Abandoned Buildings

What is it about abandoned buildings that lures me to them?

It's like the walls whisper to me. They long to tell me their stories. The invite me to experience their loneliness and beg me to stand in wonderment of their secrets. I look for clues of the past, of the days when noise, activity, life and laughter filled its rooms and hallways. Now, the only remaining sounds are leaves and vines rustling in the breeze, perhaps the scurry of some small rodent or insect, and of course, those faintly audible whispers.

I think one of the fascinations with these buildings is how they leave me so many questions. These questions beg to be answered.

  • Who inhabited this building?
  • What kinds of things went on here?
  • Why was the building vacated?
  • Why didn't they take all of the belongs? Why were the things left behind?
  • Why hasn't this building been sold and reinhabited?
  • Why hasn't it been torn down?
  • Who does it belong to now? What do they plan to do with it?

I long to fill in the blanks and my imagination runs wild. There is always tinge of sorrow, not for the occupants, but for the building itself. The building whispers how neglected it feels. It longs to shelter it's occupants once again. The vines and trees seem to be now sheltering the building and hiding it from it's shame.

Do you hear them too?

More of the abandoned refrigeration company in Waxahachie, TX
More of the abandoned refrigeration company in Waxahachie, TX
The back of the abandoned refrigeration company in Waxahachie, TX
The back of the abandoned refrigeration company in Waxahachie, TX

My Fascination With Abandoned Buildings & Architecture

I've always had a fascination with buildings and architecture.

I remember taking a horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown Austin,Texas with my friends and while they were busy people-watching and looking at the sites at the street level, I sat with my eyes gazing upwards at the tops of all the historic buildings. I loved all of the architectural styles and seeing the dates of all the buildings. I only wish I had had a camera with me that night.

I guess it's no coincidence that I eventually married a building surveyor from England. When I first met him in England he chauffeured me all over the English countryside showing me the natural beauty and man-made beauty of England's structures. I was captivated. With my own eyes I saw thatched roof cottages, centuries old buildings and castles and seaside harbors that I had only ever seen in fables, storybooks, and picture puzzle boxes. It truly was a magical adventure for me. I've published a hub about my fascination with the English architecture. You can view photos of my trip by clicking here.

Abandoned refrigeration company in Waxahachie,TX
Abandoned refrigeration company in Waxahachie,TX

Research on Abandoned Buildings

While playing around on the internet, I have found some incredible resources for information and photos of abandoned buildings around the world. I sat and looked at these for hours. I even found photos of Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. The links to all of these can be find below. Please spend a little time looking at each one, bookmark this page if you have to, but there are some fascinating photos there.

In the coming weeks I plan to spend some time taking some more photos around central Texas and I will be adding them here and perhaps creating some new hubs out of some of them if the material warrants it.

Update July 4, 2009

Today, I went out in search of a place I have seen recently that I want to photograph, but stumbled upon a different place on the way. It's good that I did, since I could find the place I originally set out to photograph. Oh well. The photos you see to below are of an abandoned college campus in central Texas. The photos are of two different buildings. I fell in love with the round window in the white building that appeared to be an old dormatory. The other buildng, with dark brick appears to have been for classrooms.

Update May 15, 2010

The refrigeration building in Waxahachie shown in the photographs above has been completely torn down.  I'm glad I took the photos when I did.

This buildng appears to be an old dormatory at this abandoned college campus.
This buildng appears to be an old dormatory at this abandoned college campus.
This is a close up of the round window I fell in love with.  It almost looks like an artist's sketch now.
This is a close up of the round window I fell in love with. It almost looks like an artist's sketch now.
The far right section of this dormatory building
The far right section of this dormatory building
This building appeared to be for classrooms
This building appeared to be for classrooms
I particularly like the angles of the corner of this building.
I particularly like the angles of the corner of this building.

More by this Author

Comments 25 comments

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago


I share your love and fascination with old abandoned homes and buildings.  In my Random Act of Kindness hub, I mentioned the old white weathered farm house that I passed every day going to work.  It called to me and I had the same questions you mentioned above.  I would have given anything to be able to walk through it, and the thought crossed my mind several times, but I never got the courage up to ask anyone.  I didn't think the construction guys who were clearing the land would have been able to let me do that.  But now I'm sorry that I didn't at least ask.

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

For some reason that I cannot put my finger on, I don't have as strong a connection with abandoned houses as I do with buildings. The larger the building the bigger the fascination. It's strange. Maybe because it seems like a greater loss or that it may have affected more people. I don't know what it is. Now that we have a new camera, I long to go out and find more of these places.

Thanks for stopping by Trish. I wish you would have had that opportunity now too. I bet the next time that urge comes along with some other place, you'll be able to do it.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago

I believe my affection for old farm houses stems from my childhood. I used to love visiting my aunt in Oklahoma. She had a farm and I spent many a day playing with my cousins, watching my aunt feed the pigs, and watching the native Indians who worked in her fields. She had a horse that my older cousin used to ride and I remember wanting to ride it too, but they felt I was too young I guess. Just nice, warm memories.

Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

I've been meandering through some of the links you gave us for the past thirty minutes or so -- yep, I'm intrigued, and hadn't realized it before! I have a very vague memory of walking in the mountains somewhere in Ireland when I was a small child and coming across an abandoned village (two empty houses).

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Trish: That makes sense. You've associated a fond happy time with farm houses.

I'm so glad you spent some time on the links, Teresa! Aren't they fantastic?  It almost made it difficult to write the hub.  I just wanted to say, "there's nothing more I can say other than, LOOK AT THESE, they say it all".  To me, if the pictures in those links don't grab you, then nothing I say about them can.

Thank you both for stopping by!

Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

KCC - these are incredible! The Candy Cane dungeon.. man what those walls could reveal! I have a heart like yours.. if only the walls could talk!

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Candie: I found so many photos in those links that 'spoke to me'. It really makes me want to grab my camera and run out the door to find others that are waiting to be discovered. Glad you 'enjoyed' the Candy Cane Dungeon. Wasn't it creepy?

ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Just you be careful if you are tempted to explore such old buildings. Like this hub though as it is quirky

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

I've never gone inside, Ethel. I'm not saying I won't in the future, because it would be nice to catch some photos like some of those in the links I've provided above, but I'll certainly get permission and be careful. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 7 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

They killed an old house across the road from me this week, KCC. Pulled out the windows and fireplaces, door surrounds and other fittings. The wrecking foreman took some of the 100 year old beautiful Kauri weatherboards to build a tree-hut for his kids, a friend got some to fix his house, and I some to repair another friends. They then smashed it to pieces with a digger and dragged off the remains for cremation.

It died with dignity.

I visited, when people lived there only four years ago, and I got to walk through the remains the day before its destruction. I have a bookshelf from it next to me now in my office, (study? - computer room?) It was an elegant house in its time, back when its owner was a senior manager of the local goldmine and this was a mining town. One of his sons later became our Mayor. Now a grandson of near my age fixes my computers when they confound me.

Four units are to be built there. They'll be modern; they'll be pretty; they will undoubtedly each have a lot of concrete paths and drives, an attached garage and a tiny lawn. And a six foot high fence to keep reality at bay. - They will be at the best, banal.

Old buildings have character, empty ones history. I cherish them; you would never have guessed would you? Thank you for this hub.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Awww...thanks for sharing that TOF!  You're right, what replaces it will be all clean and new, but cold without the character the old places have.  I took some pictures today that I hope turn out ok.  Once I look at them, I may add them here.  They are pictures of an old college campus.  One building appears to be the dorm area.  It had a beautiful window above the entrance.  Thanks for stopping by.  I seem to have struck a chord with several here.  I guess it's in our nature to find beauty in things unspoken and want to put words to them.

ButterflyWings profile image

ButterflyWings 7 years ago

I could spend hours among these links. Even the photos you posted of the refrigeration company building caught me hard, and kept whispering, "Don't you remember? Look, LOOK, at what happened here."

Here where I live on the plains of Colorado, we have a lot of empty little houses and abandoned farmsteads...crops failed, or wells went dry and couldn't be re-drilled, or the children didn't come back to the land... I used to spend a lot of time as a child, wandering about a farmstead a couple miles from home, trying to put the unspoken pieces together.

But my favorite "abandoned" place isn't anymore: my husband and I bought it, because I couldn't stand not to KNOW what the rooms had to whisper. I knew some of the history of this old hotel building, anyway - such as the fact that it lodged many German POW's in the 1940's - but I have much yet to find out.

I learn new things almost every time I'm there, and expect, if we ever get it renovated to the point that we can live in it, I'll learn even more.

Pictures at: http://joilene.wordpress.com/ under the search phrase "Old Hotel".

I love this hub. Thanks so much for thinking to share your fascination.

Eric Graudins profile image

Eric Graudins 7 years ago from Australia

Good to see that there are old building freaks around.

Nobody in my family shares or understands my interest with them.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

ButteflyWings, how fantastic, to actually buy one of your wall whispers! I went to look at the photos. It's charming, and a great project! You'll have to keep us informed as it progresses! I'm glad you enjoyed my hub! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your link.

Eric: I'm glad you're 'one of us'! I love them and can't understand why everyone doesn't?! LOL Thanks for stopping by.

Ashley Joy profile image

Ashley Joy 7 years ago

I love to take photos of old buildings. Usually it is barns but when in bigger cities it is apartments, warehouses, etc. It is interesting to think about them and what they were before.

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks for stopping by Ashley Joy! For me, it seems with the country settings I'm more interested in sunflowers, hay bales, and rusty farm implements, but in the city I prefer warehouses or large public facilities. Barns, silos and outhouses make nice photos.

Ambition398 profile image

Ambition398 7 years ago

Like you, I love old buildings. I wonder what kind of people lived, work and played in them. I wonder what plans or dreams the builders had for the build. I especially like the picture of the old dormatory. Thanks for the pics and Hub.

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks, Ambition. They are fascinating, aren't they? I really should get out more and take some more pictures.

mandybeau1 profile image

mandybeau1 6 years ago from Out there

I want all of them, beautiful aren't they. Bit of an obsession with me too.

TexasT profile image

TexasT 6 years ago

After reading your hub, it makes me want to go search out some abandoned buildings here in Austin and photograph them. So far I have mainly seen for lease signs on empty spaces in strip centers. Wonder what they tore down just to have them sit empty......

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

You definitely should go out and do it, TexasT! I love the architecture around Austin! I bet you could find some gems! Some unsightly buildings need tearing down if they are beyond repair, but I hate to see them go, just so what sits in it's place sits empty like you're saying.

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thank you Bill!

That Grrl profile image

That Grrl 5 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

I explore here in Ontario. There is something about the old places. I don't go inside very often. I do like to walk all around the buildings, as much as I can with the overgrowth and animals living around the place. You have taken good photos of some interesting places.

robbinsm profile image

robbinsm 4 years ago from Chapel Hill

I totally get what you mean about abandoned buildings! I feel the same way. Glad someone shares my fascination!

mollypark profile image

mollypark 3 years ago from Chicago, IL

Thanks for the links! I have just started with urbex photography and love it.

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