I’m always watching the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, or any other TV station that any of the rest of my crew would consider “nerd sh*t”. Every so often, I’ll catch some special about ancient ruins, and the meanings behind their creation and so on and so forth, and it always brings up the question to me that although the evidence is very convincing, people day may have no clue what the hell some obscure ruins were built for. All we can do is give it our best guess. So what about in 1,000 years, when people see our modern ruins, what will they speculate the purpose of an abandoned water park, subway station, or sea fort was back in “our day”?
The Ruins of Detroit.
In the United States, few cities have felt the burn of urban decay more than Detroit. To capture its slow fade into history, photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre explored some of Detroit’s dying landmarks for their photo series The Ruins of Detroit. As the industrial revolution came to a close and race riots crippled a once bustling city, many buildings throughout Detroit fell into disrepair and eventual abandonment. Today, visitors to Detroit can experience two sides of the city– the revitalized, re-invested downtown area, and the high-rises and industrial complexes which crumble around it.
City Hall Subway Station.
Under the busy streets of New York City rests a perfectly preserved monument to that city’s transportation history. The City Hall Subway Station was first constructed over 100 years ago, a part of New York’s earliest underground transport network. It was shut down in 1945, where it lay dormant and untouched until a one night public exhibition on the station’s centennial. NYCSubway.org and photographer Fred Guenther have documented this event with a great collection of photos, showing this amazing abandoned place in all its pristine, untouched glory.
Abandoned Russian Waterpark.
A massive, indoor water park was planned for the children of Russia, one towering many stories high with a myriad of rides within. Yet before this park could be completed, the developer went belly up and couldn’t afford its completion. The structure was to house many pools, water slides and other water-based fun, and appeared to be just months away from completion. The now abandoned water park houses only concrete, metal, graffiti and the curiosity of freelance “urban archaeologists”.
The British Sea Forts.
During the Second World War, the British Royal Navy constructed a series of sea forts for an advanced line of defense against inbound air raids and potential sea invasions from the Axis powers. The Maunsell Sea Forts still stand today, silent and abandoned a few meters above the North Sea. One, however, remains inhabited, now a nation of its own referred to as the Principality of Sealand. These sea forts are a favorite of maritime explorers, a lonely collection of stilted fortresses not far off the coast of eastern England.
Abandoned Russian Submarine Base.
In a bay on the northern shores of the Black Sea, the Soviet army maintained an elaborate submarine base throughout much of the Cold War. Now a museum, this abandoned submarine base in the town of Balaklava, Ukraine is often explored by locals and tourists alike. During the war, Soviet submarines were constructed elsewhere, transported to this base by rail, then deployed into the Black Sea and beyond for covert underwater operations. The tunnels of the submarine base reached far and deep into the mountain above, providing enough room for many submarines and their crew up through the end of the Cold War.