Filed under: ARCHITECTURE, ART, GRAFITTI, PHOTOGRAPHY, STREET ART, URBAN EXPLORATION, URBEX | Tags: abandoned, abandonment, pa, pennsylvania, phila, philadelphia, tim becker, urban exploring, urban setting, urbex, warehouse
LOCATION: Reading, PA
So as of late my license has been getting worse and worse. The plastic is cracked, the film is peeling, and the picture is faded. I took a trip down to my local DMV and had it replaced. I got all nice and clean and was expecting to get a brand new beautiful/ridiculous photo. Apparently they just give you a new ID with your old photo. Oh well….I didn’t feel like sitting in that DMV for hours anyway. I was in and out within 10 minutes.
As I was heading home I was driving east down Lancaster Ave. As I came over a slight hill a beautiful sight appeared off in the distance. It was a giant rectangular building with busted out windows, do not enter signs, and a half assed fence surrounding the property. My eyes lit up with a hope of a new abandoned building to explore! I quickly turned down the following street and circled the building a few times. Yep….it was definitely abandoned.
I had a few errands to run so I decided to wait a few days. I returned a week later ready for action. I parked the car and checked my camera and prepared myself to find an entrance to the warehouse. I noticed a piece of wood that has been peeled away from the door and decided to enter through there. There was one problem…the entire building was surrounded by busy streets and businesses. No matter where I went to jump the fence, someone was going to see me. So I circled the building a few more times finding the best spot to enter. I found a somewhat hidden corner where the fence was next to a higher than normal curb. This was perfect cause it allowed for a quick one hop and I would be in. I waited for the traffic to die down and I leaped over…..and landed directly into a thorn bush! As the thorns scratched their way up my bare shins…I silently shot off a few expletives to myself. I sucked it up and dove into a shadowed corner and once again waited for the traffic to subside. My entrance was now 20ft from where I was waiting. When my chance finally came I took it….I quietly sprinted and jumped in the exposed entrance. I was in!
Once I was in I noticed that there wasn’t that much to see. The floors were massive and besides for some interesting stained glass and color choice for the beams, the rest of the building was empty. I explored each floor and found mainly the same thing…empty rooms and massive amounts of beams and stained glass.
While the majority of floors were boring there were other aspects which made the building interesting. There were doors that led to 50ft drops…I called them suicide friendly exits. There were also large chunks of wall missing that led to 50ft drops. Im sure these are used for when the suicide friendly doors are just to much of a hassle to deal with. I mean…come on…when you have to full around with turning knobs and opening doors…killing yourself just seems like a waste of time.
There was also the common distressed stairs….which I always enjoy.
While climbing the stairs I noticed what I consider to be the grail of any of my adventures…..it was the access to the roof….and the door was practically half open inviting me out.
Sadly the roof wasn’t that interesting. I’ve been on more interesting roof tops. This roof was just flat and not much to see. There were decent views of Reading, PA…that was about it.
I made my way out of the warehouse. I kicked my way out through a rusted exit in the basement. I thought I was done for the day, but what was directly in front of me said otherwise. I was staring at a slightly smaller building with mostly all windows boarded up. It looked as if it was an office building….when I crawled through a window I noticed it definitely was an office building.
The building was torn to shreds. Im suspecting a group of rowdy kids got inside and tore the place apart. Phones were thrown in every direction. Paper was tossed in the air and littered the ground. Every computer screen was shattered.
The place was filthy, dusty, moldy, humid, and I felt sick walking around and breathing the air. I walked around the office with my shirt and hand over my mouth. Im positive I was breathing in asbestos and bird flu from the pigeons that made this building their temporary home.
The pigeons were also incredibly entertaining and dumb. I would scare the hell out of them when I would enter a new room. With every room I entered I would see a few pigeons try to fly away. There main plan of escape would be to fly through the windows, but would mainly heading beak first into glass. Then they would try to exit at the same area. So I would end up just watching a pigeon slam into a window pain over and over and over and over again. I got one of the birds on video….I’ll upload it onto youtube and attach it soon. The pigeons finally escaped and I went back to exploring the second building.
As I saw all I could have seen…I then decided it was time to leave. I once again decide not to exit the way I came, and just muscled through a rusty door. I hopped over the fence and left the property. It was once again a successful exploration and a great use of my time. Thanks for reading!
SIDE NOTE: To anyone who is interested in exploring abandoned buildings I suggest buying a respirator.
I bought one similar to this from home depot for $25. This last adventure I most likely encountered the nastiest building I was ever in. Im almost certain I was breathing in paint chips, dust, asbestos and pigeon shit. It was awful and had my shirt over my mouth almost the entire time. I realized a respirator is a necessary item for exploring abandoned anythings. BUY ONE NOW!
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