The Most Beautiful Abandoned Spaces

I’ve always been fascinated with abandoned spaces since the first time I saw the run down family home on my grandmother’s street in Adairsville, Georgia. What makes these places become abandoned? Who forgot about them? What did they leave behind? I’m in love with the stories and have even created an Abandoned Spaces Pinterest board, which served as the inspiration for this post.

Places I’ve Visited

School, Ridgeway, South Carolina

abandoned spaces

Abandoned School in Ridgeway, SC

We always drove past this abandoned school on our way to summer camp in Ridgeway, South Carolina. For years there were just the two buildings but on my most recent visit, back in the summer of 2009, the doorway and auditorium were all that were left. The auditorium’s roof has caved in and a warning sign is posted on the doors. I wish I had more information on what happened to this school, so if you have any details, please let me know!

Old Sheldon Church Ruins, Beaufort, South Carolina

abandoned spaces

Old Sheldon Church Ruins

Outside of Beaufort lies the Old Sheldon Church Ruins, one of my favorite hidden Lowcountry spots. Built in 1757, the church was burnt in the Revolutionary War but soon rebuilt. Then Sherman and his troops burned it down again. At the end of the Civil War, residents salvaged materials from the church to rebuild their homes. It still stands as a reminder of the region’s past.

Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana

abandoned spaces

Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans

There are plenty of abandoned spaces in New Orleans, especially since Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc back in 2005. The municipal auditorium once hosted musicians like Elvis and The Beatles, as well as Mardi Gras functions and community events. You can see the rotting wood and chairs through the windows in Armstrong Park. Unfortunately the area has become known more for high crime than for the arts.

Tempelhof Airport, Berlin, Germany

abandoned spaces

Tempelhof Airport

I read about this former Berlin airport on other blogs before I planned my trip to Germany. Unfortunately I didn’t get to tour the Tempelhof Airport since I wasn’t there at the right times, but even wandering around it was fascinating. It went out of use in 2008 after other airports were built nearby.

Places I Want to Visit

Ghost Town, Bodie, California

Source: google.co.jp via Nancy on Pinterest

Bodie is one of the best preserved ghost towns in the United States. Gold was discovered here in 1861 but was completely abandoned by the 1940s. Like many of the mining boom towns, when the gold left, so did the people. It still has over 100 wooden structures still standing and is a major tourist attraction in California.

Heritage USA Theme Park, Fort Mill, South Carolina

Source: ilxor.com via Caroline on Pinterest

During my many drives between Charleston and Atlanta as well as Charleston and Boone, I always heard about the ruins of the Heritage USA Theme Park that was the crown of Jim Bakker’s Praise the Lord ministries. It closed in 1989 when the entire empire came crashing down in scandal. I’ve read about people going to walk around there, but I have no idea if it’s legal.

Detroit

 

As one of the former industrial capitals, Detroit has seen better days to say the least. The Denver Post’s PLog shared some amazing photos from abandoned buildings all over the city. It’s hard to believe that there are so many because it’s as if everyone vacated these buildings in a hurry, leaving behind chairs, books and other items.The Michigan Theater is now a parking lot. Everything wasn’t abandoned at one time, but over the last fifty years.

Chernobyl, Pripyat, Ukraine

Source: 500px.com via Miranda on Pinterest

It may sound creepy to visit Chernobyl, where thousands died in the chemical meltdown and its after effects, but it’s something I’m interested in. The town of Pripyat was abandoned in a single day in 1986. Tours run on days when radiation is not too high, as my friend Katie Going Global discovered on her trip there.

Grande Hotel, Beira, Mozambique

 

In the middle of working on this post, I was watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations about Mozambique. What was once a luxurious resort for Rhodesians, the hotel closed down in 1963 and has become a squatter’s colony since the civil war. An estimated 2,700 people live there.

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I’ve heard that former prison Eastern State Penitentiary is one of the most haunted places in the world. It opened in 1829 as a new style of prison where inmates were held in solitary confinement, no matter the severity or lack thereof of their crimes. Al Capone was one of the prison’s most famous residents. It was completely abandoned in 1971 and tours of the facility began in 1994. It’s even more eerie than Alcatraz in that everything was left as it was.

Rozelle Tram Station, Sydney, Australia

 

I never knew about the Rozelle Tram Depot, despite living in Sydney for over six months. The city used to have trams like the ones in Melbourne but changed to light rail, trains and buses in 1958 after going out of use. The depot housed the oldest trams but they have all been vandalized.

Further Reading

About Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is the founder of Caroline in the City. She's a freelance writer based in Atlanta, Georgia but also considers Charleston and Sydney home. Her past writing credits include work for AFAR.com, National Geographic Travel and she is a contributor to Her Packing List.

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4 Responses to The Most Beautiful Abandoned Spaces

  1. memographer February 18, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    I have not heard about Rozelle Tram Station. It’s interesting that they still keep junk trains since 1958. Would love to go there! Thanks for sharing.

    Love abandoned spaces too. And hate graffiti vandalism in any form. Can’t imagine how the cities will look 20-30 years from now… probably, 50-75% covered by graffiti :(
    memographer recently posted..Polaroid: A Miracle Of Modern Science Is Back!My Profile

  2. Deise de Oliveira February 18, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    That’s a really creative post. Loved it!
    Deise de Oliveira recently posted..Onde ficar em Cartagena: Hotel Capilla del MarMy Profile

  3. Amresh Kumar February 19, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    really beautiful and descriptive post :)
    Amresh Kumar recently posted..Elephant-Festival-Jaipur-IndiaMy Profile

  4. Alouise February 19, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    I find abandoned buildings fascinating too. The storyteller in me wants to know more about what they were like before. The photo of the church ruins in South Carolina is great.
    Alouise recently posted..Visiting The Backstreet Cultural Museum in New OrleansMy Profile

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