While everyone is ignoring abandoned homes and buildings, I am usually adoring them. My fascination with them started with this one little deserted house on Evesham Road in Runnemede, New Jersey. We would drive by it every time we went to my cousins’ house and I remember thinking I wanted to have my birthday party there (weird, I know). It was vacant for as long as I can remember. It sat there silent and lifeless but with so much to say. The worst part is that most abandoned structures end up just as that one did- demolished.
Seeing abandoned buildings always makes me wonder what kind of life once lived inside of them. Undoubtedly, tons of memories were made within their walls. Tons of laughs, tears, fights, reunions, heartbreaks, holiday celebrations, realizations, and so much more. I wonder what kind of music was played there and what kind of books were read. I wonder what kind of jobs they had and how many people occupied the rooms. But what I wonder the most is how these homes end up as shells on the side of the road, withholding more secrets than any person could ever be responsible for.
These are just a few abandoned locations I have amateurly photographed throughout Connecticut.
Fairfield Hills, psychiatric hospital- Newtown, Connecticut
Sunflower Farm- Plainville, Connecticut
Unlike many abandoned buildings, Fairfield Hills (pictured first) is currently being resurrected by its town. This makes me happy because I think every neglected building deserves a second chance and it hurts my heart when they are torn down.
One (not pictured) abandoned location that really gets me going is Camp Schade in Burlington, Connecticut. It is comprised of several buildings, a pool, and basketball courts at the end of a dirt road in the middle of the woods, all protected by a chain-link fence. From my research, I have concluded it was once the New Britain Fresh Air Camp and then affiliated with the Boys & Girls Club. This is interesting because New Britain is a good 15-20 miles from Burlington. There are rumors that a camp counselor killed over 60 people, which caused the camp to close in the 90s. What intrigues me most is that the camp is very well kept. The grass is always cut and the light bulbs are always replaced yet no one seems to ever see anyone inside the fence. To my knowledge, no one has ever attempted to reopen or re-purpose the camp but I would love to see that happen.
I love watching all of these television shows such as Fixer Upper, Rehab Addict, Flip or Flop, and Good Bones. They are some of my favorites because they frequently take old, ignored houses and flip them into the most desirable homes in the neighborhood. They seldom tear them down and often restore their original designs and details.
I hope to be able to flip houses one day or even old buildings such as Fairfield Hills and Camp Schade. Everything around us is so rapidly changing that I think it’s important to go back to our roots once in a while. There is no harm in putting some life back into these lonely structures; a little more adoring and a less ignoring.