This follow-on from our acclaimed 5 Pillars of the Abandoned World feature article highlights more incredible forgotten buildings and fallen institutions within the realm of urban exploration. From the glory days of industry and the glamour of the movies to dwindling religion, modernizing healthcare and the decline of some of the world’s grandest mansions, these compelling abandonments are icons of a former age.
Hasard Cheratte (Abandoned Coal Mine), Belgium: most coal mines aren’t particularly grand structures, but Hasard Cheratte in the Liège coal basin of Belgium is an exception. The main structure is an imposing winding tower built over an abandoned mine shaft, boasting an ornate brick and stone facade with a castle-like appearance. Constructed around 1860 near the town of Cheratte, the mine closed in 1977 and remains mostly undisturbed, designated as a historic landmark.
Mother of God Orans Church, Russia: referred to by many as Teploe Cathedral due to its imposing stature, this crumbling Orthodox church is reportedly the last remaining building on the former Teploe Estate in Russia. Still impressive despite its serious state of disrepair, the abandoned church has become popular with urban explorers and history enthusiasts. Like many similar structures, the interior has been gutted and judging by its condition, its future is not looking bright.
Gartloch Mental Hospital, Scotland: this grand and extremely foreboding structure opened in 1896 under the administration of the Glasgow District Lunacy Board as an asylum for the city’s poor. A tuberculosis sanatorium was added between 1902 and the end of World War Two and at its peak, Gartloch Hospital had 840 beds. Finally closing in 1996 after 100 years of service, the abandoned insane asylum is set to be converted into luxury apartments.
(Images: Matt Lambros, reproduced with permission)
Proctor’s Palace Theatre, United States: opened in 1915 in Newark, New Jersey, Proctor’s Palace Theatre was an unusual double-decker design, with a smaller auditorium stacked on top of a larger one (pictured), which had around 2,300 seats. Designed for vaudeville before becoming a movie theatre, the Palace closed in 1968. While the lobby is currently used as a shoe store, the abandoned auditorium has started to collapse.
Sutton Scarsdale Hall, England: once one of the finest stately homes in Derbyshire, the original hall was part of the Saxon estate of Wulfric Spott, who died around 1002. The existing Georgian mansion was commissioned in 1724 and is believed to be fourth or fifth structure on the site. Owned by the Arkwright family for almost 100 years, Sutton Scarsdale Hall was auctioned off in 1919 and asset-stripped by local businessmen. The abandoned shell is now preserved by English Heritage. Many of its fine features are now in the US, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art.