House of Wills

House of Wills

The history of this building is a bit foggy. Will Funeral Home started in another location and moved to this building at some point (different websites give a different history). The family was involved in the Civil Right Movement, as noted by the signs. Kate and I got in perfectly legally as the current owner of the property opens it up for photo walks. If anyone has any history of this location, 2491 E. 55th St. in Cleveland, please let me know.

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Cottage Fire

Cottage Fire

This is absolutely the last photo set that I would have ever wanted to post. Kate's cottage, which has been a part of her life since her life began, and which has been a part of the what I can only describe as the best year of my life, caught fire and burned in mid-May 2015. We went up to salvage what we could before the house is demolished. As you can tell, we didn't salvage all that much and damage was quite extensive.

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Youmacon 2014

Youmacon 2014

Over Halloween weekend, Kate and I went to Youmacon, an anime convention in Detroit, that also included one her favorite bands, Steam Powered Giraffe. They are a band of automatons that perform music and comedy routines between songs. The three photos of the somewhat ordinary people at the end of this album are the first three in these photos taken by Kate (in order, David Bennett aka The Spine, Bunny Bennett aka Rabbit, and Sam Luke aka Hatchworth). The rest of the weekend was taken up with panels and people watching. And Kate might be in a few of these photos.

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Transformers House

Transformers House

There's a house pretty close by me where, each Halloween, the guy builds Transformers from foam, wood, and wire (and lights). These are impressive structures, Optimus Prime and Megatron both standing over 20 feet tall. Last year, Megatron was standing, but this year only his head was included hanging from a chain being held by Prime. It's a beautiful and very colorful display.

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Sandusky House

Sandusky House

Kate and I had tried to pop by this house once before, but because of burrs and other complications, we didn't go in. This time around, however, we dropped by and got some excellent shots. This is my set since I had my camera with me this time (the near-Columbus set I didn't have my camera). There were a lot of bright colors in this place and a lot of stuff left behind.

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Huron Greenhouse

Huron Greenhouse

We went to Cedar Point on Saturday and on the way back Kate pointed out, in the dark, that there was an abandoned greenhouse in the Huron area. It was dark, I didn't see them, but I did vaguely remember it from previous trips to the area. There was a lot of fascinating stuff in here, especially in the garage attached. There was also a car.

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Driving Range

Driving Range

After we wandered around Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, we stopped at this golf range behind the shopping center where we would end up having dinner. The writing under the sign says "Under Surveillance" which we couldn't figure out where. It was kind of muddy around there and I was only wearing my bleached out Chucks, so I wasn't going to look to hard for an entrance.

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Rolling Acres Mall

Rolling Acres Mall

Kate and I took a trip down to Akron to run an errand and planned on checking out the now abandoned Rolling Acres Mall. The final store in the mall closed last December. There are a couple businesses still running on the grounds, but the mall itself is shut down. Unfortunately (for us), the building is shuttered and the only points of entry would make it rather difficult to get out. Along with that problem, there is power running to the mall and surveillance warnings posted which means the current owners probably want to keep the mall in reasonably good shape. For those reasons, all of the photos are taken from the outside.

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Two Abandoned Houses

Two Abandoned Houses

There is not so much a debate, but we can't seem to remember if these houses were in Sunbury or Delaware, Ohio. They're down a bit north of Columbus and they were both on the same lot. We were down at the Delaware County fair for a harness racing event and scoped these out on the way there and stopped on the way back. Luckily, Kate had her camera because I didn't have mine. I did the post processing, but the following photos are all Kate's. She was nice enough to permit me to post them. The dummy in the chair scared the crap out of me.

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Warner & Swasey

Warner & Swasey

Another building we had been eying was this one. It's not far from the JC Virden building and has similar architecture. I am going to assume that all of the buildings in this area were built around the same time. We went on a pretty overcast day, so we had some good, filtered sunlight coming through the windows. This, to me, is the best lighting for some of the more dramatically lit shots. This is another building that closed round 1980 and has been left to nature until the city gets around to knocking it down.

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St. Joseph Byzantine Catholic Church

St. Joseph Byzantine Catholic Church

One of Kate's urban exploration obsessions was this church. It closed its doors in 1980 after Easter service. We had the opportunity to go there recently and it did not disappoint. It didn't go without it's minor complications. I forgot my memory card, but luckily she had an extra. We weren't sure if we could get inside, but Kate found the door. The inside is amazing as many of the frescoes are still somewhat intact, but the floor of the nave had collapsed. 

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JC Virden, Co., Cleveland, OH

JC Virden, Co., Cleveland, OH

I took Kate by a building that I had been wanting to go into for quite a while. It's the JC Virden Co., which is a now defunct lighting company in Cleveland. According to Abandoned Online the JC Virden Company moved into this building in 1919. The company declared bankruptcy after they were unable to make payroll in the 1980's. There's a lot to see here, but it looks as if this building could be torn down soon judging by the "nuisance property notice" and the fact that a few months ago, another section of the building was torn down.

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Abandoned House, Sandusky, OH

Abandoned House, Sandusky, OH

Kate: "Grab your camera, follow me, and be quiet. The neighbors don't like people coming around."

That was it. That was all she told me, and I followed. We walked around the old house for a bit until we came across the opening in the cellar. Kate went it to investigate as I was only wearing shorts and my Chuck Taylor's which are not much protection against sharp debris. I follower her anyway and it was well worth it.

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St. Catherine's Hospital

St. Catherine's Hospital

This was a bonus stop for us. Kate pointed out St. Catherine's Hospital on our way to Centralia and we stopped on our way back. According to a quick Google search, this hospital declared bankruptcy, was bought by another company, and eventually was closed by the owners in April 2012. Only one exterior was unlocked, but the interior door kept us out.

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Centralia, PA

Centralia, PA

Kate and I took to the road and went to Pennsylvania for a long weekend of convention and exploration. The coal mining town of Centralia, PA was shutdown in the mid-to-late-60's due to a fire in the mines below that resulted in toxic smoke and unsafe temperatures for underground fuel tanks. Almost everything that would indicate that this was a town was torn down, most likely to discourage pesky explorers. There are only a graveyard, a stretch of road, a few foundations, and the church that was preserved by surrounding residents.

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