Urban ruins - unexpected find
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  1. #1
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    Urban ruins - unexpected find

    Decided to take a detour on the way home this afternoon and stopped to check out the ruined Wyndcliffe Mansion outside of Rhinebeck NY.

    Pretty awesome. I just wish I had something more than my iPhone to take photos with. Also wish it wasn't on a private road; I don't really want a trespassing ticket.

    More photos like this one on the blog link.
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  2. #2
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    too cool. thanks for posting this.
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  4. #4
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    great architecture. I always hate to see something like that wasting away.

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  6. #6
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    I can't believe that people let homes like that sit and fall in on themselves.
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  7. #7
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    +1. That kind of destruction makes me crushingly sad.

    I just read Bill Bryson's At Home, and I was in disbelief to read about the amount of architecture that was simply demolished or left to fail. I think the Vanderbilts had a couple of dozen mansions, that got bulldozed?

    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius
    I can't believe that people let homes like that sit and fall in on themselves.

  8. #8
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    My old high school is at risk of being torn down. Can you imagine tearing this down?
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  9. #9
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    That interior shot is crazy... Must have been an incredible place. But in the 50's stuff like this was more often knocked down than just abandoned. Leave it alone for a few years and a building will start coming apart quickly - here we are 50+ years later and it would take a couple of lifetimes and fortunes to bring it back. Sad.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kykr13
    That interior shot is crazy... Must have been an incredible place. But in the 50's stuff like this was more often knocked down than just abandoned. Leave it alone for a few years and a building will start coming apart quickly - here we are 50+ years later and it would take a couple of lifetimes and fortunes to bring it back. Sad.
    I'm hoping to get back there soon with a decent camera (might take the wife's cannon on a bike ride) and try to take some better photos of it. Who knows, maybe I'll find the courage to slide into the (open) basement and look around a bit.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks for the pics. It is sad to see such a beautiful building fall into disrepair. I hope they repair it and use the bldg for something.

  12. #12
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    do a search for ruins of detroit if you guys want to see something sad. actually, something after something after something....

    http://www.google.com/images?q=ruins...iw=986&bih=817
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  13. #13
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    do a search for ruins of detroit if you guys want to see something sad. actually, something after something after something....

    https://www.google.com/images?q=ruin...iw=986&bih=817

    here's a HABS/HAER survey of Wyndcliffe done in the late 70s. Apparently it's been a ruin for a while now.

    https://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampag...&displayType=1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69
    do a search for ruins of detroit if you guys want to see something sad. actually, something after something after something....

    https://www.google.com/images?q=ruin...iw=986&bih=817

    here's a HABS/HAER survey of Wyndcliffe done in the late 70s. Apparently it's been a ruin for a while now.

    https://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampag...&displayType=1

    There are photos somewhere from a local photographer of the interior of the mansion, but for some reason, his site is offline.

    The photo you posted, if I'm not mistaken is the parlor in the southeast wing that has completely collapsed along with the turreted dining room.

    My urban explorer buddy hasn't gotten back to me, and I'd really like to get back to this place during the week (seems there are occasionally cops called on people coming to look at the ruin.) I figure if everyone is at work...
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    How about the Potter Palmer mansion. Built 1885, demolished 1951...


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by New_World_Man
    How about the Potter Palmer mansion. Built 1885, demolished 1951...

    Kitchen sink architecture, aesthetically a dogs breakfast. No loss there, IMO.
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  17. #17
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    doing some poking around, it looks like someone bought the property in 2004, fenced it off, boarded up the windows and brought in a dumpster. The local preservationists had high hopes but it looks like from your photos that nothing of substance has happened since then. If someone were actively interested in preserving the building there most certainly would have been some stabilization work done. There also probably would have been something avaiable in the way of preservation grants to help out with the restoration. Next time I talk to the folks in NY I'll see what they know.

    I suspect the new owner is planning to either let it fall down or will soon tear it down to salvage the bricks and stone, which are probably actually quite valuable, as is the land.

    Interestingly though, the carriage house was restored iirc.


    There are a lot of old places like that in the Hudson River Valley

    http://www.hudsonvalleyruins.org/yasinsac/links1.html

    I always thought the ruins of the great Caskill Mountain resort houses from the 19th and early 20th centuries were the most sad.
    http://www.hudsonvalleyruins.org/yas.../overlook.html

    There are a few still active, I think. Mohonk Mountain House being one.

    I do this stuff for a living. Not houses, but boats. I see sad stuff every day :-(
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  18. #18
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    I don't have any pictures with me, but out here it is single wide trailers that I end up exploring all over the desert.

    Don't laugh. Really.

    They can be just as sad. People out here trying to scrape by in landscapes that you'd think were impossible. I always find kids' toys, clothes, etc and women's clothes, makeup, discarded personal items. I often wonder what happened to the people and their kids. Strange finding so many discarded clothes, furniture, etc. that someone would normally bring with them if they moved.

    Maybe the desert swallowed them up?
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69
    doing some poking around, it looks like someone bought the property in 2004, fenced it off, boarded up the windows and brought in a dumpster. The local preservationists had high hopes but it looks like from your photos that nothing of substance has happened since then. If someone were actively interested in preserving the building there most certainly would have been some stabilization work done. There also probably would have been something avaiable in the way of preservation grants to help out with the restoration. Next time I talk to the folks in NY I'll see what they know.

    I suspect the new owner is planning to either let it fall down or will soon tear it down to salvage the bricks and stone, which are probably actually quite valuable, as is the land.

    Interestingly though, the carriage house was restored iirc.


    There are a lot of old places like that in the Hudson River Valley

    http://www.hudsonvalleyruins.org/yasinsac/links1.html

    I always thought the ruins of the great Caskill Mountain resort houses from the 19th and early 20th centuries were the most sad.
    http://www.hudsonvalleyruins.org/yas.../overlook.html

    There are a few still active, I think. Mohonk Mountain House being one.

    I do this stuff for a living. Not houses, but boats. I see sad stuff every day :-(
    Awesome shots. I know about the Catskill Mountain House, just haven't gotten up there yet.

    If you do find anything about the property, I'd be curious if there is any info on the owners, maybe to contact them to see if I can get some photos of the property (without imposing on a private road.)

    Thanks for any of the info you've found. Sad to see all these things just fall down.
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  20. #20
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    You guys might be into this site.

    Had forgotten about the Palmer mansion, but the 50's and 60's were tough on anything old. Our old city hall was said to be falling down - 2' thick stone walls and all. The dome was taken off in one piece. 1965...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by robdamanii
    Awesome shots. I know about the Catskill Mountain House, just haven't gotten up there yet.

    If you do find anything about the property, I'd be curious if there is any info on the owners, maybe to contact them to see if I can get some photos of the property (without imposing on a private road.)

    Thanks for any of the info you've found. Sad to see all these things just fall down.
    My contact in NY doesn't know anything. I might try the county historical society, they would know for sure. I know the property is NRHP eligible, hence the HABS/HAER documentation, but I don't know if it was ever listed. Eligible properties can be recorded like that but the application and approval for listing is a separate process.

    Catskill Mountain House is gone. I think all that's left are the remnants of a foundation. It was abandoned sometime I guess in the 40s maybe? Anyhow, the state burned it down in 1962 or thereabouts as it was a dangerous ruin at that point.

    They do get saved sometimes though, like the Essex and Sussex Hotel in Spring Lake, NJ.



    When I first saw it in 1996 someone had tried to turn it into condos and failed. Someone tried again in the late 1990s and I think they failed too. Last time I was out there was 2004ish and someone had finally succeeded and they were selling units. They did a fantastic job. I really love it when a plan comes together like that.

    The charter boat we use out of Belmar is owned and operated by an older couple, very nice people. They went to the auction when they sold off all the hotel furnishings. I guess this was in the late 80s early 90s. Apparently there was some magnificent stuff.

    I guess the hotel was close to being demolished several times.
    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kykr13
    You guys might be into this site.

    Had forgotten about the Palmer mansion, but the 50's and 60's were tough on anything old. Our old city hall was said to be falling down - 2' thick stone walls and all. The dome was taken off in one piece. 1965...
    that was cool. thanks for the link.

    I saw this one:

    https://lostamerica.com/independence/index.html

    reminds me of this little gem. It was tied up at the dock at Rio Vista, California, when we were there in 2009. It was in pretty sorry shape, and in need of serious dry dock time. The locals hated it, but the first thought the crossed my mind when I saw it was "cool!". The second thought was "how can I get on board the old girl?". As it turns out, I was in the local marina gift shop asking about another old boat we had found, and the guy heading the crew working on the old liner was standing in line behind me, and when he found out what we were up to, he offered us a personal guided tour They said no pictures, and I honored that, plus we could not go below the waterline, so the engine room was off limits (I did get a peek down a gangway though). It's a shadow of it's former Aegean and Alaskan self, but you can see it's many former personalities peeking through here and there. All the machinery labels and manuals lying around are all in German (as it's ex- Wappen von Hamburg)

    https://aurorayacht.wordpress.com/20...ore-and-after/

    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

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  23. #23
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    here's another, right near me. The Van Vleet House that dated from before the yellow fever epidemic was torn down in the 1950s to make way for the tech school (actually now it's the truancy center for Memphis Public Schools) that's there now.

    The school uses the old carriage house as its storage shed, and it's located at the ned of my old street. My old neighborhood was built on the gardens of the house in 1923 (known as Van Vleet subdivision)

    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69
    I remember that one. So, all this has me wondering - I started the thread about American Pickers being just about garbage, but why is it that I'm into derelict buildings and boats? I'd love to get into any of these to shoot and I've been in some before. I've thought about going to Detroit but not quite ready to get shot. Dunno...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kykr13
    I remember that one. So, all this has me wondering - I started the thread about American Pickers being just about garbage, but why is it that I'm into derelict buildings and boats? I'd love to get into any of these to shoot and I've been in some before. I've thought about going to Detroit but not quite ready to get shot. Dunno...
    there's something just fascinating about them. I've always loved getting in and exploring.

    I've been doing this for a long time, and I still get the same feeling as I did when I was a kid. That's the feeling that got me interested to begin with. The missiz and I went to England a few years back, and we stopped in at the Portsmouth Naval Dockyard. Went in to have a peek at the Mary Rose (flagship of Henry VIII, sunk in1545). I think I sat there with my mouth hanging open for about an hour when the missiz said she was sick of looking at that old wood and she'd meet me in the gift shop.



    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

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