World’s Abandoned Places

Our ghosts are with us, for all to see. All we need do is look carefully.

People, many of them long dead, built structures in which they could work or live or play. And then they moved on to other, newer places. Sometimes the wrecking ball obliterated all evidence of the past, but often the carcasses remained, growing majestic in their decrepitude.

And so sand reclaims an abandoned house in South Africa. A shed in Australia, visited only by vandals, still holds trams that have not run in more than a half century. A barber’s chair sits amid the ruins of a Philadelphia prison. Quonset huts in the Philippines, long abandoned by U.S. Marines, dissolve in apocalyptic splendor.

“Time crumbles things,” said Aristotle. And there’s an awful beauty in that.

California, United States 
This Oct. 2, 2014, photo shows dusty keys in the mail slots of a hospital basement post office at the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, Calif. The shipyard dates from the 1850s and was the first U.S. Navy base in the Pacific. At its peak in World War II some 50,000 worked on the island. Today about 4,000 either work, live or go to school there. A number of its buildings and facilities are still empty following the closing of the shipyard in 1996. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Sydney, Australia
In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo, old tramcars and trolley buses sit abandoned and wrecked in the Loftus Tram Shed in Sydney. Trams became a key part of life in Sydney after the network was installed in 1879, with 1,600 cars in service during the height of its popularity. The service was eventually shut down in 1961. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

For more, read the AP news story.  

Click on any image to launch the World’s Abandoned Places gallery. 


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Lead Image Caption: In this July 23, 2013 photo, sand fills an abandoned house in Kolmanskop, Namibia. Kolmanskop, was a diamond mining town south of Namibia, build in 1908 and deserted in 1956. Since then, the desert slowly reclaims its territory, with sand invading the buildings where 350 German colonists and more than 800 local workers lived during its hay-days of the 1920s. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

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