• Tour of Atlanta

    Back when there weren’t many people to explore with, I met up with a couple of people who hadn’t done much exploring to show them a few places in Atlanta. Manda, Rob, and I had never met, so that was a little weird, but before you knew it, we were running around from place to place like old friends. Since we were in the area, we made our first stop at an old elementary school. I didn’t even take my camera out of my bag, but if you want to see some pics from there (and other places that day), check out Rob’s set. Those were the good ol’ days, with “the sink of dramatic lighting” and the giant asbestos-covered bear that would appear in different spots around the school. It’s changed a lot and most likely will be demolished sooner than later. Next spot we hit was the old Atlanta prison. That’s another place that’s changed quite a bit over the years. You would almost expect to be robbed or killed there back then. Now, you’re almost certain to just run into other explorers/photographers, or cops. That day, we ran into no one. Before long, we were off to the next spot. We ended up stopping at a Living Walls piece on the way to an old battery factory. We’re lucky we stopped because the piece was removed not long after, due to complaints from religious establishments nearby. We finally got to the battery factory and continued shooting away. We were doing pretty damn good, as it wasn’t even Noon yet. Nothing too memorable from there. Then before we knew it, we were off to the shower factory. I think I took four pictures there, then we stopped by Whittaker School. I took zero pictures there, then we went and checked out some abandoned warehouses off of Bankhead. It was only my second time there (and last), but I didn’t shoot any pics there either. We saved the most memorable place for last.

    prisonprisonprisonprisonprisonprisonprisonbattery factorybattery factorybattery factoryliving wallsshowerlux

    The last spot we went to was Simmons Plating Works on Whitehall, the only place I hadn’t been to previously. I’ve been to some pretty disgusting places, but this still ranks in the top 3-5. Before we even got to the building, we were getting eaten alive by mutant-sized mosquitoes. Once we actually got inside, we knew why. The inside was completely covered in trash. It was like walking around in a dumpster basically. It was really hot outside and it smelled absolutely terrible, too. The location itself was pretty interesting though. It was a metal plating factory that filed for bankruptcy just before Christmas in 2000. Apparently they left all the chemicals there which cost tax payers just under a million bucks to clean up. There was still a lot of big machinery left behind and there was this huge pit, which I later found out was where they dumped thousands of gallons of electroplating sludge. According to Atlanta Time Machine, they removed approximately 305,000 gallons of hazardous waste from the site, 240,000 of that being the sludge from that nasty pit. Certainly no one would be living here, right? Wrong. There were two shirtless (probably naked, but we could only see chest-up) dudes living in the back area. Again, it’s like 95 degrees outside, it smells like shit, and there are thousands of huge, disease-carrying insects flying around. Not exactly the place I’d choose to live if I was homeless, but i guess these guys aren’t in this position because of their awesome decision-making skills. Nonetheless, I’m glad we were able to go in and check it out. There was some pretty cool paint inside and even though I didn’t get many pics, we didn’t die and it’s a fun story to tell. A good way to wrap up our little tour of Atlanta. Here are some more terrible photos…


    go back ←


  • Whittaker School (1st explore ever)

    It’s quite a nice patch of grass now, but it used to be a really cool little school covered in graffiti. Back before I knew what “urbex” was, I would just run around Atlanta, looking for cool graffiti to take pictures of with my new camera. I was taking the back way (Huff Rd) en route to my favorite place to eat in the world, Taqueria Del Sol, and I noticed a graffiti covered school that was obviously abandoned. After stuffing a couple fried chicken tacos in my face, I decided to check it out. I took a few pics around the outside and wandered around the back, but I was a little hesitant about just hopping in the window by myself. I decided I’d come back with some backup. So I returned with my friend Soraya! We jumped in a back window and just knew we’d run into someone around every corner. Actually, no one else was there (even though there was clearly a bedroom made in one room) and it turned out to be a pretty awesome place. All the walls inside were covered in graff and the classrooms were hexagonal shaped pods, just so many different reasons to like the place. I definitely didn’t know it at the time, but that was the place that turned me into a maniac about finding these abandoned buildings all over. Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. It was built in 1959 and was quickly destroyed just a couple years ago. I wonder how things would’ve worked out if that school had been demolished before I got to explore it.



    go back ←

  • The Furious Masturbator

    Most people I’ve explored with probably already know a little about this, but here’s the story of the weirdest day of my life.

    A couple years ago, my buddy Andrew and I had been checking out this abandoned building for a few weeks. It was right off the train tracks in East Point, back side covered in graff. We finally decide to figure out how to get across the tracks and find this place. We walk around the outside and shoot pics of the graff and the train tracks, we follow a little trail through the weeds, and bam, we’re inside. The interior of the building was ok, some graff and a section of the roof was falling in. We make our way towards the back of the building, and it’s pretty dark back there. There’s a small room on the left with some scribble on the walls and a bunch of blunt wrappers on the floor, then there are some other small, dark areas among some drywall and plywood. As we’re quietly checking the place out, I see the bottoms of someone’s legs walking in the same way we came in, at the other end of the building. I whisper to Andrew that we’ve got some company, and without saying anything, we both kinda slip into the shadows. I go into the little room with the blunt wrappers and Andrew hides further back where it’s a little darker. As you can see in the picture with the white brick archway, (to the right is the small room I was in, where Manda is with her flashlight) there’s a window cutout where I could look out and see what the guy was doing. I’m pretty sure Andrew was thinking the same thing – hopefully this guy just walks through and goes about his business. Of course not! He takes a seat…

    So this guy is big. He’s probably like 6’6″, 250lbs, and he’s just sitting there staring at the wall. Andrew can’t see him from where he’s at, but I’ve got a pretty clear view from behind him to his right side, either around the corner or through the window cutout. The guy didn’t look homeless, but he didn’t exactly look very well put together either. He walked in carrying a black plastic bag, and he’s staring at this white wall, so I thought he was gonna pull out some paint and start spraying the wall. Well, he did spray the wall, but I’ll get back to that in a sec. He goes into the bag and grabs a 40, and starts drinking. Then he pulls out and empties a blunt, and starts rolling up some (I assume) weed to smoke. So he’s smoking and drinking, and I’m miming back to Andrew what’s going on while trying to be as quiet as possible. I look back to the guy and I had to do a double-take. I’m mostly behind him, but kinda to his right side, and all I could see was his right elbow moving….rapidly. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and I was miming back to Andrew that I’m pretty sure the guy is jerking it right now. I’m maybe 50% sure that this is happening. I was trying to give this guy the benefit of the doubt…ok, maybe 75% sure. Well, he left absolutely no doubt when he stood up and leaned back in ecstasy. At this point, it’s taking every bit of our energy not to laugh out loud. To top it all off, the guy starts doing the Spiderman motion towards the wall. Finally a loud train goes by, and Andrew sneaks over to the room I’m in. We laugh a little more and decide we’re going to make a run for it before this guy sees us. I doubt he wants anyone to know what just happened and he may not like seeing a couple guys with recording equipment (unfortunately didn’t get any pics). Last thing I need, is for this guy to try to grab me with those hands. Luckily we escaped into another part of the building and out of a huge hole in the wall. We even sat in the car for a sec to see if anyone came out, but nothing happened. Way too much excitement before 9am on a Friday morning. Sorry for the shitty pictures. These were taken a couple months after the “incident”.

    FM-warehouseFM-warehouse 1FM-warehouse 3FM-warehouse 4FM-warehouse 5FM-warehouse 6FM-warehouse 7

    go back ←

  • Achor Center

    Paid a (final) visit to a familiar abandoned church in Atlanta. Familiar from the outside anyway, as we’ve driven by it a million times on the way to other abandonments. The only other time I’ve been inside, I wasn’t confident at all that we’d get in, so I didn’t even bother lugging my camera and tripod with me. Of course, we got in…and it was so dark, none of my pics were worth a shit. This time, they’re in the process of destroying the building, so not only did I have my camera and tripod, but there was plenty of light beaming in from outside. The building is half-church and half-homeless shelters, and probably won’t be there much longer (if it’s not already demolished).

    stage viewsheltersbunkbaby head - mercan

    go back ←

  • Clermont Hotel

    Thanks to the #weloveatl guys, we were able to get a couple hours inside this closely-guarded abandonment, before renovations are really underway. You can find a little history on the hotel here and on the famous Clermont Lounge here.

    front deskchairofficesignageroom


    go back ←