Or perhaps they long for an industrial past, when manufacturing provided jobs that would support a family. It’s just not worth the risk. These places offer intrigue and visual appeal but also insight to less-explored parts of the nation's past, from a military airplane graveyard in Arizona to the ruins of a Missouri castle and abandoned furnaces, towns, and other structures around the country. He’s bouncing 3,000-degree sparks off the Bean. One of the guys in my crew polished the Bean when they put it there. CT: What are people’s reactions when they see your photos? Freelance photographer Rick Drew has been delving into abandoned buildings in and around the Chicago area for the past decade. Are we missing something unusual in Chicago? He obtained permission, and paid a fee, to stage photographs at this shuttered psychiatric hospital near Peoria, Illinois. The thing is if you’re on the outside walking around, it’s no problem. A lot of the times, when they post a picture, they’ll forget to remove the GPS data. 31 Haunting Images of Abandoned Places That Will Give You Goose Bumps . So it’s hardly surprising that it’s also a city with ghosts — a whole lot of ghosts. With so much diversity, there’s a neighborhood that’s just your style. CT: What do you think is the most iconic or impressive abandoned site in Chicago? If you have a 3,000-degree spark landing on it, it’s going to pit it. A once-booming Mississippi River port town has transformed into an eerie, mostly abandoned ghost town. These guys came around the corner and they had six guards with shotguns in their faces, screaming at them, you know, "Get on the ground! The Windy City has awe-inspiring skyscrapers, hunger-stomping food and culture to match almost any city in the world. Death alley behind James M. Nederlander Theatre All the X-ray machines were still there. level 2 Union Station in Gary, Indiana. The problem is, like anywhere, if the cops see you one time and they warn you, and they see you again, the second time, it’s not going to be a warning, then you’ll get in trouble. The spirits who roam here, though, apparently are a happy and helpful crew — moving theatrical furniture or props around, tampering with lighting, and the like. What do you see in it?" A model dressed in cosplay as the superhero Hellboy. It takes time, but you just follow tracks and you’ll find them. The main thing is always be careful. Drew using a "spinning wool" visual effects technique. They say that the only permanent thing in the world is change. There have been some areas in Chicago that have tons of abandoned buildings, but they’re in really, really bad neighborhoods. At least none that I know of. The exterior of Damen Silos, one of Chicago's most well-known abandoned sites. That was the last time I went back into that building. Like when they were tearing down Evergreen Plaza, he was up next to the bulldozer while they were tearing it down. We’ll combine light painting with steel wool and get some really cool effects. Drew Scavello, the creator of Truth In Destruction, which photographically chronicles abandoned places, said that when he started urban exploring in 2007, a … Located in southern DeWitt County just west of RT 51 at the junction of Little Galilee Rd and Red Bud Rd. We’ve done all kinds of cool stuff with it. A place for dead places and where to find them. Feel free to share your own findings. Sign up for our newsletter and enter to win the second edition of our book. PUBLISHED: 17:25, Tue, Jun 7, 2016 I guess they sent out six of their biggest, meanest guards with shotguns. It was easy to put out because it was in water. I’ve seen this guy spinning steel wool at the Bean downtown. Here's what it looks like. Not all tourist spots attract throngs of visitors. July 9, 2014: Three local friends routinely visit abandoned industrial sites in the Midwest, enter the buildings, and take only photos. They go into drain pipes and sewers. You put it on satellite view and just follow old railroad tracks. Tell us a little about that. No purchase necessary. RD: Probably Damen Silos. RD: If you’re going into a place for the first time, always try to find someone who’s been there before so they can act as a guide for you. It’s so stupid. Every weekday we compile our most wondrous stories and deliver them straight to you. What’s the attraction in that? You can show any image on this thing. I'm family friends with the owner of the mini golf place, but don't mess around with the abandoned warehouses. Disused factories, abandoned prisons, dominating sky scrapers and hidden homes. When I visited the Azores in 2016, I found a few abandoned places near me. But I’ve had friends that have been busted and got in serious trouble. And then I took a break for a while and started doing more scuba diving, but then I got big into shipwreck diving, which is pretty much the same thing, but underwater. And the general question is, "Why? Get on the ground!" (Rick Drew). Rick Drew: Probably about 30 years ago. [Laughs]. Perhaps people like abandoned places because they feel genuine in a world full of commercial clutter and Disneyized cityscapes. CT: What compels you to explore abandoned buildings? [Laughs] She’s happy that I haven’t been out much this year. When you spin it, it feeds it oxygen, so it burns hot and fast. Watch a video of Rick Drew exploring Chicago's abandoned Damen Silos: CT: What do you tell people before they go urban exploring? Offer available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). Go to Gary/Hammond Indiana just across the border. What was once one of the country's largest confectionary plants is now an abandoned ruin, but is still pretty sweet. The Sweetin Home To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our cookie policy. So, I was standing around waiting and the floor I was standing on dropped about six inches. Abandoned structures like the Damen Silos on the South Side of Chicago harken back to the city’s past as a thriving industrial center. So, that’s one style. The atrium at the Abandoned Monte Palace in Saõ Miguel. That’s a bad idea. Abandoned Places to Explore: Monte Palace in Saõ Miguel Azores Walking through an abandoned hallway at the abandoned Monte Palace in Saõ Miguel. The best backdrop you can have is a real, crumbling building. A theater sits abandoned on Roosevelt Road, once majestic in splendor, now majestic in decay. One spark hit my friend’s lens and it burned a quarter-inch into the glass on his lens. Abandoned house in McHenry County, Illinois History books are one way to understand the passage of time, but there are also some real-life monuments that speak of … Where can I explore abandoned buildings in the 'burbs? If the cops see you inside the fence, they’ll tell you to leave, but they won’t arrest you. By Lizzie Mulherin. RD: That’s probably my favorite thing. I’ve seen people start fires doing that. It’s risk and reward. CT:  Some of your photos combine cosplay with urban exploration. Abandoned places in Illinois, with accounts of urban exploration. Captain Tim Frey took us for a winter fishing trip on the river. Two of them were kind of half in shock and a couple of them were laughing. I’ve been into watching anime and all that stuff since I was a kid, like before it was popular. [Laughs] I’ve found a few that way. You take steel wool and basically a whisk and chain or rope. I always say go with three people because if someone gets hurt, someone can stay with them and then someone else can go and get help. A century-old network of freight tunnels underneath the city's historic business district. CT: You also use light painting, a technique where photographs are taken at long exposures. Drew illuminated the dark basement of Chicago's Damen Silos using light painting. Sometimes word of mouth, but a lot of explorers don’t like sharing because if you post it and give your location away, within a week, scrappers will be there and clean it out. Of course, "abandoned," and that kind of thing and just try to find pictures that people have posted. Eerie abandoned places in the UK that might be near YOU THERE is no denying the UK property market can be exorbitant at the best of times. That’s really cool. They’re really into it. So you can do logos, fire, monsters. CT: What's the urban exploration scene like in Chicago? They’re nuts. (Rick Drew). One of the girls in the group, she was still down the hall, so she took out her card, hid it in her bra, put a blank card in the camera and formatted the blank card. Sign up for our morning newsletter to get all of our stories delivered to your mailbox each weekday. These abandoned grain silos and tunnels are an urban exploration dream. RD: I’ve been back there once since then. Jan. 26: The Chicago River is now visible via Google Street View. Atlas Obscura says that if you plan to explore–as with many abandoned places–be ready to dodge some security guards. There’s two different ways we do it. To see something that’s new and different to me. It’s stainless steel. A small team spent nearly 10 hours documenting the waterway with a 360-degree camera in October. It looks like you shot it in the daylight. And of course, [the urban explorers] went home and un-deleted them all. After the war ended, a fire raged throughout the building, leaving behind an abandoned, yet magical mess, which can still be … (Rick Drew). #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left;width:100%;font-weight:normal;}, The Great Chicago Fire: A Chicago Stories Special, ‘Dreadhead Cowboy’ Ordered to Have No Contact With His Horses, Pritzker Extends Ban on Coronavirus-Related Evictions, City Says Long-Awaited Navy Pier Flyover on Track to Open by Year’s End, Chicago’s Post-Thanksgiving Coronavirus Surge Boosts Cases by 30%: Officials, Close Chicago Library Branches Amid COVID-19 Surge: Union. See. 08052006 GalenaSears.jpg 1,877 × 1,181; 1.9 MB 10 Eerie, Awesome or Abandoned Places You Can LEGALLY Visit in the US Something I am often asked is how to go about visiting some of these abandoned places, and while I can’t give information on certain locations as permission has previously been granted, there are a few scenarios where the location actually happens to be a publicly visitable place. The other way is doing it for effects where you bring colored lights and LEDs and all kinds of stuff and you can do patterns and shapes and orbs and all kinds of cool things. Nara Dreamland — Nara, Japan A design created by using light painting tools. A couple of them actually got married in a storm drain underground. (Rick Drew). So he specializes in doing demolition photos, which is pretty cool. The same guys will break into the roofs of skyscrapers and climb construction cranes – all that kinds of stuff. I was standing on a floor about 10 stories up, at the top of the building. Abandoned buildings are fascinating. Lawndale Theater. Hidden deep in the lush forest of Georgia's Sweetwater Creek State Park are the abandoned ruins of what was once a cotton mill used during the Civil War. RD: I’ve never been arrested, but I’ve been caught a few times. They were vandalized and turned upside down, but they were still there. CT: Is the prison in Joliet still standing? But what are the scariest abandoned places in Illinois? Winner will be selected at random on 01/01/2021. It depends on how much you want to risk. No other blog on the internet has this kind of information posted for free to their readers. Abandoned house on the south side of Chicago - Bad Leroy Brown. You see these idiots doing steel wool spinning in places where they have no business doing it. Over the years, the bricks had fallen away and the wood was stolen or burned, so I was basically standing on the skim coat with the metal mesh in there. CT: What's been your scariest moment so far while exploring? Some friends of mine like doing "draining." (Rick Drew). CT: Tell us about some of the visual effects you use in your photography. (Rick Drew) Another friend of mine goes solo but he knows the people who run one of the biggest demolition companies in the city, so he gets some phenomenal pictures of … Please click below to consent to the use of this technology while browsing our site. 'Secrets behind spaces': 12 chilling photographs of abandoned places in Illinois and their history. I have friends that are young and insane and don’t care. Chicago, Illinois. After much debate, we are happy to bring you the Top 10 Creepiest Abandoned Places in Illinois! From victims of the Great Chicago Fire, to jilted lovers and murderous masterminds, here are 10 spine-chilling tales from Chicago’s haunted history. ", Follow Evan Garcia on Twitter: @EvanRGarcia. "Chicago Tonight" asked Drew, who leads the group Chicagoland Urbex Photography, about his eccentric – and sometimes dangerous – pastime. Our search engine has helped millions of people scout out thousands of locations across the world, from derelict buildings to abandoned theme parks.. People just don’t get it at all. RD: There’ve been so many. RD: I’m the photo head for Anime Midwest, which is a big anime convention they have in Rosemont. An abandoned chicken feed factory located in Chicago. Photographer and urban explorer Rick Drew. Abandoned house on the south side of Chicago - Bad Leroy Brown. CT: How do you find new sites to explore? Please note, the locations listed are not a comprehensive listing; they are the result of the travels of only one photographer. Or I’ll go online doing photo searches looking for different keywords. A theater sits abandoned on Roosevelt Road, once majestic in splendor, now majestic in decay. He said, "Yeah, they pit the crap out of that thing when they spin steel wool." Visit Chinatown, one of the oldest Chinese communities in the United States and home to Ping Tom Memorial Park, where you can stroll, picnic, boat, and kayak.. It is technically illegal to go here, so proceed with caution. Media in category "Abandoned buildings in Illinois" The following 35 files are in this category, out of 35 total. The interior of a Joliet prison. Another friend of mine goes solo but he knows the people who run one of the biggest demolition companies in the city, so he gets some phenomenal pictures of stuff being demolished, from behind the scenes. Trio of Photographers Flirt with the Law to Capture Beauty of Beastly Buildings. Built in 1906, these 15-story grain silos were abandoned after an explosion in 1977, yet enough of … Feb. 25: The Chicago River is far from America's cleanest waterway. Harris, who's lived in Chicago since 1992 — residing in Andersonville, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square and North Center — goes about once a year to Chicago abandoned spots. An abandoned synagogue in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. He's got a knack for urban exploration, known as "urbex" for short, which involves venturing into abandoned structures for the purposes of photography or in some cases, sheer curiosity. Mar 29, 2014 - Explore Andrea Diaz's board "Abandoned Places in Chicago, IL", followed by 153 people on Pinterest. Includes locations in East St Louis, Manteno, Harvey, Chicago. As long as you’re polite and cool and you’re not an idiot towards the cops, they usually let you go. And even then, we were at a place that was soaking wet and we were standing in six inches of water and there was a couch cushion floating in the water. You hit it with a lighter or nine-volt battery and it starts burning. I went back there about four hours later and [the guards] were still there. So with practice, you can use a nice powerful flashlight and move it around quite a bit and illuminate your entire room and there are zero shadows. They’ll be like, "Why would you bother doing that? There’s no wood. © 2020 Atlas Obscura. There was no way I could fit through it. I’ll spin steel wool in a lot of places, but we always spend five or 10 minutes walking around to make sure that there’s nothing that’s gonna burn. The exterior of Damen Silos, one of Chicago's most well-known abandoned sites. (Rick Drew). Everyone sees it, it’s been in so many movies. Drew said Gary is a frequent destination for urban explorers due to the presence of several abandoned sites in the city. Feb. 9: After reading about people living in tents on a large plot of abandoned property along the Chicago River, I grabbed my camera and set out for the South Loop to investigate. At this stage in the game, I’m not gonna risk too much. And Statesville will send over a van full of guards. Chicago is a city with history — a whole lot of history. RD: Different groups do different things. I’ve had friends say, "Hey, where can I do a good zombie shoot locally?" I don’t know if there was anything inside of them still, but it’s just amazing that some of these things get left behind. They don’t carry crowbars or anything that might attract the attention of the police. Check the area out. (Rick Drew). I’m not exaggerating at all, you can ask my girlfriend: I’ve probably got 300 flashlights. (Rick Drew). (Rick Drew). Villa Park, Illinois Ebenezer Floppen Slopper's Wonderful Abandoned Water Slides I have a buddy that will walk his dog and he’ll let his dog off the leash and chase after it on purpose, because the dog is pretty well-trained, just to get into places. (Rick Drew). Chicago’s many neighborhoods are filled with great green spaces — and lots of cultural charm. Located at 29th and Damen on the banks of the Chicago River, this is a popular spot for teens to roam. RD: The first time I go somewhere, it’s usually just [to] explore. So you just wipe it in front of the camera and if you do a 10-second exposure, you’ll actually draw an image in the air. Cruise the Chicago River from the Comfort of Your Home. You put the steel wool in the whisk on the end of the rope and just spin it and the steel wool burns at like 3,000 degrees. Abandoned Places Nearby Find abandoned places near your current location, or search for a place to target. 19 talking about this. Croatia is blessed with some RD: Google Maps. One is we use light painting just to light up your scene. This way you know what to watch out for: if there are holes in the floor or bad walls or bad floors or areas of the roof to avoid, that kind of thing. How do you use that during your explorations? That happened to a friend of mine. Donations by philanthropists have bestowed the city with superlative museums and more than 700 works of public art, by Picasso, Chagall, Miró – the list is huge. I have a lot of them modified with different colored filters and extensions and different things for getting different shapes and effects. Exploring a Tent City Along the Chicago River. RD: Yeah. RD: We’ll spin steel wool to get cool background effects and sparks, but I’ve seen people start fires doing that. One-of-a-kind preserved ruins of an abandoned 1880s church in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. I don’t know if it’s because they’re trying to keep new urban explorers from finding buildings to explore … If you have a nice, big dark room in an abandoned building and try to use a flash to light it up, you’re going to get really, really harsh shadows. See more ideas about abandoned places, abandoned, abandoned buildings. The group I was with went through a small cubby hole in the ceiling. Private Trip: Immersive Art and Otherworldly Landscapes of Santa Fe, Weird Homes Holiday Tour: Decked Out Collections, A Holiday Gathering: Food, Foraging, and Mythology, Tales From the Museum: Best of Museums A-Z, Detangling the Devilish Origins of Scandinavia's St. Lucia Buns, This 19th-Century Cocktail Still Fights Cold Nights in the Midwest, Cultural Heritage Is Caught Up in the Conflict Over Nagorno-Karabakh. Graceland Cemetery. RD: My girlfriend thinks I’m nuts. There was about 10 of us in there, doing pictures and walking around and I had to be out of there by one o’clock because I was meeting a group somewhere else in the area, so I left and then these guys just don’t show up. Citywide, more than 12,000 abandoned properties sit in limbo—and you’re paying for it. He’ll go, "I’m just getting my dog now, I’ll be right out!". The van was still outside and they were still patrolling around, because the place is so big that you can hide. If you notice all the shots where I’m doing it, I’m outdoors or there’s water everywhere. The place has been locked up and reopened several times, and is currently waiting demolition. Offer subject to change without notice. Remington Arms, Bridgeport, Conn. Add The 606 aka Bloomingdale Trail to a New List. Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic. But if you’re inside the jail, and the cops know it, that’s not their area of authority, so what they’ll do is call Statesville Penitentiary because it’s part of the prison system. (Rick Drew). But the hobby comes with a host of hassles and is considered by some as simple trespassing. They gave them a real good scare. All rights reserved. 4. Hauntingly beautiful, they're crumbling relics of another time and an absolute joy to explore. Chicago Tonight: When did you first get interested in urban exploration? 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