Concrete City Swag
That Block of Beautiful Concrete
Concrete City is not exactly a magnificent or majestic name for a housing development. It’s fitting as far as the concrete part goes, but the community barely constituted a city. Twenty buildings do not create a city, but it’s still a very interesting site for any explorer to scope out.
What is Concrete City? Let me explain…
In 1911 Concrete City was built in Nanticoke, PA to house employees of DL&W. It consisted of 20 concrete buildings, all double houses that could house 40 families. The complex also had a swimming pool (there was no evidence of that when we visited), a playground and a baseball field. Employees of DL&W only lived there until 1924. Living in the concrete housing units were not ideal. The buildings had severe moisture issues. There was condensation within the houses at all times and made for a not so great living environment. The plaster in the buildings began to fall apart and paint began to peel. Concrete City was a fail and abandoned in 1924. It went up for demolition shortly thereafter.
Dynamite can't kill it but water can!
What happens when you place 100 sticks of dynamite in a concrete house in Concrete City? Um, nothing. Well, almost nothing. It blew a few chunks of concrete out of the walls here and there, but they didn’t collapse as planned. After trying to demo Concrete City all demolition plans went to the wayside. Luzern County Fireman’s Association actually used the buildings as a training facility for their firemen.
God is Dead
I visited Concrete City two times within the past three years. It was still standing the last time I was there. It was full of fun graffiti, abandoned toys, forgotten bikes and lots of beer cans. We followed a trail from the side of the road to the decaying buildings. The hike was not a long one and we ran into a few people going on their daily walk. When we reached our destination the fist thing I noticed was the abundant amount of crazy graffiti and trash. There was trash everywhere and mud puddles galore. It was obviously a good site for four wheeler enthusiasts.
The local kids had turned the abandoned houses that had once housed important DL&W employees into a paint ball area. Paint ball explosions were all over the outside and inside of the buildings. It was also very evident that teens wanting to party in secret away from their parents used the area as their local party pit. Seriously, if I would have had a place like this to run to when I was a teen, I would have been a happy camper.
I found the old concrete houses to be photogenic and fun to check out. My daughter found it to be quite entertaining that she could skateboard in the the old houses. This is a child that will try to skateboard anywhere though.
Another Good Use of a Concrete City House
What is the future of Concrete City?
I’ve heard different rumors about the future of Concrete City. One minute I hear it’s in the process of being torn down and then the next the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission are trying to save the buildings. It would be nice if they could save a building or two. It would be ideal to turn it into a park and/or historical site. But who knows how that would go? It seems like most people don’t care too much about history or historical sites. It’s pretty sad really.