Newark State School

Rounding out the weekend of exploring, we visited the Newark State School, an abandoned collection of buildings which served people with disabilities.  Some of the buildings on the campus have been re-purposed and are being used but many remain abandoned and continue to decay.

The campus is quite large, and some of the buildings are equally enormous.  We only visited one of the buildings on the campus and there is so much still left in it that it really tells you a bit about the history of the place.  On the second floor there are even names of the people who once lived in the rooms still above the doors.  Because this "State School" was for the mentally handicapped there were some interesting contraptions in the building, such as a chair bolted to a scale for weighing patients; I have heard that straight jackets and other restraints can be found but I didn't see them.

The Newark State School has had many names since it was originally founded in the mid-to-late 1800s; originally the state school only served women however men were eventually admitted as well.  The school did more than house and care for the mentally handicapped, it also taught them skills; houses near the campus were used as a sort of group home for patients who had mastered a particular occupation and either worked at the School or other nearby jobs.  To read more about the Newark State School I'd suggest following these links:

Museum of disABILITY

The Newark State School

Being the first institution that I've explored, it was a pretty exciting day.  There is so much so see there and I'm sure so much interesting history buried in the rooms full of decaying relics.  While the building isn't terribly interesting architecturally, it still has an eerie presence and fantastic light inside thanks to all the windows.  I'm very hopeful to return and document more of the building and hopefully look a little deeper in to the contents of some of the rooms.

Other buildings on the campus also look incredibly promising; there is another much larger building with a more interesting looking layout and exterior that I'm sure would be well worth exploring.  I'm unsure of what the purpose of the building we entered was but it seems like it was used for both housing and recreation.

Exploring Sykes Datatronics

Sykes Datatronics was a successful computer manufacturer in the 1980's but ultimately fell due to mismanagement and competition with companies like IBM who muscled them out of the personal computer business. This resulted in them abandoning their location in Rochester, NY in 1990. Since then the building has been unoccupied and has suffered damage from a number of fires over the years. There is no future for this building beyond being an interesting location to explore and probable demolition eventually, which is unfortunate because it has a certain character that you only find in buildings built around the turn of the last century.

As abandoned locations go it's an easy one to explore. The flooring is solid, the wooden surface may be warped and wavy (very cool!) but the wood simply sits on top of a solid concrete subfloor. Even while everything else in the building is succumbing to the elements, scrappers and fire the building has still remained structurally sound compared to many abandonments. There is plenty of light throughout the majority of the building. From the first floor to the top floor the natural light coming in through the windows keeps the building from having many dark corners so a flashlight is hardly even needed unless you venture in to the basement.

For the most part I didn't get my head in the game, photographically speaking, but I did walk out with a few photos I like, some taken towards the end of the trip when I finally set up my tripod and pulled the 1D Mark II out with a wider lens. Otherwise I just wandered with the Rebel & 30mm taking some shots to record the sights in the building. You can see the photos from the trip below.

Nate & Lindsey found a set of photographic prints which they shared with Andrew and myself. Normally I don't take anything out of a location but we all wanted to bring these back to scan and preserve them. The images below are all the scans of these prints. I don't know anything about them and while some are self explanatory there's no information to go with the others.

This was a lot of writing being as tired as I am from this long day, so hopefully the spelling & grammatical errors are not too grievous!

Exploring Flintkote in Lockport NY

On August 2nd I joined a number of Rochester & Canadian explorers on a trip out to Lockport, NY to check out the abandoned Flintkote facility. This structure is not far from the center of Lockport and natural encroachment by new tree growth shows that this abandonment is roughly three decades old. Flintkote made a variety of products from asphalt shingles and road materials to various asbestos materials. Ultimately asbestos related claims, which this location produced, are what brought Flintkote down. Everything being damp didn't hurt but proper safety gear isn't a bad idea.

Unfortunately I didn't shoot terribly much at Flintkote. I wish I had brought more appropriate equipment to capture some of the rooms and features of the abandoned buildings but I decided to travel light instead. This is definitely a location I will revisit and I already know what equipment I will want to bring with me to capture it better if I return.

Note: this post lost a few comments in the migration.