Abandoned Architecture of the World: Part 2
In Part 1 of this article I discussed four beautiful examples of abandoned architecture. In Part 2 we will travel the world again to see more of these historic relics.
Cane Hill Asylum: London
History: When Cane Hill opened it's doors in 1882 they were equipped to house 2,000 patients. Cane Hill operated through the 1980s, when the use of asylums began to be discouraged. The Asylum shut down in 1991. The hospital, built in the Victorian style, as since suffered damage due to natural decay and arson.
Today: It is still possible to visit Cane Hill, although the threat of demolition is imminent. If you choose to visit stick to the designated paths and be aware that there are security guards on the grounds.
Cane Hill: The Far Side of Town
East State Penitentiary: Philadelphia
History: Eastern State Penitentiary was one of the most expensive and revolutionary prisons in the United States and was the basis for the radial design. ESP housed several notorious prisoners, including Al Capone. The penitentiary steadily grew as more buildings were added. By 1971 the prison had become abandoned; the buildings were vandalized and over run with plant growth.
Today: Eastern State Penitentiary is one of the few abandoned sites that has been given new life thanks to the Eastern State Task Force, formed in 1988. This group began giving tours and raised money to preserve the prison. ESP currently offers daily tours and many wonderful exhibits. For more information visit their website. This site is very historical rich and well documented, so if you are ever in the area I really recommend trying to take a tour!
Travel Channel Special on ESP
Beelitz-Heilstätten Sanitarium & Morgue: Berlin
History: Beelitz-Heilstätten was erected in 1898 as a tuberculosis sanitarium. At start of World War I the German Army commandeered it as a military hospital (Hitler himself was treated here in 1916). The Sanitarium remained under German control until the end of WWII, when Soviet forces moved in. The Soviets retained charge of the complex up until its desertion.
Today: Much of the 60 building complex has remained unsecured, meaning it allows fairly easy access for visitors. Several movies have also filmed here, including The Pianist and Valkyrie.
Video of Beelitz-Heilstätten in 2012
Nam Koo Terrace: Hong Kong
History: Nam Koo was built in 1921 as a residence for the To family. During the Japanese occupation of China the family was forced out and the home became a "comfort" house for Japanese troops. The history of Nam Koo took an even darker turn when the Japanese soldiers began to enslave, rape, and kill women within it. These events led to the house earning the nickname the Wan Chai Haunted House.
Today: Visitors have reported hearing the screaming and crying of women from within. One group of teenage explorers even claimed that three of the girls became possessed, hysterical, and eventually were hospitalized after passing through the gates.