Abandoned in Place
Abandoned in Place: NASA’s Space Facilities

The United States was on the forefront of space exploration and research during the Cold War, a status that has since been superseded by other developing nations and Russia. Over the ensuing decades, space launch and miscellaneous facilities were used, reused, deactivated and abandoned all across the nation.

Roland Miller has taken it upon himself to document these locations that were the base for the first unmanned space flights to excursions to the moon in his new book, Abandoned in Place.

The facilities photographed in Abandoned in Place portray one of the most historic and technical adventures of the last century–from our first unmanned flights beyond the atmosphere to landing men on the moon. A sense of the urgency of the space race is evident in many of the images. Signs and labels in the images reflect the technology of the era. The structures depicted also recall the darker threat of nuclear war. Some of the images describe a future that could have been if the cold war had heated up. These launch complexes, engine test stands, and wind tunnels are the Bunker Hills and Gettysburgs of the cold war. References to the Great Pyramids, Chichen Itza, Stonehenge, and other major archaeological sites foreshadow the future of these modern ruins.

The upcoming book features scenes of launch towers, test stands, tunnels and control rooms from the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi to the Kennedy Space C enter in Cape Canaveral, Florida and the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, among other locations.

Old Crow Distillery
On Set

Several weeks ago, while being filmed for a segment for Kentucky Life, I took the opportunity to walk around Old Crow Distillery in central Kentucky. Not much has changed with the grounds, although it appears that the property may lay dormant for the foreseeable future. I sincerely hope that the buildings will be preserved; the owners are currently looking for a buyer!

845 Monmouth Street
845 Monmouth

The corner of East 9th and Monmouth streets in historic downtown Newport, Kentucky is still sleepy. The one-story building, originally faced with white stucco and flanked by a red tile sub-roof, was home to an El Rico drugstore. Banks later occupied the building, including National City, ending with a check cashing venture. After much alterations to its appearance, including the use of polyisocyanurate foam, the corner is now vacant.


The original facade for 845 Monmouth and El Rico Drugs can be seen.

The three-story Italianate Second Empire structure immediately to the east was built prior to 1900. At one point, the upper floors was home to several tenements while ground floor was host to a dry cleaner and other sundries. Today, the upper floors are vacant while the lower level is home to Carabello Coffee.

It was apparent that the previous owner was in the process of rehabilitating the interior. Some of the plaster walls and ceiling had been removed, revealing beautiful rough-sewn timbers. Buckets of paint and tools were scattered about. New windows were installed. For whatever reason, need it be financial or else, construction did not progress very far.

On November 10, 2014, Carabello Coffee announced that they were purchasing the corner building at East 9th and Monmouth, along with an adjoining building, and expanding operations. The addition will feature more seating, a slow bar, roastery annex and a training laboratory. WorK Architecture + Design and the City of Newport is assisting in the development. Check out the before and after for what will be an amazing anchor to the Monmouth Street retail district.

845 Monmouth Street


Foxy Shazam Disbanding

It was announced today that the American rock band, Foxy Shazam, is disbanding for an unknown period of time. I am under the assumption that after performing more than 2,000 shows, the band members just need some time to breathe and be with their families.

One of my favorite music videos, for I Like It, from the aptly named The Church of Rock and Roll, was filmed in the abandoned First German Reformed Church in the West End neighborhood of Cincinnati – their hometown. Read More

Thurmond, West Virginia
4 must see New River ghost towns

Ghost towns along the New River in West Virginia are aplenty. What makes these three unique is that they lay within the New River Gorge National River. Prior to the creation of the national park in the late 1970’s, much of the land was used for the production of coal and coke. Small, company-owned towns were developed for the miners and their families, and when those mines closed out – so did the boroughs. Go explore Kay Moor, Nuttallburg, Fayette and Thurmond this weekend while the weather is still warm!

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Buck Hill Inn by Jonathan Haeber
Don’t explore this Pennsylvania resort right now

Canadensis, Pa. – Eric Frein, charged with killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass outside a state police barrack in Blooming Grove, Pennsylvania, may be hiding out in an abandoned resort in the Pocono Mountains in the northeast part of the state.

Multiple teams of armed searchers have been spotted at the former Buck Hill Inn resort near Canadensis. Frein, 31, had visited the hotel on multiple occasions when it was in operation. Investigators also discovered soiled diapers, the type that are worn by snipers, and packs of empty cigarettes nearby.

The resort boasted more than 400 rooms, an indoor swimming pool with a retractable roof, fine dining facilities, and other recreational amenities at its peak in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. After a prolonged decline, Buck Hill Inn closed in 1991.

Photo credit: Buck Hill Inn. Photograph by Jonathan Haeber. Source, CC BY-NC 2.0.

Vintage Electric Streetcar Company
Vintage Electric Streetcars

I’ve been sworn to secrecy about the location of these vintage electric streetcars. But I cannot resist my excitement about these old trolleys that were once transportation staples in the United States and elsewhere.

Located in rural Pennsylvania, the these mothballed streetcars comprise a collection of over fifty, some in stages of rehabilitation, others in a state of decay. Founded in 1986, the Vintage Electric Streetcar Company began salvaging old trolleys with the eventual goal of restoration and reuse as tourist attractions and pubic transportation. Read More