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It began as an 119 bed nursing home in the heart of Niagara Falls, New York, and ended as an empty shell in 2004. 114,000 square feet of breathtaking architecture, forgotten beds and medical equipment, such an honor to have had the chance to explore before renovations. Not much information has been shed on the building, but here are some of the first looks of the inside of the building.

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Six stories, with a view of Canada’s skyline, the falls and Niagara’s Casino. A massive brick eye-sore to the community, but a massive brick play ground for die-hard explorers like myself.

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Upon our arrival, previously scouted the night before, we aimlessly explore this beauty’s never ending hallways and units for hours. Time is irrelevant when you’re busy having fun. It was about 30 degrees in New York at this time, therefore making it about 15 degrees in this building. A freezing group of explorers stumble across this hidden chapel in the building, all I hear from the end of the hallway is “Oh my god, this room!”, I was not disappointed.

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The sunlight beamed through the circular windows at the top of the chapel, and lit up old bibles and church songs scattered across the floor.

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Water damage from the roof inevitably led to black ice that took me out, waterfalls throughout the hallways and icicles hanging from anything it got ahold of. Paint falls off of the abandoned walls, these are some of my favorite things to see.

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Tubs that once bathed the elderly still stand well preserved, the doors still open up and I believe they should not be destroyed.

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Its crazy to see what is still left behind in these vacant walls. Being outside of this building sparks curiosity, being inside sparks wonder and excitement.

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Excessive damage to the building eats away at the structure, heres to hoping this renovation does not take away from the history or the beauty.

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Be grateful for your youth, seeing the extent of what the elderly have to go to makes you want to stay young forever. Props to them for being so strong in their later days.

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Open floors with windows looking out to Canada’s skyline.

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Yes, thats the Canadian Needle you see way back there. WE WERE SO CLOSE!

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Literal “wheel-chair’s” litter the hallways while beds and desks reside where they were left, fully untouched.

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You can never really get enough of staircases.

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The elevator is sealed up for good, while everything falls apart around it.

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Where the patients used to relax and look out into the distance, now sits to endure the weather.

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Beautiful french doors separate the rooms, while curtains wait to be closed once more.

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Now I know this post hasn’t really taught you anything about St. Mary’s, but I want to take a minute to now recognize something much bigger than this building. There is no way I would have even been in New York this weekend if it weren’t for a sponsor who picked us up off of the internet and gave us this opportunity. Huge thank you to Emily Christensen for recognizing our passion and supporting us through our art, and for putting us up in a hotel so we can explore something closer to her heart and home. Never have I been graced with so much hospitality from someone I didn’t know. Emily avidly supports artists to flourish and I am very blessed to have been a part of her plan. Thank you to everyone who was a part of this trip, and thank you to everyone who views this post and supports what we do on the daily. This is not a hobby, this is a lifestyle and our livelihood.

Last but not least, I do not recommend trying to enter this building. It is heavily sealed, and located on a semi-busy street. We happened upon this building with such luck that we only had one way in and out. Trespassers will be prosecuted if caught and inexperienced explorers will have a hard time getting in. Enter at your own risk.