The “Chicago Experience”

←Days 1-2

On day three, Matt and Beth were tired from St Louis, so they decided to take it easy and do their own thing. The first stop on Sunday was coincidentally one of the locations Matt was asking about earlier. One of the more popular places, this abandoned church wasn’t very big, but it still had incredible detail left inside. The architecture and ceilings were amazing, but it didn’t take much time to explore.

ceiling church entrance back side altar

About 15 minutes later, we were headed to meet Tazm and Sonja at another church. This one had awesome architecture and stained glass windows, almost a perfect amount of decay inside, but surprisingly no graffiti. It didn’t take us a long time to explore either. A few shots and we were done, heading to the next location.

back altar aisle windows

Sonja and Tazm followed us to an abandoned chewing gum factory, bypassing the first building and going to the more secure building. The massive place was filled with graffiti, equipment, and a bunch of glucose (corn syrup) puddles. The rain from the night before left plenty of regular puddles for good reflection shots. Was also interesting to walk across the glucose-covered floor, which was sticky enough to pull your shoe off, but also slippery enough to make you do the splits if you’re not careful. After a couple hours, we were ready to leave, but security forced us to find an alternate escape. It all worked out though. I wish security was always that easy to dodge…

factory conveyor pipes conveyor graffiti machinery machinery ingredients glucose peely machine bags

Hungry, we all go to grab a bite at Kimski. Awesome Korean-Polish joint. We had wings, sausage, fries, and a pizza and it was all delicious, especially the fries (so good). Charlie and I broke off alone after that and went to meet some guys painting murals. We lost about 10 pounds of sweat, then decided to go to an abandoned parade float place. When we first got there, Charlie immediately noticed a maze of hundreds of shipping containers stored on the property that weren’t there before. We joked about what could be stored inside the containers, noticed the ones that were open were empty, and made our way through the maze to the building. I was told the entry was disgusting and that I’d get black greasy shit all over me, so I was happy to see an easy and relatively clean way in. We made our way through the building and watched a little lightning on the roof before we decided to call it a day. We got out and walked about halfway to the car when I hear an alarm sound. I freak out for about 2 seconds then realize my stupid phone is giving me a severe weather warning. By the time my phone was back in my pocket, I heard the sound of tires on the gravel behind us. I knew it was no false alarm this time. Without even looking back to see who was there, I just took off running, Charlie right behind me. As soon as we took off, I could hear the car or truck floor it and haul ass after us. Like an idiot, I see the deepish water we carefully dodged on the way in and I turn and go to my left. Charlie keeps going straight towards the car, so we’re both alone. I was running as fast as I could, up and over a small hill, but on the way down the hill, my body was going faster than my legs, so I went head over heels and completely ate shit. I didn’t know it at the time, but Charlie busted his ass too, slipping in the deep muddy water. After I realized I hadn’t broken any limbs or gear, I quickly got up and ran into a building filled with water. I started to run out the other side, but I didn’t know where it would take me, so I stayed there, where I could see inside the building and also outside and up the hill. As I texted with Charlie, I heard someone running through the water in the building and I knew I was a sitting duck. What I didn’t know was that he’d turn the corner with a gun pointed at my face. I was also surprised when the dude didn’t speak any English. I didn’t know if I’d been busted by security or if we were snooping around on the wrong property where something shady is going on. Hell, I could’ve been kidnapped and executed or something, and no one would’ve known aside from Charlie. But after being held at gunpoint and directed back up to a clearing, I could see a truck approaching. I thought for sure I was at least being held until the cops got there, but I talked to the guy in the truck and explained what I was doing there. After threatening me and telling me how much trouble I could get into there, he finally told me to leave, which I gladly did. Definitely one of the more sketchy situations. Safe to say I’ll never be going back there again.

open hole mage city view open space float remains containers reflection graff machine stalls rooftop

We started off Monday looking for a burned-out church, but ended up at like 3 other abandoned churches before we decided to go to a Masonic Temple nearby instead. The building was way taller than it looked from outside, but there wasn’t a ton inside. It seemed like they had begun demolition, then just stopped for some reason. It had a few decent rooms and some graff, but didn’t take us long to make our way through the building.

space toilet wall of success shelves open graff

We found out shortly after that we were looking for the burned-out church a few blocks off. We adjusted our search and found it pretty quickly. This was another place that was small, but made for a few good pictures. It was pretty much as described, burned-out. Had a few pianos/organs and stained-glass windows. We were in and out in about 15 minutes.

burned organ piano back window

The last abandoned location we stopped at was the first building at the chewing gum factory. It was mostly empty and the upper floors are all very similar, but it was good to finish the place up and get a few more shots. Charlie joked about the whole gun situation before I left, “haha, you got the Chicago experience”. I already can’t wait to go back.

through graff amuse gum amuse burned stairs graff

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