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canetoad

Where nature meets decay

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Hi everyone. I'm hoping to pick the collective brains of the wise UP-ers.

I'm working on a film that involves images of buildings being reclaimed by nature, which obviously is becoming increasingly commonplace in Michigan. Specifically, I'm looking for places that are kind of beautiful in the way in which vegetation is growing up around human-made structures that have been abandoned or left empty. Something like this (though it doesn't have to be this dramatic): http://www.flickr.com/photos/kbauman/3432839944/

I know there are a ton of these kinds of locations around Detroit, but I wonder if anyone has any suggestions for such sites in or near Grand Rapids. I have a few in mind, but I'd love to collect as many as possible.

I'm not looking to trespass; just to shoot from the street or public areas.

Thanks for any suggestions you might have.

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I just drove by this old Hot 'n' Now near Michigan & Eastern. :shades: It's gotten a bit worse since whenever this picture was taken.

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I'll keep an eye open, but can't think of any at the moment aside from some farmhouses along Division south of the city.. around 100th St I think?

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I drove by another one - a house near Eastern & 32nd that might be more in line with what you're looking for.

Overall, though, I think we've done pretty darn good job preserving our old houses, especially in blighted areas.

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I drove another one - a house near Eastern & 32nd that might be more in line with what you're looking for.

Overall, though, I think we've done pretty darn good job preserving our old houses, especially in blighted areas.

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This is a good start, thanks. But yes, I'm noticing that even our abandoned buildings are generally in good shape. Bah! I might just have to go to Detroit to get the footage I need. Bad for me, good for Grand Rapids!

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There's a building on the west side of the S-curve with something growing out the top...

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I think you'd enjoy a visit to the ghost town of Marlborough. It's just south of Baldwin - about and hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half north of GR. Here's some reference material:

Marlborough, Michigan

"From 1896 until the early 1910's this was a thriving "Company Town." In it's hey-day you could find a school, an infirmary, a 26 seat barber shop and even an Opera House! As a matter of fact, North Lake was once their "dig pit," where the marl was extracted and moved on underground rail lines to large smelting kiln's located in the bowels of a few the buildings, (you can still find/see a few of these blast furnaces today.)"

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Depending on how far you're willing to drive.... There's an old farmhouse/silo/barn out my way (Caledonia) that is massively taken over. However, just this week they started tearing down some of the house so if you want pics, better go fast. It's been abandoned for years; the state police have occassionally had some sort of training drills in there, even. It's on Kraft, E side of the road, between 76th and 84th. Bing picture.

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I think you'd enjoy a visit to the ghost town of Marlborough. It's just south of Baldwin - about and hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half north of GR.

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There are three houses on Wilson Ave directly across the street from the Standale Meijer's south east parking lot entrance. Two of the houses are still occupied. But the middle house is vacant with its surrounding property over grown with weeds. To the north of the three houses is a former pizza place that went vacant and starting to show strong signs of decay as well.

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To the north of the three houses is a former pizza place that went vacant and starting to show strong signs of decay as well.

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You guys have me interested in this Marlborough place. Might just have to check it out. I'll go with Nitro's advice of not going alone. Does anyone care to join?

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I've wanted to for a while now. I live close enough to it that it wouldn't be too much of a trip. My work from a couple summers ago used to take me around that area every month or so, but I didn't know that the cement factory existed then.

Seriously, if anyone really wants to find decaying/abandoned/overgrown buildings, and don't have any preference as to the setting, try taking a drive around some of the more rural counties in the state and you will probably find your fair share. I know of a good 3-dozen at least old farmhouses and schoolhouses that are scattered around my Mason County, so I can only asume the same elswhere.

You guys have me interested in this Marlborough place. Might just have to check it out. I'll go with Nitro's advice of not going alone. Does anyone care to join?

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OK, so this isn't in Michigan, but I've seen it twice in the past month or so and thought of this thread. On the corner of OH-61 and OH-2 near Ceylon, Ohio there is a huge area of greenhouses that are abandoned. There are trees growing through the roofs. It looks like it would make a GREAT photo shoot.

Hmm. I googled before I clicked add reply. Apparently you wouldn't be the first to shoot it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/herzogbr/500825862

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OK, so this isn't in Michigan, but I've seen it twice in the past month or so and thought of this thread. On the corner of OH-61 and OH-2 near Ceylon, Ohio there is a huge area of greenhouses that are abandoned. There are trees growing through the roofs. It looks like it would make a GREAT photo shoot.

Hmm. I googled before I clicked add reply. Apparently you wouldn't be the first to shoot it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/herzogbr/500825862

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I noticed there are a few buildings around the south-east corner of 44th and Ivanrest.

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Hey, how about that abandoned Western-themed restaurant in Wyoming? Just south of 28th Street (can't recall the road it's on). Looks like the railroad came through one town over and everything shut down, even the saloon.

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