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tv   Abandoned America  CSPAN  December 18, 2016 7:30pm-9:01pm EST

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i am the editor of the federal review. before i start the introduction i would remind you of several things. we are filming this evening steven spielberg himself. to remind you to turn off your cell phone and at last, old questions until the end of the presentation and when you ask the question wait for them to bring the microphone to you because we can't hear you. i will tell you a bit since this
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is a commercial before the main events. event. the review is a nonprofit journal of photography founded in 1976, which means this is her 40th anniversary. the published newsletter that lists the photography exhibitions through the atlantic region in new york, washington, delaware, virginia, and news about photography and the journal that has exhibition reviews and book reviews and essays and publishes the end of the competition. there's an interest in abandoned sites since he was a child. we won't go into the psychology about it. but he started documenting them in a decade ago while researching the decline of the state hospital system.
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after matthew received his degree from the university, the work shown across the country lectured on the mental health history for numerous institutions and profiled in the various publications in various media and his website a band in america has gained international attention in the images of abandoned spaces on the intern internet. to launch matthew's latest book of "abandoned america," second volume, and as you look through these images both in print and in the book, you will see a very accomplished in terms of
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creating the photographs in a rectangle matthews vision gets to the heart of the matter in terms of composition and color and of course in terms of the content, and that is what is important about the work. there are many people that have and continue to photograph the abandoned spaces and you might have a beautiful image of the abstract pattern of paint on the wall or in abandoned gloves off to a factory floor. but what matthew does is remind us of the lives that once inhabited these species. the only thing that is constant in our lives this change. none of these spaces from industries, homes, hospitals was necessarily meant to last forever. nor does anything particularly
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last forever. but it's how we treat these places and what we expect out of them and how we plan for the institutions that succeed them. it is especially appropriate in this political campaign season. they grow up in upstate pennsylvania in the coal mining country. the coal industry has been disappearing for years despite what politicians will say, it isn't coming back. there's nothing you can do to save it. it is a victim of improving technologies of market forces. they drive down the price of cold. and certainly for the many that are losing their jobs, we have to figure out how to retrain them and get them to the industries that need them. but for all of the miners that
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had black lung and were injured, had friends, family members killed in the minds, it's not that bad of a thing. on one level. same with factory jobs. we need to think about what the future holds and how we can make that happen. personally, i think that the photographs really show us the elegance of what has been but leaves us with the question of what we call a. it's my pleasure to introduce matthew christopher. [applause] >> hello, everybody thank you for coming out tonight.
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i'm grateful to have all of you here. it means a lot to me he would come out and share the evening with me. i'm excited to talk about my new book. before i do, i just have several people to think. i would like to thank my family and wonderful fiancé both of whom have helped tremendously with this event either the sponsors of this event. they are entertaining grace. if you are looking at the lovely set up out there and the catering and decorations that is entertaining grace so you can look at that online and if you have any events that you would like to have online they are the ones to do it. also, the community partners at gershman. i would like to thank the photo
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review for coming out and being a part of the evening that is an honor to me. they helped get the word out about the event and all of you that have come out and supported the book, the work, people that reviewed the book and that are here to share the evening with me. also, eric and danielle who both helped me quite a bit with editing the book and c-span for being with us as we were bringing things in and out. things you, richard. so anyway, this is a pretty great night not just in terms of the book being out and finally done, which i have to tell you that is pretty great for me not as some sort of a big life accomplishment that it was a lot of work. also, this is the ten year anniversary of my website. so, my website "abandoned
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america," which is where we get the title of the book and dismantling the dreaming at thee age of consequence which was my first book. that is basically a catalog of the different sites that i've been to whereas many of them as i processed and added online so it is kind of a never-ending thing that i'm building. usually in the beginning i like to give people an idea of the places i've been to. this is the collection of images we will experience together. this is a plant that i've been to. all of the forms used to make the plates and dishes are quite heavy and that is why they are sinking through the floor. looking at bethlehem steel. if you go out there now you can see all the restoration work they did go over on the trestle, you can look down into the room. but when i went there in 2008,
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2009, the whole thing was a band and. this is alcoa aluminum, one of the first. this is the plant in detroit. if you ever see body by fisher stamped on your car, that's where they did. this is late 2008. apparently a good chunk of the façade fell off. here is the query in pennsylvania. the hershey chocolate factory. that is one that is kind of a poignant one for me because i spent a good portion of my youth growing up there and my father worked there. he didn't work in the factory but in the it section. they build a new facility so it's not like they went bankrupt or something but this is an iconic one when he founded it.
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one of the recent ones i photographed from the major urban newspaper they've moved their offices out in the subur suburbs. the whole facility has these printing machines being dismantled as we speak. bell labs is used to think for a myriad of technologies like microwaves, satellite, microwave technology, they develop what they call the big name. at the time, these were all the looms they had that were threaded with the least that they were making when it closed. one of them remains, and it isn't in good condition. condition. the clothing factory people frequently ask me why there are so many things left over in a
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case like this. you have thousands of coats and the reason the place closed is because guys don't wear suit jackets that much to work anymore so they were not giving the same business and they were closed because of that, then everything inside is more or less seized to potentially pay off debtors. coats are chump change to the banks. they don't matter to them. the westport generating station is where they consolidated all the gas and electric into one building. at the time it was the largest reinforced concrete building in the world made of reinforced concrete so if there was a fire or anything blew up, the whole place would burn down. power plants and water stations, public utilities are the great historic structure that you will ever see. it's astonishing because they are places the public doesn't really get to see and of course they had areas like this you
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just have kind of a steam pump nightmare is probably what that is. so, then to a number of resorts. if you were to go over to the other side of the hallway, you would see the room on the other side of the hall is in good condition. you could put sheets on the bed and you might not be able to tell it from another hotel because this site has water and the other side does not. another resort that i've been to, i have to confess that i've read the names i haven't actually heard it spoken. the guy that shot some of the pennsylvania state troopers and then they hathen beheaded big mr him, this resort is where they found him. i don't assume that he slept on that bed because it doesn't look all that safe. that hotel was burned by an arsonist in double font.
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it's a gorgeous building. and one of the things i point out in my ever kind of previous talk, i have a previous presentation with a whole spiel on why he abandoned buildings will kill you and therefore you shouldn't go in them. this is all new stuff. so right here i will point out that as a whole when the stairs. the whole stairway is carboniz carbonized. so there is a good chance that at any point going up the stairway you would just go right through and probably punched through the one below and be in a whole world of hurt. so smart people don't go up the stairwells, i do. [laughter] this is one of the many churches i've been to this in quit that e good condition. the thing about churches that i think they are kind of works of art. whether or not you share the faith or not of the church doesn't matter as much to me.
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philadelphia in particular they are in endangered species, but much more so than the other cities as well. this is in the pittsburgh area and the neighbors that are surrounded are very worried about it even though they don't want to boost the building they are worried about the bricks falling off of it or a predator kidnapping somebody and bringing them in their. this building also in the pittsburgh area is the holy trinity church and of the whole middle section just recently collapsed. they actually had to evacuate portions of the neighborhood around it because they were worried about the whole front of the building collapsing onto them which would have been pretty bad. this is the church in philadelphia one in my first. saint boniface i was really lucky. chris stock of the philadelphia salvage company into this building as they were demolishing it. i have bee had been trying to gn
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there for five years and i couldn't. i couldn't get a hold of anybody. so i got in at the last minute. while they were right in the middle, they ripped off the apps and this is what was left. here's another church that i had been to. the interesting thing about that, there was a small fire and you can see the remains of the lower left-hand corner. it didn't do a lot of structural damage but they did a lot of soot damage. despite being dark because the windows, the lack of light, also was sort of pitch black's redheaded nightmare feeling to it, very surreal. i had been to a good many homes. so many abandoned homes that if i had a dollar for each of them i could probably stop writing books and be at home playing xbox right now. the homes that i had been to they are parts of whole
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neighborhoods like this one. this is a minor's village. yes the horse is real by the way. i didn't digitally insert it. anyway, they want to bring it back to some sort of williamsburg historic village. it is interestin was interestine were horses around in my face and i was like don't bite me. some of the homes are full of people's items in them. homes of all places give the most intimate portrait of who people are. you find these affects that are there and sometimes they tell you little secrets about people that i think are interesting, and that's one of the things in
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my work that's important is trying to tell the stories people have. some of the homes are in quite good condition. they can be an whole neighborhoods like this one here. many of the homes recently burned which is unfortunately something you see happening again and again i and abandoned places. i don't know if this home in particular is gone but it's pretty likely. schools i've been to quite a few. i think they are sometimes the most difficult personally. i will talk a little bit more about that later. they really represent an investment in the community and the source of pride. one thing i sort of talk about is if you were to go back to the school now you might have sorts of memories. that's the kid that sits next to
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me. you remember when th the teaches had this one thing. so we have these connections to buildings but when they are gone if the racing part of our own identity. this building luckily is a associate of a harrisburg firm so we got the chance to photograph that right before they started doing it which is pretty neat. if i had to sum up my feelings, that would be pretty close. where there is no vision of people perishing again some of the buildings are an atrocious condition. one thing you will notice in the classroom the whole floor had fallen in that part of the reason is because this
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construction you can see if you look at this site right here where the boards fit into the wall water collects. so when do they go they can go bit by bit where they can just go down to the next war and the floofloor andthe floor beneath h case you are in a world of hurt. thomas edison high school in philadelphiphiladelphia was a pf pride of the city and people like herbert hoover and albert einstein animalia air hearts came and spoke. a prestigious school recently torn down. as we build things with purpose, so too do we lose them.
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it's referred to as the pankhurst asylum. it's for people with mental illness institutions and people with medical plan to develop the disabilities. it was kind of a known as one of the ones that was pretty well known for its neglect and of the abuse that went on there. it's a chilling documentary you can watch called suffrage little children that was really good. some of the other places like jersey was torn down by chris christie even though there were some good plans they could have hahad that would benefit the community more than just ripping it down.
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people say it's a weak history maybe we should tear it down and start again which is wasteful. but other buildings like the state hospital are in much worse condition and i'm always kind of shocked i don't see the photographers skeletons. this is the third or fourth floor of the building. we are up about wha above what n the previous picture. it's not like a one-to-one correlation but the point is it is an extremely deadly building.
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in the center where the emigrants, ancommented still abandoned. when you have scarlet fever, rubella, they would send you over there or you would get treatment and then dove into the community and wind up in the theater right here. this is even pre- refrigerated. this there is a fire in the place made by water dripping down the wall and from the ceiling. this is where they actually care
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and there are people that are contentious that will say they haven't completely. there's drug resistance traces. they cured all the various strains and they said we don't need that place anymore so that fell under the disrepair and that would be the last damn this place. in philadelphia like the last place that was in my book i have a lohada lot of stories i couldl you about. this building right here is a
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president caldwell new jersey. the thing about this one is there are a lot of people that will view these pictures and when i talk about the horrible conditions that are in here because i can't even tell you take a look at that. there are conditions recorded and they were so bad that if you were to think of was how would you like it would probably be better than this. it was so overcrowded they didn't have train stations or vindication for there was no space for anyone, there was disgusting water pouring from the feelings and i wa was so filthy. pieces of the building were falling apart onto people. i could go on and on. the thing about this is a member of the people that were in here haven't even been convicted they just couldn't pay the fine.
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i am not superstitious. i haven't seen ghosts i will throw this out there right now. i have an active imagination, the places are spooky and i can picture places with monsters in them while i'm taking pictures but this place to reason that stands out as in this prison it was on an active campus for another prison this used to be where the criminally insane word and then they moved them to another facility. at a certain point i was like i don't mean to be disrespectful but you work with criminally insane people. that is a scary day timmy. it's full of actually criminally
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insane people. this building also one of the creepy ones was about the creepiest of the buildings. what was your read about this one is there were people living in it still. with many buildings you have heightened senses and that is a branch against the window into this place you would be like what's that over there. and then you would see somebody else watching constantly all throughout the time. buwhat i found interesting was that one they were all overbought walls and i had one
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that was a whole huge wall but there were a number of large prominent curse words so i figure because c-span is with us i will spare you all. what i can share with you is this. this was on an active campus and nobody else came into the building except for the people that were part of the prison system. i have to imagine i don't know what they wrote that makes it a little year enough knowing what it is. whether the lights are on or not i didn't just ask everybody to please go to their cells.
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those of my generation and younger i think we are seeing less and less of these places. they are much more rare especially something like this one and its condition, sure but back in the day this is a multi-balcony theater and yes they are that steep when you are at the top it is kind of vertigo to see five floors down to the stage. ..
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>> >> another question that i frequently get is had by find these places so i will tell you usually it is research networking and dumb luck and all the doors are open so i went in and it was very creepy nobody knew was there this room was a lot darker than even this pitcher gives you an idea pieces of the roof hanging off the light coming in at the end of the room when i was squinting at it like what is that over there? have been nightmares it is even worse with a creepy abandoned building in that is what is across the room then you see it as you are piecing it together is your brain is processing from the
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1800's that your flight goes through the of four so i photographed the place because when i came back to months later it was ripped in half they were tearing it down. all the services store their planes of very active facility just like that movie don't buy me love there are plenty of people with rifles asking what you are doing so i will now talk about the book i figured i would start off with this hotel it started in 1957 in niagara falls new york in one of the things that i really looked for it was important to me was not just
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what is the story of this particular place but if that is of microcosm what is the macrocosm? and rarely is tourism that has gone back centuries settler have recognized the scenic beauty of that area for a long time but also for centuries there is a tug-of-war with the industries in the area. so as this was being built there was also a time when they were pretty much of unregulated dumping things into niagara falls and self and also has huge influx of people because there was free electricity from the water as they were building this hydroelectric dam because the other one collapse into the falls all
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these people coming into this town all this industry and the lack of regulation and urban renewal in that period also so if you go into the '60s they raise the downtown vilifies parkway even the mayor describes as basically a chinese wall separating the town so they did very well for a while it was a place to be seen a lot of politicians came here and as the years went on it changed owners that was a reminder and ended days in the end but the way this parallels is that really the
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tourism part as the industry started to leave which i had very little idea hall apocalyptic awful that was for those who lived in that area listening pulls in their backyard coming up in pools of chemicals if the kids playing in the playground to get chemical burns so you can imagine if you are coming and for your honeymoon with and then you come into the industrial building with the open lagoons and chemicals there really wasn't a site that you wanted to see then people started to leave the town as the construction project was finished you lost a good part of the up
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population in those rebels started to hurt tourism. so places like this struggled after a while and eventually at that point there were stories that people that some other places that we go to our significant not that this is an architectural jewel but the fact is there is an investor terry down the majority of the building and has built another hotel but
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in that sense in its symbolizes the fortunes of the ariane and it has new investors somebody with a good deal of money and emigrate track record he is not a gambler is what i am trying to say the fact he is investing in this community also the state parkway is torn down and basically they are building a park so will be a lot nicer when you go up there so as they tell a larger story that there is the fortunes of that community i had to put the m
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in the asylum it was put emplace to relieve overcrowding that the hospital could be built that was popular at the time and the reason is that honestly i started all of this as somebody who worked in the mental-health field with a private talk inpatient facility which basically is the stepchild of the asylum system and i was interested in what it was so i read and read about that the philadelphia state hospital
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who had a terrible history so i went there and that is another presentation but basically this is what got me interested in abandoned buildings one and then to find schools and factories. obviously this is not philadelphia state hospital but it shows the dichotomy absolutely e. alexander and gorgeous architecture that people had to care for the less fortunate when they were campaigning for the state hospitals to be created she wanted people that were mentally ill not to be in the streets or poorhouses are attics of their relatives and this was a lot of idealism this is
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what the towns were proud of the david taylor get this grant institution but as the years went on underfunding and overcrowding overstaffing became of problem and also the right set eugenics' that final solution people with inferior genes with reproduce then drag down the rest of society so we should remove them that was the predominant thinking from the asylum and the other saying is we have the view that we would say that they
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were crazy but that is a fluid definition and some was committed to be homosexual. or if you were too masculine as a woman if your husband wanted to cheat but did not want the disgrace of the divorce, your brother wanted your land there was so many different reasons. one that i think stood up the most was a turkish immigrant one people did not understand him so he spent his life in the asylum one also a loss of interest of housework. [laughter] in no way that is funny but not so much if you were that person these are real people story is for their whole
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lives they are put there and forgotten. those are the places that make me feel like they were rarely photographed when they were operational or after ebs stories need to be told but they are left to be falling apart like this. long beach est. community of connecticut it is hard to describe what happened of beach cottages so basically on this map you will see he pleasure beach you have bridgeport and oliver here you have long beach so basically is the peninsula
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the only access that you have to those cottages or pleasure beach was this grid because strafford refuse to to make a road so there is a long history between stratford and of long beach cottages. and it seems like they were chasing because they did not want to provide services that the taxpayers would get but they built their houses on it so uh the bridge that went from pleasure beach had several fires in was very rickety because the substance creosote that was waterproofing of very
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flammable. it was talk about what will we do? of bridging is rickety none of 1996 the final fire that took the bridge out occurred and that this time it was on father's day all these people were stranded in their homes they have no bridge and led to of greater question. and so they had to options.
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and to walk a better part of a mile? so to do a lot more interviews so wasn't just my voice. them for this place and particular amended bill so little vacation home and then they would drag them along the sand bar to fill them up with momentos then to drag them back along the beach they had this idea of the social contract and
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somebody will fix it. so this is what happens when the social contract is violated. at least they really don't but they set them on fire and it was an awful situation but some places are peaceful some of our beautiful or scary or sad but this made me angry because they are people's homes and was so disrespectful people would treat them that way when they were already hit so hard. vendor again based on time there is more interesting
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stuff but to give you an interview, it was the largest mall ever built at the time with construction. shortly after that it was equipped from all of america but north randall is a tale of that they used to have racetracks about 1500 people small town. but this small at its peak had 5,000 people visiting per day. there were 9,000 parking spaces so when i was there it is out of business even the theater that originally opened it was paul zukofsky it was a men's clothing store that took over the
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front to use that area is as storage but nobody had god in there until this point when i was there that were demolishing it at the time. so with randall park mall also it became the entire identity so the of logo was the shopping bag so what happens with a mall like this if you see a lot of them fall to right now is pretending if of most tourists to go downhill or has a reputation for crime, this did have a poor reputation. pay a newer mall opened in
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another area attracting the upscale crowd that there was a deserted reputation for crime as the interstate was right next to with this huge parking lot that was hard to police zero car theft capital what you could pull the car and drive off do you remember the of club? that was invented by a guy whose father-in-law car was stolen from his parking lot. so there was some merit to that but there was a lot of bigotry in the community when you hear people talking about the mall and dishonestly ugly. so talk about the supposed did race riots. i will be honest i could not find anything. i heard people talking about it but as far as newspaper
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evidence or coverage, and nothing. what i did find was the huge bunch of kids thought there was a gunshot unable lune popped so i am wondering if that did not turn into that and people were uncomfortable with the fact of the of white suburbanite shoppers. unfortunately so few look at that perception of the people had of it being safe and it doesn't seem to jive with that entire area even the police chief said it was no more are less safe but
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branding is everything so few start to get a reputation that people will not come all the desert to financial struggle unlike the strip mall you could demolish an area to build something else in college a new name i don't know if you have ever bent and they say there is the subway. it is creepy. so you enter a death spiral so harder it is to get out of that. so you have these comical and awful stories in the end days there was of lawsuit over the easter rabbit got enough light with the patrons as did santa's
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helpers there was another ugly story where the guy was a security guy at dillard's and one of tutelage did shoplifter impact tim up and threw him on his head of a concrete. he died a short after that. toward the end you really did have these situations that were happening and it was a frightening place to be. and up until the final days it was hell for small businesses. and then to only see one thing that is good or bad and run with it but this is a side attention to -- the
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engine where they wandered off in the late '70s and only discovered where you see all stretch where bond is just a drywall. this represents that era of maker of -- may get consumer is some that refers to the american dream of what it says about us says of people and the game farm is so well-known place.
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pdf so basically if you went to the game farm as a kid your ticker family you would say it is the catskill game farm. but nobody else would have no idea. they started to take gas in 1945 basically collecting them there was so much demand for people you have the baby boomers' children by those weekend trips and it was really hot at the catskills at that point and then to go up to the park where they can take down when daytime and of exotic animals with conservation
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and basically to have the of breeding ground but what was really popular was the kids could basically be up with the der and the sheep to feed them with baby bottles. for along time it went well. but basically he sold it to his daughter in 1989 and that is when this started to unravel. married to a guy with connections to exotic animal training in texas. so basically a lot of them buying these exotic animals
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and sorry to be the one that tell issue but if they have the animals that grow up and are no longer virtue. and then to chase them down in the woods basically they have these animals and the person would drive up in the jeep and then execute them point-blank then put their head on the wall. it was hideous. so mr. to distance themselves with us in diego's do -- san diego zoo first of all, that as an attraction for people the
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idea was outdated even though people have gone there for generations that is speculation but you hear about them not bringing in new animals and they don't let caspian and import condition. and this kind of boiled over. and they tried to save the animals and if you're familiar with the clothing designer ecko his logo is a rhinoceros so they would appeal to him so he purchased two of the
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rhinoceros that somebody was going to purchase them and then they lived out their life. but basically the game farm is now partly owned by at couple that is terrific hoping to turn into a bed-and-breakfast. gave a lot of information for the of book as well. i am not sure where we are for time it was built when teach right was booming not part of the top-10 cities
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but 1930 is seems like it took the number three spot so went into a contentious legal problems and it would bankrupt fairly quickly after that the city took it over to turn into a retirement home then it was closed in 1997. so wet this point it is in rough condition but there are parallels there. with the downfall of the economy and the hemorrhaging one of the most awful stories i read was the facility that replaced the uh home for the colored idiots.
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built 1925 because the people in d.c. did not want them in their neighborhood. they built this place within institution with developmental disabilities. and it was supposed to be a progressive facility where they can get training or medical care but by that type was closed the agree this example of neglect in american history. one of the problems that they had and no my god there were many that do to improper feeding which is basically you can blame the staff but if you have eight people to feed them so was indicted they were pouring
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baby food down his throat and tell a kid not his nose if you feed them and they are laying down walken have been is aching get aspirational pneumonia of where it goes into their lungs than basically ebay get an infection or choke to death but there was a lot of problems like this. in fact, one of the of places where i actually could not condense all the awful stories i found into one chapter in that certain employees i think it made the point i have to move on. fees were real people for that word getting substandard care and it was hideous and then somebody
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said they are dying of aspirational pneumonia. if so we can teach them how to properly feed the residents of this doesn't have been. the judge said they are mentally retarded said they are probably not that healthy anyway. that is horrific. pdf it is not like a legend or go story but these are real people. but what stood out to me and there were unsettling experience is there is everything on the floor from the drop ceilings paint and mind and as i was walking around the eye socket of
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little pair of glasses and then they probably belong to the dead kids. there were so many issues. this very well could have spent the last place was that they ended up. and one other thing we like to paterson's on the back to say it closed redoing so much better now but they were pretty substandard as well be so the one thing that i will point out that one moment of levity was
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fair was a beer drinking trumpet playing rabbit that they quickly reid gifted to of this hospital. that was the one funny story that i found that there is a beer drinking trumpet playing rather it. i will skip because of time. thises and in pittsburgh with the strife between the of labor and management. was this the incinerator to the workers it was awful so i do want to get to q&a. high-school was important to me because the most expensive public school ever
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built at the time over $1 million in they were really proud of it a triangular footprint it is not camera trickery but to impose in 2002 they had a window replacement that caused a lot of humidity so pieces of plaster started to fall so maybe we should fix the electrical system or the mechanical system and then the air system then you can see where they patched it up and where it has fallen off. then day discover there is a high concentration of asbestos insulating this is not something we can afford to do about what is
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interesting they close the school very contentious the community is upset it is a huge part of people's lives and upsets the community leader it said the asbestos was overstated. sold for condos? i don't necessarily think it was uh case of treachery but this seemed like it was a comedy of errors. so this great public institution is lost to the public sold to the private but the developers have all about retaining the character of the building you cannot blame them for the situation. it was close to 2008. one of the things now they
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also have a brand new auditorium when it closed. it also shows a larger example people and a perilous position with the constant budget crisis and always having to borrow money to keep the lights on. this was a hitch problem in philadelphia as well. but the victory and variety theaters that is where the victory is and there are beautiful theaters nefarious reasons they when does business over the years. it was home not only two films at the time that
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metallica and r.e.m. but motor head as legend has it did played a so loud that plaster came from the ceiling and caused problems in the community and with shutdown due to new lows -- noise complaints. and then was closed. in wooded shares in common with the victory peter it was one of the richest cities per capita with the seven different theaters. both of them were in pretty affluent areas but then all of the mills went south. so now this area is very for the lost their cultural heritage not because they
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were rebuilding but for insurance though the group that has the theaters there fighting to and nail bottles that represent revitalization of their area. what people forget broadway was once endangered. so there were robots that word toward down there were adult theaters and peep shows but now in 2012 they sustain 87,000 jobs generating 11.$9 billion. it is an just a pipe dream they hope that by bringing the theater's back it will generate the economy in that area.
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the s.s. united states again i will sprint through quick the best ocean liner ever built to go between 38 and 44 knots and also the largest built on u.s. soil about 100 ft longer than the titanic. clinton and eisenhower marlon brando with judy garland negative judy garland there were a lot of people and this was just between 52 and 69 years it was in use. but it was full of asbestos. the guys to invented it was terrified of fire.
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so you can get an ada he would fill this up with asbestos so it would not happen to the ship so after was decommissioned they tried to take to it different ports nobody wanted it so right now you have the intact exterior but the interior is bear in. this is a canada goose right there in this french watching. a sassy thing. they say this is a rustbucket they could never get back by would beg to differ it is in good structural condition the fact it has been gutted makes it a good position to rehabilitate so basically
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they will pay the mooring fees and then ultimately decide they would not restore it as they hoped so the conservancy is back at square number-one in terms of trying to figure out where to go but if you ever go to ikea for his gorgeous. next is coulter city running from 1863 through 1942 and regenerate between $400 million in gold so basically the smaller gold rush from california and what you read about it was interesting is to read the
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newspapers from the late 1800's to hear the stories about the native americans and you think why would they do that? but then you read 1845 through 1870 about 80 percent of the native american population was slaughtered so when there was the gold rush this state would pay bounties so when this started to move to arizona in the same people were showing up to divert their water and displacing people they were scared as they should have been because that was a terrible thing. there was a lot of bloodshed. ended help to fund the foundation of phoenix, arizona but line guy was
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bundled out of committing suicide is a dark story but it you would think he found a great line and life would be a wonderful for ever but not so much. but the last one is gary indiana. i did set town that's 78,000 people live so calling it abandoned is not fair however basically and has lost 100,000 people since the '60s there were 13,000 blighted properties over one-third of the structures. it is a mini detroit if you drive around it is block after block after block. one of the things that is important isn't just take this n, you're looking in
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real losses, 78,000 people that live in a community that falls apart it is hard to ruin what was once a good town. there were reasons that the town was going through this but then started to decline and a big part of the reason for that was after world war ii the main country was producing steel but as they rebuilt they had more modern facilities. so american steel could not keep up. there was not a lot of racial strife so one of the
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first african-american mayors was actually blamed for what happened with diapers elite i don't know if he was a great mayor or not. i read about him but to step back objectively the steel industry was collapsing at that point. a lot of white businesses said riordan and leaving. so that the economy just collapsed. the was a melting pot of immigrants also the kkk strong hold. there was a lot of conflict that devastated the town. here you see the effects all across the united states
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with industrialization but they were grand buildings at the auditorium that is just the front the back is burned off with the great fire but this is where the jackson five hailed from. in 1993 called the murder capital of the united states third time in the -- three times the murder rate of chicago. it still is not great there in a lot of ways here represents the of modern crisis to find a way to move forward when what sustains the town is gone. where do you go from there? you cannot just because i'm a third world country. water the alternatives?
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not just out of respect for the residents but our own cities. and this is the last image of the book and what stood out to me igo book at that over 10 minutes the schools was the up pride and you think of all blood kids that went to school the note to the community without jobs or safety or economic opportunity and the place is in ruins. if you look at their faces the issue man cost. so the people that are still out there that live there and work their with at bad
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reputation everybody is terrific. so that is the presentation on my book if you get a moment give a preview those are so important that is a skewed help. think is so much for coming and i would love to take your questions. [applause] >> have any of the places
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they have visited a few have gone back and they were fixed up? >> p.s.. quite a few places have been restored a majority are still abandoned but absolutely. the theaters are a good example they are trying to do that now. but absolutely there are places in those few would not even know of thing your community for a sample like the ellis island museum you would not ever think that was the abandoned site but if i have been to a particular place, yes, quite a few ended is heartening to see.
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and being able to photograph the before and after. and the elks lodge is they tore the building down but i got any mail from the developer actually saved quite a few the architectural pieces and is using them in the building and invited me to see that so it will be meet to see all the things that they saved are going in. >> from the artistic perspective to do anything to the site before you photograph or as you find it quite. >> her ciliate think it is cheating two-stage i leave them as i find them not to say somebody else may not have moved a chair certainly
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there were once i think it is a time capsule. viewfinder place like that is rare. i have been there but normally people move things around but i don't care to do that. but one thing that i would do and i don't feel bad but a 73 water bottle, because that is not a part of the building or the authenticity if they throw some trash on the floor i would move that but i do not like to stage a shot it feels not authentic to me. >> it seems there ought to be this from not happening
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are their communities that don't allow abandonment of structures? for blight? >> i think it is a community by community thing also decade by decade or by down there. for example, places like niagara falls they raised a huge part of the downtown during the urban renewal period but then sailing university in north carolina has been gorgeously preserved so they are very, very very protective. as we go on living that is increasingly important part by a few are preservation minded really is fighting back of battle but it is a lot of money we have lost a
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lot of treasures but long term those places that define the area is what draws them to the area why go to a place that is just wal-mart or condos or the apple bees you can go anywhere. so those communities that they have that foresight to preserve that it is a good investment typically but there are other places. but i think philadelphia is going through a low over the last 10 years. right now the big fight of the of moment they are looking at leveling some of the buildings to make condos. so it would be hard to pick
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town by town historic designation come adjusts seems like there is not a particular cohesive plan that the area will fight and they lose. >> at this stage in your career are they open? or is it a battle correct. >> is a lot of work. maybe i have more cachet than when i started as i have two books. so it does help but is still isn't easy you really have the feast or famine period. my sister contacted randall
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park mall on my behalf helping me do some work on that the owner had seen my work and wanted the opportunity that was so easy i just ran right up there. places like the catskill game farm i had a good and easy time the owners were nice but the s.s. united states that was extraordinarily difficult. back when norwegian owned it. and at this point i think if i had five return percent success rate that was great maybe it is 15 hours 20 percent. it is better but still a lot of for and failures and heartache when you put a lot of work into a place to see
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it and you don't get to. >> is liability a concern correct. >> sometimes they don't care. they could say liability you can say i do have insurance that was what i said to say no. [laughter] but it is problematic for property owners. places have been torn down because of so many people breaking into them and that was one of the reasons they brought up. particularly with the interest we have passed the point where you are n of place if you wander onto our property comely mike ryan into a property order to say
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oh you want to take pictures of the old building that is strange go do that but now people are used to taking pictures and there is a very real concern of vandalism and liability so there is a lot less tolerance for that. they view people interested as said drain on their resources so they can be difficult but that is a case by case basis. >> one more question? >> i a drug one of the areas that i wish i could explore but they demolished when i was to. >> there are so many places like that i wish i could get to.
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the big thing in the years to crime is explore more abroad i see all these gorgeous pictures of have a different time line of a 15th century chateau or hospitals that have been around for centuries. so to go to europe and beyond is what i would like to do in the future. with that, thanks for being here and join me for the reception and spending your time with me. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> host: jason brennan, has the election of donald trump made colleagues were sympathetic to the case against democracy? >> guest: absolutely it's made it more sympathetic and the public more sympathetic. during the npr interview a couple years ago people were calling in and were quite against to say that again a year ago people called and were saying the opposite i know what do we do about


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