Abandoned States: A Fascinating Photographic Series On A Part Of America That's All But Gone • MetDaan

Abandoned States: A Fascinating Photographic Series On A Part Of America That’s All But Gone

abandoned

When someone left an old matchbook on photographer Pablo Iglesias Maurer’s desk, it was a fateful moment. The postcard-like photo on the matchbook which somehow found itself in the vicinity of an artist interested in taking pictures of abandonment and urban decay showed a resort complex built in the 1960s; it got Pablo wondering how the place looked now.

The result of that curiosity is an amazing photo series called Abandoned States. The matchbook had “How to Run A Successful Golf Course” written on it, but when Maurer went to the Penn Hills Resort he found it abandoned. He pointed the camera at the decaying building at roughly the same spot and did a ‘5-decades-after’ shot of the place – a first of many such snaps documenting how much the United States have changed over the last half-century.

Pablo ordered more postcards sent during the 1960s from eBay and set off on Steinbeck-like travel across the country in search for these once bustling buildings than now lay derelict.

“The postcards, have their own haze—the places were never as nice as they look. I often struggle to get the two images to line up, as well. But time blurs the difference, and brings everything into focus,” the artist says.

More info: Twitter, DCist (h/t: Ufunk)

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The indoor pool at the Grossinger’s resort in the Catskill mountains had a heated tiled floor and the entire structure was air conditioned. Above, beautiful mid-century “sputnik” chandeliers cast a glow on the swimmers below. Below the pool are exercise rooms, a gym, salon and a host of other amenities. The pool has sat vacant since the late 90’s and has fallen beyond repair.

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Grossinger’s outdoor Olympic-sized pool built in 1949 at a cost of $400,000 (about $5 million in today’s worth). The private cabanas, changing rooms and lounges that used to surround it are long gone.

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The green color of the moss that’s taken over this dining hall in the Poconos has long replaced the browns, reds and oranges of yesteryear.

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The Homowack Lodge now sits abandoned on the southern edge of the famed “Borscht Belt” or “Jewish Alps” – a nickname for the now mostly defunct summer resorts of the Catskill Mountains in parts of Sullivan, Orange and Ulster counties in New York State. The resort closed in the mid-2000’s but lived on briefly, first as a Hasidic resort and finally a summer camp which was forced to shut down after the NY Department of Environmental Conservation deemed it uninhabitable.

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Grossinger’s indoor tennis center. The rear of the postcard is an ad for Grossinger’s rye bread, a local staple during the resort’s heyday. A recommendation from resort royalty Jenny Grossinger: “The fun and fresh air people get here at Grossinger’s really gives them an appetite. They love all of our food – and a particular favorite is our Grossinger’s rye and pumpernickel bread. Now you can get this same healthy, flavorful bread at your local food store. Try a loaf. I’m sure you’ll love it.”

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The Pocono Mountains, postmarked, 1967. The sender wrote: “Dear Jonnie: If you were only here, I would take you out for a horse-back ride – or else we could go golfing. Be good until I see you. Dr. Waterman.”

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The cocktail lounge of a now-defunct resort in the Poconos. “Peaceful relaxation – healthful recreation,” says the caption on the rear of the card.

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The indoor pool at Grossinger’s, which opened in 1958 with Elizabeth Taylor in attendance while Florence Chadwick – the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions – took the first dip in it. From Ross Padluck’s book, Lost Architecture of Paradise: “…The new indoor pool at Grossinger’s was the zenith of the Catskills. Nothing quite like it had ever been built, and nothing ever would be again. It represented everything about the Catskills in the 1950s-style: extravagance, luxury, modernism and celebrity.”

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The caption on the back of this Pocono resort’s postcard touts this theater as the “resort world’s most modern showplace.” With a capacity of 1200, it splendour is obvious even after years of decay. This postcard is also postmarked and filled out: “Having a lovely weekend here. All pleasure – only exercise is rowing a boat and playing shuffleboard! Nice to be lady-like and not “rushing” about! We will see you soon.”

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The caption on the inside of the matchbook: “Swim n’ Sun Indoor Swimming Pool at Penn Hills Lodge and Cottages. The Poconos’ Finest Modern Resort.”

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Postcard caption: “Birchwood is the only resort offering three swimming pool facilities, indoor pool, outdoor pool and lake with beach. Pictured here is beautiful Eagle Lake, at the foot of the Village Green. Here couples enjoy the white-sand beach, chaise lounges, bicycle and row boats, and fish off its shores … Six low-cost all-expense package plans include indoor swimming, airplane rides, movies, bowling, horseback riding, all winter sports and 40 other free activities!”

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The “Jenny G Wing”, which was inspired by the style of legendary modernist architecture Mies van der Rohe, opened in 1964 and was among the last structures erected at Grossinger’s. It was designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus — the man who almost single-handedly created the “Miami Modern” hotel look.

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Stairs lead down to an abandoned theater in the Poconos. The curtain last fell here sometime in the early 90’s

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A residential building in a Poconos resort sits in disrepair. On the back of the postcard: “Dear Bernie – Don’t think we forgot you – but we’re having such a grand time that post cards are a chore! This is the life & the place & the people are grand. We couldn’t be happier or have more fun. See you soon! Love, Lou & Shiela.”

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A lane attendant at the Homowack lodge in the Catskills.

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Looking down the side of that same 70’s structure which marketed itself as “ultra-modern building houses the dining room, cocktail lounge, lobbies and offices.”

Source: Pablo Iglesias Maurer, Bill Bard Associates, Kardmasters, FPC advertising, Kardmaster Brochures, H. Rubenstein, Unknown, Planned Color Post Cards, Catskills Institute at Brown University
From:boredpanda

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