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September 11th, 2001 => Environmental Disasters & Mass Tragedies => Topic started by: Lisa Wolfe on June 16, 2009, 11:56:52 pm



Title: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 16, 2009, 11:56:52 pm
20 Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places

(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/abandoned-cities-main.jpg)

There are many reasons why cities are abandoned; some, like the ghost towns of the American West, have become tourist destinations while others have been condemned or simply forgotten. These 20 abandoned cities of the world share an eerie, haunted quality that is part of what makes them so fascinating. For more amazing abandoned places by region visit the WebUrbanist abandonments archive.




Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Pl
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 16, 2009, 11:57:49 pm
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/kowloon-walled-city1.jpg)


1. The Kowloon Walled City was located just outside Hong Kong, China during British rule. A former watchpost to protect the area against pirates, it was occupied by Japan during World War II and subsequently taken over by squatters after Japanís surrender. Neither Britain nor China wanted responsibility for it, so it became its own lawless city.

Its population flourished for decades, with residents building labyrinthine corridors above the street level, which was clogged with trash. The buildings grew so tall that sunlight couldnít reach the bottom levels and the entire city had to be illuminated with fluorescent lights. It was a place where brothels, casinos, opium dens, **** parlors, food courts serving dog meat and secret factories ran unmolested by authorities. It was finally torn down in 1993 after a mutual decision was made by British and Chinese authorities, who had finally grown wary of the unsanitary, anarchic city and its out-of-control population.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 16, 2009, 11:58:52 pm
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/oradour-1.jpg)


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Pl
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 16, 2009, 11:59:10 pm
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/oradour-21.jpg)

2. The small village of Oradour-sur-Glane, France, is the setting of unspeakable horror. During World War II, 642 residents were massacred by German soldiers as punishment for the French Resistance. The Germans had initially intended to target nearby Oradour-sur-Vayres and mistakenly invaded Oradour-sur-Glane on June 10th 1944. According to a survivorís account, the men were herded into barns where they were shot in the legs so they would die more slowly. The women and children, who had been held in a church, all perished when their attempt to escape was met by machine-gun fire. The village was razed by the Germans afterward. Its ruins still stand today as a memorial to the dead and a reminder of the events that took place.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:00:22 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/kolmanskop1.jpg)

3. Kolmanskop is a small town located a few miles inland from the port of Laderitz in Namibia. Windswept sand has made its way into nearly every building in the town, which was once a diamond mining town and abandoned in 1956 as diamond demand declined and richer sources of diamonds were discovered in other areas. Its only residents are now birds, hyenas and other animals.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:01:01 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/humberstone.jpg)

4. Humberstone, Chile was a booming town from the 1920s until the early 40s, enjoying the wealth and prosperity that came from mining and processing nitrate, also known as saltpeter. Once synthetic saltpeter was invented, the town began to decline and experienced a slow outpouring of residents until it finally lay empty in 1961. Since then, the blowing sand from surrounding deserts has made its way into the remaining buildings, which still house machinery and furniture. The town has been named a World Heritage Site and will likely be preserved as a historical monument.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Pl
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:01:57 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/wittenoon-group1.jpg)

5. Wittenoom, Australia was once home to 20,000 people in its mining heyday. The asbestos mining town effectively shut down after the health risks of asbestos became clear in the 60s, and 1,000 residents died of asbestos-related illnesses. The remaining residents left, aside from the 8 people who still live there today. The city is littered with the blue fibers of asbestos, which can be seen in the bottom left photo above.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:02:42 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/gary-group1.jpg)

6. Only 30 minutes from the south side of Chicago lies Gary, Indiana, established as a company town for U.S. Steel in 1906. When the steel industry took a downturn in the 60s, the town became depressed and has never recovered. Gary, which has oft received the dubious honor of the murder capital of the U.S., is beginning to see signs of revitalization and is still home to thousands of people, but by the looks of its downtown area you’d never know it.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:03:21 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/ruby-group.jpg)

7. Ruby, Arizona is one of the best preserved ghost towns in Arizona, but you can only gain access to it by helping in the restoration effort. It was founded as a mining camp, producing mostly copper, lead and zinc. At its peak in the mid 30s, Ruby’s population reached 1,200. The population diminished after the mine was closed in the 50s. The few buildings that remain include the jail, a schoolhouse, mine offices and a handful of homes.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:03:57 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/agdam1.jpg)

8. The eerie city of Agdam, Azerbaijan was once a thriving city of 150,000 people. It was lost in 1993 during the Nagorno Karabakh war; though the city was never the setting of combat, it fell victim to vandalism while occupied by Armenians. The buildings are gutted and empty, with only the graffiti-covered mosque remaining intact. Agdam residents have moved to other areas of Azerbaijan, as well as into Iran.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:04:47 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/bodie.jpg)

9. Bodie State Historic Park in California is one of the many gold-mining ghost towns in the American West. The town of Bodie once had 10,000 residents during the gold rush; the last of its residents left during the 50s and 60s. Only a small part of the town still stands today, but what remains has been well preserved. Interiors remain as they were when Bodie became a National Historic Site in 1962, with goods stacked on the shelves. Bodie is now frequented by tourists, but its ghost town atmosphere is intact - there are no commercial facilities in the area.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:05:17 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/mandu-group.jpg)

10. Located south of Indore in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Mandu was once the capital city of a northern Indian Muslim state and has lain abandoned for over 400 years. The ancient city takes up a large plateau just above the Narmada River and is home to a dazzling array of ruins, including a royal palace and a mosque. The Nil Kanth Palace is an important pilgrimage point for devotees of the Hindu goddess Shiva. Today, the city’s only residents are gypsy tribes who live on the hilltop plateau.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:08:14 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/kadykchan.jpg)

11. Kadykchan was one of many small Russian cities that fell into ruin when the Soviet Union collapsed. Residents were forced to move to gain access to services like running water, schools and medical care. The state moved them out over a period of two weeks, and they were taken to other towns and provided with new housing. Once a tin mining town of 12,000 people, the city is now desolate. In their hurry to leave, residents left their belongings behind in their homes, so you can now find aging toys, books, clothing and other objects throughout the empty city.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:09:31 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/cody.jpg)

12. The small town of Cody was established in what has been called the ‘Valley of the Ghosts’ in British Columbia in the 1890s during the silver boom. Named after silver prospector Henry Cody, the town was expected by residents at the time to surpass other nearby towns in size and greatness. At the pinnacle of its success, though, Cody only had 150 residents, and when the town failed to attract more people it was deserted in 1910.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:10:14 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/balestrino.jpg)

13. Balestrino, Italy is just as picturesque as many other medieval Italian towns, with its stunning hilltop location 70 km southeast of Genoa. Once owned by the Benedictine abbey of San Pietro dei Monti, Balestrino began losing its population in the late 19th century as earthquakes struck the region and damaged property. In 1953, the town was abandoned due to eœgeological instability. The part of the town that has remained untouched since that time is currently undergoing planning for redevelopment, so it won’t remain abandoned for much longer.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:10:59 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/times-beach.jpg)

14. Once home to 2200 residents, Times Beach, Missouri stood empty and condemned for over a decade. It is the site of one of America’s worst pollution disasters. From 1972 to 1976, city officials had waste oil sprayed on the unpaved roads to alleviate a dust problem. Unfortunately, that waste oil contained dioxin, a toxic carcinogen and component of Agent Orange. The dioxin permeated the soil and flooding further spread it through the town. After a long cleanup effort, the town has been reborn as Route 66 State park.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:11:41 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/deception61.jpg)

15. Deception Island is located in the South Shetland Islands off the Antarctic Peninsula. One of the area’ only safe harbors, Deception Island offered a refuge from storms and was also the site of several research stations and whaling operations. Many buildings have been abandoned there due both to a decline in the use of whale oil and a volcanic eruption in 1969. The volcano has made it an unpopular location, but Spain and Argentina still have summer-only research stations there.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:12:15 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/tyneham-group.jpg)

16. Tyneham is referred to as ‘the village that Dorset lost’. During World War II, the Ministry of Defence took over this town on the Isle of Purbeck in south England for use as an army base. Citizens were promised their homes back after the war ended, but were never allowed back in. It has stood as ghost village ever since, lying in ruins except for the schoolhouse and church that still stand relatively untouched. Schoolwork still sits on the aging desks, and a sign on the church still reads, ‘Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly.’


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:12:48 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/kayakoy-group.jpg)

17. Kayakoy, Turkey was once a thriving Greek village, home to 25,000 people. In 1923, the town was completely deserted when its inhabitants, along with millions of other Greeks in Turkey, were forced out of the country due to the Greek war of independence. Since then, the village - which had been populated since the 13th century - has stood empty and deteriorating. Kayakoy is the largest and most well preserved ghost village in Asia Minor.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:13:14 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/craco.jpg)

18. The medieval village of Craco, Italy was built on a very steep summit for defensive reasons, in a dry and mostly vegetation-free area in the south of the country. Over the centuries, this village lost residents due to a plague, French occupation and civil unrest, and finally lost nearly all of its residents between 1892 and 1922 as they fled for America due to poor agricultural conditions. Earthquakes in the ‘60s forced the remaining occupants out of the city, and it’s now completely uninhabited.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:13:39 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/klomino1.jpg)

19. Polish officials have been trying to get rid of the village of Klomino for years; it was last on the market for 2 million, but most of its remaining buildings were demolished after lack of interest and locals destroyed what was left. Klomino is the only official ghost town in Poland, built solely as living quarters for the Russian Army. It has lain empty since the Red Army withdrew its forces in 1992.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:14:40 am
(http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/pyramiden1.jpg)


20. Pyramiden, Norway was a Russian settlement and coal mining community founded by Sweden and sold to Russia in 1927. The settlement once had a population of over 1,000 people but has been empty since its owner, the state-owned Soviet company Arctikugol Trust, abandoned it in 1991. The buildings still stand today exactly as they were when it was still in use. Tourists can access it for now by snowmobile or boat, but Russia plants to redevelop it soon. Want more? Check out strange and fascinating abandoned towns, cities and other places in Europe, Russia and the United States.


http://weburbanist.com/2008/07/06/20-abandoned-cities-and-towns/2/


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:15:24 am
Centralia, PA:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....nnsylvania


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:16:09 am
http://kiokuya-haikyo.versus.jp/index.html


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:16:44 am
Another one: in Sardinia, Gairo vecchia

http://www.google.com/search?c.....ro+vecchia
some photos:
http://flickr.com/photos/coloru/2083671784/
http://www.paradisola.it/foto-.....sp?iCat=80
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gratius/2361049255/


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:16:57 am
Sewell, Chile
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sewell%2C_Chile


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:17:47 am
"The town of Quaban, which was abandoned and flooded when the Quaban dam was built to create the Quaban reservoir. They literally abandoned the town and let it be flooded."


http://www.westfordcomp.com/quabbin/


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:18:24 am
"Villa Lago Epecuén, in Argentina. It was abandoned because human activity (rivers detour) caused an flood and permanent level risinf of Lake Epecuén. You can see some photographs at"

http://www.taringa.net/posts/i.....-agua.html


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:20:13 am
Hashima island aka. Gunkanjima should be included.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashima_Island
http://www.ne.jp/asahi/saiga/y.....bnail.html


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:22:21 am
Prypiat, next to Chernobyl

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prypiat,_Ukraine


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 12:23:25 am
Centralia, Pennsylvania

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_PA


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:05:19 pm
Centralia, Pennsylvania

Centralia is a borough and ghost town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 12 in 2005[1] and 9 in 2007,[2] as a result of a mine fire burning beneath the borough since 1962. Centralia is now the least-populous municipality in Pennsylvania, with four fewer residents than the borough of S.N.P.J.

Centralia is part of the Bloomsburg–Berwick Micropolitan Statistical Area.



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:07:07 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/78/Pa61_centralia.jpg)

Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 40°48′12″N 76°20′30″W / 40.80333°N 76.34167°W / 40.80333; -76.34167
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Columbia
Settled 1841
Incorporated 1866
Government
 - Mayor Lamar Mervine
Area
 - Total 0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)
Population (2008)
 - Total 11
 - Density 87.5/sq mi (33.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Zip code 17921
Area code(s) 570



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:07:38 pm
Johnathan Faust opened Bull's Head Tavern in 1841 in what was then Roaring Creek Township. In 1854, Alexander W. Rea, a civil and mining engineer for the Locust Mountain Coal and Iron Company, moved to the site and laid out streets and lots for development. The town was known as Centreville until 1865. There was another Centreville in Schuylkill County, however, and the Post Office would not allow a second one, so Rea named his village Centralia.[3]

Centralia was incorporated as a borough in 1866. The anthracite coal industry was the principal employer in the community. Coal mining continued in Centralia until the 1960s, when most of the companies went out of business. Bootleg mining continued until 1982. Strip and open-pit mining is still active in the area, and there is an underground mine employing about 40 employees three miles to the west.

The borough was also a hotbed of Molly Maguires activity during the 1860s and 1870s. The borough's founder, Alexander Rea, was one of the victims of the secret order when he was murdered just outside of the borough on October 17, 1868. Three individuals were convicted of the crime and hanged in the county seat of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania on March 25, 1878. Several other murders and arsons also occurred during this period.



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:07:52 pm
The borough was served by two railroads, the Philadelphia and Reading and the Lehigh Valley, with the Lehigh Valley being the principal carrier. Rail service ended in 1966. The borough operated its own school district with elementary schools and a high school within its precincts. There were also two Catholic parochial schools in the borough. The borough once had seven churches, five hotels, twenty-seven saloons, two theatres, a bank, post office, and fourteen general and grocery stores. During most of the borough's history, when coal mining activity was being conducted, the town had a population in excess of 2,000 residents. Another 500 to 600 residents lived in unincorporated areas immediately adjacent to Centralia.[1]



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:08:18 pm
1948 plane crash

In 1948, the worst national plane disaster pre-1950 occurred outside of Centralia, near Aristes. The crash killed Broadway producer Earl Carroll and Beryl Wallace.[4] The rescue efforts were based in Centralia.



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:09:03 pm
Mine fire
“ This was a world where no human could live, hotter than the planet Mercury, its atmosphere as poisonous as Saturn's. At the heart of the fire, temperatures easily exceeded 1,000 degrees. Lethal clouds of carbon monoxide and other gases swirled through the rock chambers. ”

[3]


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:09:52 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/cf/Old_Mine_Fire_1969.jpg/566px-Old_Mine_Fire_1969.jpg)

A small part of the Centralia mine fire as it appeared after being exposed during an excavation in 1969


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:10:07 pm
One theory asserts that in May 1962, Centralia Borough Council hired five members of the volunteer fire company to clean up the town landfill, located in an abandoned strip mine pit next to the Odd Fellows Cemetery. This had been done prior to Memorial Day in previous years, when the landfill was in a different location. The firefighters, as they had in the past, set the dump on fire, and let it burn for a time. Unlike in previous years, however, the fire was not extinguished.

Other evidence supports, as stated in Joan Quigley's 2007 missive, that one of two trash haulers (Curly Stasulevich or Sam Devine) dumped hot ash and/or coal discard from coal burners into the open trash pit. The borough, by law, was responsible for installing a fire-resistant clay barrier between each layer but had fallen behind. This action allowed the hot coals to penetrate the vein of coal underneath the pit and subsequent subterranean fire. Quigley cites "interviews with volunteer firemen, the former fire chief, borough officials, and several eyewitnesses, as well as contemporaneous borough council minutes" as her sources for this explanation of the fire.[5] Another theory of note is the Bast Theory. Basically, it states that the fire was burning long before the alleged trash dump fire. However, due to overwhelmingly contrary evidence, few hold this position and give it little credibility.[5]



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:10:20 pm
The fire remained burning underground and spread through a hole in the rock pit into the abandoned coal mines beneath Centralia. Attempts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful and it continued to burn throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Adverse health effects were reported by several people due to the byproducts of the fire, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide and lack of healthy oxygen levels.



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:11:31 pm
In 1979, locals became aware of the scale of the problem when a gas-station owner and then mayor, John Coddington, inserted a stick into one of his underground tanks to check the fuel level. When he withdrew it, it seemed hot, so he lowered a thermometer down on a string and was shocked to discover that the temperature of the gasoline in the tank was 172 °F (77.8 °C). Statewide attention to the fire began to increase, culminating in 1981 when 12-year-old resident Todd Domboski fell into a subsidence four feet wide by 150 feet (46 m) deep that suddenly opened beneath his feet in a backyard.

In 1984, Congress allocated more than $42 million for relocation efforts. Most of the residents accepted buyout offers and moved to the nearby communities of Mount Carmel and Ashland. A few families opted to stay despite warnings from state officials.



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:11:57 pm
In 1992, Pennsylvania claimed eminent domain on all properties in the borough, condemning all the buildings within. A subsequent legal effort by residents to have the decision reversed failed. In 2002, the United States Postal Service revoked Centralia's ZIP Code, 17927.



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:12:49 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/PA_CENTRALIA_OLD.PNG)

Centralia Area showing conditions before mine fire


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:13:34 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7d/PA_CENTRALIA_NEW.PNG)

Centralia Area showing conditions after mine fire


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:14:19 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e8/Cent_46.JPG/800px-Cent_46.JPG)

Where the Highway Cuts off Because of the Centralia Mine Fire.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:15:52 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b1/Pdr_1647.jpg/800px-Pdr_1647.jpg)

Higher resolution photograph of the Route 61 crack, in Centralia PA.



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:16:21 pm
Today

A handful of occupied homes remain in Centralia. However, most of the abandoned buildings have been demolished, and at a casual glance the area now appears to be a field with many paved streets running through it. Some areas are being filled with new-growth forest. Most of Centralia's roads and sidewalks are overgrown with brush, although some areas appear to be mowed.[7] The remaining church in the borough holds weekly Saturday night services, and the borough's four cemeteries are still well-maintained. Centralia's cemeteries now have a far greater population than the town, including one on the hilltop that has smoke rising around and out of it.



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:16:32 pm
The only indications of the fire, which underlies some 400 acres (1.6 km²), spreading along four fronts, are low round metal steam vents in the south of the borough, and several signs warning of underground fire, unstable ground, and carbon monoxide. Additional smoke and steam can be seen coming from an abandoned portion of Pennsylvania Route 61, the area just behind the hilltop cemetery, and other cracks in the ground scattered about the area. Route 61 was repaired several times until its final closing. The current route was a detour around the damaged portion during the repairs and became a permanent route in the mid-1990s, thus abandonment occurred to the old route with mounds of dirt being placed at both ends of the former route, effectively blocking the road. Pedestrian traffic is still possible due to a small opening about two feet wide at the north side of the road, but this is muddy and not accessible to the disabled. The underground fire is still burning and will continue to do so for the indefinite future. There are no plans to extinguish the fire, which is consuming an eight-mile seam containing enough coal to fuel it for 250 years.[1]



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:16:46 pm
Prior to its demolition in September of 2007, one of the few remaining houses was notable for the five chimney-like support buttresses along each of two opposite sides of the house, where the house was previously supported by a row of adjacent buildings before they were demolished. Another house with similar buttresses is visible from the northern side of the cemetery, just north of the burning, partially subsumed hillside.[8]

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania did not renew the relocation contract at the end of 2005, and the fate of the remaining residents is uncertain.[9]

It is expected that many former residents will return in 2016 to open a time capsule buried in 1966 next to the veterans' memorial.[1]



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:17:38 pm
Mineral rights

Several current and former Centralia residents believe the state's eminent domain claim was a ploy to gain the mineral rights to the anthracite coal beneath the borough. Residents estimate its value to be in the billions of dollars, although the exact amount of coal is not known. This is stated in Joan Quigley's The Day the Earth Caved In in a section that indicated Centralia is the only municipality within the Commonwealth that actually owned its mineral rights. Contrasting this was a mine fire, likened to the one here, in a nearby municipality in which the government was successful in extinguishing through similar methods used and proposed for Centralia.[10]


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:17:58 pm
Geography

Centralia is located at 40°48′12″N 76°20′30″W / 40.80333°N 76.34167°W / 40.80333; -76.34167 (40.803291, -76.341741).[11] According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²), all land.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:18:36 pm
Demographics

As of the 2000 census,[12] there were 21 people, 10 households, and 7 families residing in the borough. As of March 2004[update], there were eighteen people residing in nine dwellings. (More recent statistics in 2007 report half as many residents.) The population density was 87.5 people per square mile (33.8/km²). There were sixteen housing units at an average density of 66.7 people per square mile (25.7/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 100% white.

There were ten households out of which one (10%) had children under the age of 18 living with them, five (50%) were married couples living together, one had a single female householder, and three (30%) were non-families. Three of the households were made up of individuals and one had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10, and the average family size was 2.57.



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:18:55 pm
In the borough the population was spread out with one (5%) resident under the age of 18, one from 18 to 24, four (19%) from 25 to 44, seven (33%) from 45 to 64, and eight (38%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 62 years. There were ten females and eleven males with one male under the age of 18.

The median income for a household in the borough was $23,750, and the median income for a family was $28,750. The per capita income for the borough was $16,083. None of the population is below the poverty line.



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:19:40 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fd/PA_61_Centralia_and_Byrnesville.jpg/750px-PA_61_Centralia_and_Byrnesville.jpg)

1999 photo showing the abandoned highway, and its replacement


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:20:20 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/00/Centralia_smoke_rising.jpg/450px-Centralia_smoke_rising.jpg)

Toxic gas and smoke rising from the ground above the underground fire.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:21:09 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/80/Censign.jpg/624px-Censign.jpg)

Local warning sign


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:21:37 pm
Police

Though it originally fielded its own three-man department (one full time chief and two part-time officers) during the latter part of the twentieth century, Centralia Borough is now patrolled by the Pennsylvania State Police – Bloomsburg Station.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:22:59 pm
Literature

•   Appalachian Trail, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, describes a visit to the town.
•   Jennifer Finney Boylan's novel The Planets (written under the name James Boylan) and its sequel The Constellations are both set in Centralia.
•   Centralia is the hometown of the main character in the novel Dirty Blonde by Lisa Scottoline.
•   In the 2003 book Bubbles Ablaze by Sarah Strohmeyer, Centralia is the inspiration for the fictional town of Limbo, Pennsylvania.
•   In March 1991, Centralia was the subject of an article ("Don't Go There") in National Lampoon magazine.
•   The main character in Joyce Carol Oates' The Tattooed Girl, Alma Busch, is from Centralia.
•   Douglas Soderberg's 1986 one-act play The Root of Chaos is set in Centralia.
•   People's June 22, 1981 issue discusses the borough's dilemma in "A Town with a Hot Problem Decides Not to Move Mountains but to Move Itself".
•   TIME also presents Centralia's problems in its June 22, 1981 issue, in "The Hottest Town in America".
•   Centralia is documented in photographs and oral histories in Slow Burn: A Photodocument of Centralia, Pennsylvania by Renee Jacobs, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986.
•   Centralia is the model for the eponymous fictional town of Coal Run (novel) written by Tawni O'Dell. The book is about the life of Ivan Zoschenko, a former football hero known locally as The Great Ivan Z, but who is now the deputy of a nearby town. Ivan grew up in Coal Run, which, like Centralia, is nearly abandoned because of underground fires in the coal seams beneath the town. However, Coal Run's fires are a result of mine explosion that took the life of 96 men, including Ivan's father.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:24:10 pm
Film

•   The town and its few remaining residents are the focus of Chris Perkel and Georgie Roland's 2007 feature-length documentary The Town That Was.[13]
•   The town is the inspiration for the 1991 cult film Nothing But Trouble, written by Dan Aykroyd.
•   In the 2006 horror film Silent Hill, the town of Silent Hill has been abandoned due to a prolonged mine fire, which director Christophe Gans says was inspired by Centralia. Aspects of this are shown throughout the movie, such as characters wandering through the misty version of Silent Hill wearing mining gear.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:24:54 pm
Comics

•   The town is included in a short documentary on the Broken Saints web comic DVD set.
•   Centralia appears in Alan Moore's Saga of the Swamp Thing in the 1985 story arc "The Nukeface Papers".


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:25:38 pm
Other

•   The Squonk Opera wrote and performed a musical entitled Inferno (working and debut title of Burn), re-interpreting Dante Alighieri's Inferno as a trip into Centralia.
•   The town of Centralia was featured in the "Engineering Disasters #7" of Modern Marvels on the History Channel.
•   The town was featured in episode #59: 'Fire' of the radio program This American Life.
•   The town was featured in an episode of "Life After People: The Series" on the History Channel. It was used as an example of what would happen to a town after 25 years without humans.


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:26:40 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/Dump0307.png)

The Buck Vein Outcrop


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:27:28 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/Centralia_wafting.png)

A plume of smoke wafts from the ground



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:28:09 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c1/Rowhome.png)

A row home stands alone


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:29:32 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/66/Hillside_church.png)

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:30:40 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8d/Centralia_Route61.jpg)

The ruined section of Route 61, Centralia



Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:31:04 pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_PA


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:33:18 pm
http://www.offroaders.com/album/centralia/ghosttown.htm


Title: Re: Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places
Post by: Lisa Wolfe on June 17, 2009, 01:34:42 pm
Centralia Pennsylvania
Centralia's Mine Fire History

Centralia - Columbia County, Pennsylvania - The fire was started in a garbage dump over an open coal seam in May of 1962.  The fire was reported and seemed to be quenched at the time, but actually continued underground.  There are many additional versions of the original cause but the garbage pit and the date are probably right.  First bid to extinguish the fire was $175.

In July of 1962, the Department of Environmental Resources started to monitor the fire.  Boreholes were drilled to check to extent and the temperature of the fire.  Some thought they also provided an natural draft which helped combustion. Gas monitors were also installed in most homes in the area above the hottest fire (the impact area).

 
 
 


 

On May 22, 1969 the first three families were moved from Centralia.   A trench was dug north of the Odd Fellows Cemetery where fly ash and clay seals were used in am attempt to put out the fire.  According to Tony Gaughan (quoted in "Slow Burn"), if the trench had been dug in three shifts per day instead of one and if they had worked through the Labor Day holiday, the fire would have been contained.   He said the project was $50,000 short of completion.

In 1980, the U.S. Bureau of Mines "Red Book" said, "The Centralia mine fire has not been extinguished and has not been controlled."  In the year twenty-seven more families were moved at a price that was comparatively less than later buy-outs.

 

On February 14, 1981, the ground collapsed under Todd Domboski.  A hole about 4 feet in diameter and roughly 150 feet deep had opened under him.  He clung to exposed tree roots and was pulled to safety by his cousin.  The heat or the carbon monoxide in the breach would have been sufficient to kill him instantly if he had gone just a little deeper. This incident provoked the first national media attention.

 

By 1983, the government said the fire was advancing on three or four fronts.  Proposed trenching of the area might cost as much as $660 million with no guarantee of success.  One of the larger trenches would have bisected the town roughly from east to west.  A government buy-out was proposed instead of the trenching and there was a referendum held.  The homeowners voted to accept the buy-out 345 to 200.  Only those whose names were on the deeds could vote.  From 1962 to 1984, $7 million had been spent.  In November of 1983, $42 million was voted for the buy-out.


 
 
 
 
 

 

In 1983, there was fire under about 350 surface acres.  By 1991, this area had been increased by about three-quarters.  Worst case scenario would be about 3700 acres and possibly a hundred years.  Finally 26 homes along Route 61 west of town were bought in April of 1991.  There were no further plans to fight the fire.   The population of Centralia as of 4/18/97 was 44 people and has dwindled since.   There are just a few scattered homes today remaining in the town along with the borough hall.  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania owns the remaining homes.  The monetary value of each property is in escrow or tied up in the legal system.  Until the remaining people move, the future of this town is unknown.  The State is being very lenient at this time.  The State owns the homes but the remaining people are still paying the property taxes on the houses.

 
 http://www.offroaders.com/album/centralia/the-story.htm