libraries final project. We spoke for an hour and a half about a wide variety of topics; our family backgrounds, travels abroad, personal interests, technology, and politics. Over the course of our conversation my fascination with photographing decay became apparent. I explained how my it all began and has progressed to something beyond just documentation. I want to talk to people, get their stories, collect factual information and connect the past with the present. The big question she posed to me was “How do you go about doing that?”

The project I came up with is American Urbex. It is a blog that chronicles my photography, mashes it up with geolocation maps, and includes access to resources that I use to research locations. It is by no means an extensive catalogue and there is much work to do. I plan on adding to it whenever the urge arises. At best it is a proof of concept, but one that I can certainly build upon.

So please check out American Urbex and bookmark it. Good things are on the horizon.

Armour Meat Processing Plant

Just to the north of East St. Louis in National City is a very large abandoned meat processing plant. Armour and Company are perhaps best known for developing Dial soap, but they were primarily a slaughterhouse company. This meat processing plant was built in 1928 and ceased operations in 1959.

The Armour and Dial brands continue to exist, though these properties are now held by new owners.

Research Links:

Ecology of Absence – Hog Capital of the Nation

Arial view of the Armour Meat Packing Plant

Historical timeline of Armour and Company