Abondoned Creations
May 16, 2009 11:52 AM   Subscribe

Artificial Owl is a blog about about decommissioned/abandoned modern structures, from beautiful shipwrecks to abandoned factories that look like they're straight out of a Miyazaki movie. Each post even has the Google Maps location of the site, so you can plan your journey to your favorite site of modern decay.
posted by TheRoach (24 comments total) 71 users marked this as a favorite
Fantastic. I already collect links to stuff like this. Someday, when I can afford gas again, there will be a road trip.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:03 PM on May 16, 2009

posted by hattifattener at 12:04 PM on May 16, 2009

Yes, I like their owl.
posted by loquacious at 12:08 PM on May 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

I was in an amazing abandoned steel mill once for a movie project. I wish I could have been there on my own with a camera.
posted by jfrancis at 12:16 PM on May 16, 2009

Some of those shipwrecks are heart breaking.

Here in Oregon, the Peter Iredale went aground on the coast in 1906. I remember that when I was a kid that was a place we visited more than once. It was a clipper ship, and even in the early 1960's you could see what pretty lines her hull had.

It's been rusting away for a hundred years and there's hardly anything left now.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:17 PM on May 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

nice find.... thanks
posted by HuronBob at 12:50 PM on May 16, 2009

This is really a fascinating site, with brief histories to accompany the photographs. I especially love the eerie photographs of the abandoned amusement parks.
posted by blithecatpie at 12:57 PM on May 16, 2009

This is an excellent site - best of the web! Thank you.
posted by Rumple at 1:01 PM on May 16, 2009

I love this site. The abandoned sugar cane factory is my personal favorite.
posted by selenized at 2:27 PM on May 16, 2009

See, there are things to gawk at outside of Detroit!
posted by kozad at 2:47 PM on May 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Bannerman's Fucking Castle. Thanks for the post, TheRoach.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:18 PM on May 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

That old shipyard is gorgeous - totally Miyazaki.
posted by Paragon at 4:14 PM on May 16, 2009

Why are these abandoned artifacts so fascinating? I totally feel it but I don't quite understand it. Some sort of Ozymandias thing? I dunno.

Thanks, theroach, for letting us in on another timesuck.
posted by dogrose at 4:38 PM on May 16, 2009

Why are these abandoned artifacts so fascinating?

Because they're awesome.

But I think it's the fact they look like ancient ruins, yet at the same time they're clearly modern. They're like a visual pun, or surrealism made real. There is a tension between nature and artifice.

And of course, they are simply visually interesting.
posted by delmoi at 6:11 PM on May 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Great post.
posted by Ynoxas at 6:54 PM on May 16, 2009

Great photos. Thanks for the post.
posted by Tullius at 7:27 PM on May 16, 2009

Breathtaking. Thank you!
posted by giraffe at 7:43 PM on May 16, 2009

Did someone mention ozymandias ?
posted by Herodios at 8:07 PM on May 16, 2009

Maybe I missed it, but I'm surprised not to see the Ryugyong Hotel which looms over Pyongyang, North Korea. Unfinished and now unfinishable, and at nearly 1100 feet, the 18th tallest building in the world, and the world’s tallest unoccupied building. Certainly the world's biggest white elephant.
posted by Herodios at 8:17 PM on May 16, 2009

It's dangerous for tourists to try to take pictures of the Ryugyong. You can get arrested for it, and North Korea is a country where I, for one, would really not like being arrested.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:36 PM on May 16, 2009

Why is it "now unfinishable"? The Wikipedia article makes brief mention of some problem with the elevator design, but other than that the problems all seemed to be economic.
posted by hattifattener at 9:21 PM on May 16, 2009

Presumably, hattifattener, exposure to the elements has rendered the superstructure unsafe. Buildings that aren't in use deteriorate surprisingly quickly.
posted by dhartung at 9:53 PM on May 16, 2009

hattifattener: Why is it "now unfinishable"?

Official information about the building is rare as hen's teeth, but as of a year or two ago, conventional wisdom via sources like Emporis held that the basic structure -- and really, that's all the there that there is there -- was so poor that it wouldn't be safe to proceed.

Example quotes:
"[T]he cement used in the structure is not safe enough to continue the project and is presently crumbling. . . if an outside developer wanted to finish the job, it would have to first start by knocking it down and starting over from scratch."

"[Lee Sang Jun, a professor of architecture at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea] and other architects said there were questions raised about whether the hotel was structurally sound, and a few believed completing the structure could cause it to collapse."

"It would cost up to $2bn to finish the Ryugyong Hotel and make it safe, according to estimates in South Korea's media. That is equivalent to about 10 per cent of the North's annual economic output."

"The shell of the building is complete but it has not been certified as safe for occupancy. There are no windows, fixtures, or fittings. The extremely poor quality concrete used in its construction has left the building sagging to such a great degree that the structure can never be finished without a massive overhaul."
More recent news accounts about construction activity center around the communication antennas being mounted on top and the glass panels currently being attached to the sides of the building (though not in the actual window frames). The former looks like 'lemonade from lemons', and the latter bespeaks a minimal beautification project. No one is talking about correcting construction mistakes or instaling things like plumbing, power, HVAC, or elevators, much less guestrooms, restaurants, and casinos.

Technically, yeah, I suppose a few hundred million US$ could be spent to make it structurally sound and finish it, if you could justify such an expense for a 3,000 room luxury hotel in a city nobody visits.
posted by Herodios at 10:23 PM on May 16, 2009

Reminds me of Fallout 3
posted by azarbayejani at 12:21 PM on May 17, 2009

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