Mount Moriah Cemetery – Philadelphia, PA

(Philadelphia, PA – July 2016) At 380 acres, this is a very large cemetery. In fact, it’s the largest in Pennsylvania. Mount Moriah closed in 2011 and was mostly neglected since then, except for two areas with military graves.

More recently, a volunteer group called Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery has been doing a lot of clean-up: mowing, clearing out underbrush, protecting it from dumpers and vandals, and bringing monuments back into the light of day. They have an active Facebook page, and given the progress they regularly post, one day this beautiful cemetery will once again be a peaceful place for relatives to visit their departed loved ones.

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mm-01484View from the road near the main entrance.

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mm-01474Volunteers were out mowing, in spite of the 90-something degree heat during our visit.

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Lakeview Centre – Manitowoc, WI to be demolished

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(Manitowoc, WI 2015) – The Lakeview Centre mall, known as the “Mid-Cities Mall” back in its heyday (if it could ever have been considered to have a heyday) has been abandoned since the closing of the JC Penny — the last surviving store in the mall — back in 2011.  By order of the city, it is supposed to be torn down this year. Abatement is already underway, and demolition should start this summer, so this may have been my last chance for photographs.

The 22 acre property sits within an easy stroll to the Lake Michigan shoreline and a beautiful walking/biking trail that links it with nearby Two Rivers. I hope they they end up turning this property into something nice.

More photos from last year here, here, here, and here.

Cleveland High School St. Louis

cleveland_high_school1(St. Louis, MO 2015) A number of former schools in St. Louis are up for sale. Many of them sit abandoned altogether. The Cleveland High School is a beautiful old building, and is pretty huge. However, people have stolen the flashing from the roof to sell to shady recycling places, and as a result the water streams in every time it rains.

When asked why no one takes care of the building, we were told that the SLPS is in the business of educating children, not of maintaining old buildings. Still, it seems to me that when you have a property you’ve valued at $2.5 million for sale, some investment in its security and upkeep would be wise. If the building could sell (and others in the same situation), that’s a lot of money that could go toward education.

In the meantime, it’s a fascinating place to photograph on the rare occasion that they open it up for a tour.

More photos on my Flickr account.

Nike Missile Site in Pere Marquette State Park

guard_shack_pere_marquette(Near St. Louis, MO 2015) There’s a gorgeous park located across the river in Illinois called Pere Marquette. It’s known for being a good place for bird watching, specifically the bald eagles that over-winter in the park. What most people don’t know is that it used to be home to one of four Nike missile sites meant to protect St. Louis in the event of a nuclear war. This page, describing another site in Heckler, IL, gives a nice historical summary of why they were put here.

Visitors are not allowed to go through the site itself, so the only thing visible is the old guard shack behind a chain link fence.