Archive for April, 2015

Knox County Infirmary (Poor House)

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Atop a hill in Mt. Vernon Ohio, sits a structure so eerie, so massive, so mesmerizing. 132 acres of land occupied by a 400,000 square foot gothic style structure that still sits today, crumbling piece by piece.

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Back in 1816, a legislative act was passed to aid in purchasing land to build houses and shelter for the destitute. A poor house if you will. With a little under 100 rooms and 4 floors, these once jam-packed halls peel away from themselves and the floors sink further and further with each passing day.

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Originally built in 1875, the Knox County Poor House gave aid to those whom couldn’t help themselves. Majority of this building accommodated the elderly and with a few years passing, homelessness was at an astounding rate that lead to the expansion of the housing facilities.

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Too many homeless in the poor house, not enough staff to go around, do you see where this becomes problematic? Although no more room was available to house the needy, talk of expansion finally came to light and was stopped abruptly in Sept. 1877 during construction.

The floors that sank kept on sinking, inevitably leading to collapse of many main floors. Not pictured is a collapsed floor with a lonely dresser still clinging on for dear life, needless to say we have been asked to push it down so it will not cause injury to anyone on the site.

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Shortly after the poor house mission, the building was converted into an infirmary which was later closed in 1958 due to structural damage.

Opening any door will lead you to your death. One-step death fall.

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After the infirmary closing, Mount Vernon Bible College was opened on the property and quickly shut down. Its as if nothing was meant to last on these grounds.

Every staircase you encounter leaves your chest heavy. They rust, they crack, they break. So brittle and thin, and the absence of railings doesn’t help that slight nauseous feeling you get mid climb.

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For one last hurrah, a haunted house called “The House of Nightmares” opened in the late 1990’s and lasted until 2007 when structural damage became too dangerous and apparent.

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Haunted house flyers and creepy props still litter the hallways, and have even settled among the debris in the death pit.

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Its a special feeling you get when you see the paint peeling off of walls, floors sinking and stairs collapsing that leaves you truly speechless. A feeling that leaves your mind to put back the dilapidated pieces to picture the structure in its glory days. Is it the beauty in the wonder of what once was? Or the beauty in the view of what is? I guess you would say beauty is in the eye of the viewer.

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The Knox County Infirmary is a magnificent structure that will forever glow in the sunlight. Whether the building is active, or the floors collapse and the trees grow through the door frames, this is one structure that will truly leave you in awe.

As with any post I must add the dangers..

The floors sink more and more each day, bricks fall from every angle, the stairs shake and crumble under your feet, and god only knows what may happen next.

The Broadway (aka Sattler) Theater

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Location, location, location. Had this been followed in the making, the Sattler could be alive and flourishing today.

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In the early 1900’s Mr. John Sattler, a local business man in Buffalo, decided to further his professional career by opening a theater during the movie theater boom of 1910. Prior to doing so, Sattler had founded one of the first known department stores in the country.

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So what was the reason for the downfall of the Sattler? Was it because it was situated in a bad neighborhood? No, it all comes down to the competition between theaters throughout the boom that left this one in the dust. Being on the outskirts of the nightlife has its downfalls.

The above photo shows the original theater seats after the debut in 1914, all other seats were installed shortly before the closing.

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When Sattler had decided to open this building, he had hired Henry and William Spann to build on the site of the old Casino Theater. The layout of the building was different from competitors, seeing as how the Sattler had no stage. Once able to seat 1200 people, now falls apart and stands alone.

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The year is now 1920 and John Sattler had given up his theater life and the building then became the Broadway Theater. There is little information to go by after the closure of Sattler, except for the fact that a pipe organ was installed in the time of vacancy.

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The building sat empty for a handful of decades, until the wave of church movements that passed the area. Muhammed’s Mosque 23 opened their doors in the building in 1960 and stayed until 1970 when God’s Holy Temple took over in ’70 and stayed for the next decade, lastly welcoming the Joy Temple from 1980 until the buildings closure in 1996. In the twelve years following, the building is left to collect dust and rot away. Sattler was bought in 2008, and sat until 2011 without any plans of reconstructing until recent owners head on determination.

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My group was lucky enough to have scored an appointment with the new owners, paying but a small donation fee. Owners are currently accepting donations toward the rebuild of the new theater, which you can add to at www.thebroadwaytheatre.net, every bit helps. Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible.

Austintown Fitch High School

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After first being inhabited by Native Americans, the year 1788 sweeps in a man named Calvin Austin, a land agent for the Connecticut Land Company. Under new occupancy, the township was given the name “Austintown” which still stands today.

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The towns first settler, John McCollum arrived and by 1820, the towns population grew to 718. Coal miners and their families help increase the population to 2,502 by 1880, but a sky rocket in population took place after World War II. With all of these new families, a concern about adequate schooling came to light bringing forth consolidation from 12 one-room school houses into one large school and then eventually into 8 individual school buildings.

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These 8 buildings still stand part in Austintown’s historical identity.

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Austintown’s earliest schools were subscription schools, requiring $1.50 per child each term, but later in 1852, Ohio introduced tax-payer supported public schools for each township. 1916 is the year that the 8 school houses consolidate into one building once more, serving grades 1-9, becoming the Austintown Centralized School.

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6 years after consolidation, the school added grades 10-12 and by March 17th, 1924 Austintown Centralized School was renamed to Austintown Fitch School. John H. Fitch, born in 1843 west of Austintown Center, donated 8 of his 400 acre land on Mahoning Avenue for a new school.

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On a gloomy night, we made our way to Austintown only to stumble upon this beauty, abandoned schools are my favorite.

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Its almost unreal how all windows to this building are still intact, no breeze throughout the hallways leaves a very wholesome feeling in the soul. Circling these corridors endlessly while hearing pouring water down each stair well gives off a slight eerie ambiance.

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From the outside, you wouldn’t even believe this school is abandoned. The outside is so beautifully kept up, the grass trimmed neatly, the windows all in tact, on a quaint little street in the heart of Austintown.

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Desks and chairs stacked throughout the hallways, books and rooms fashioned so neatly as if the doors shut one day… and never opened again.

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The football field behind the school stands lonesome, yet well kept. Bleachers have overgrown and rusted, yet the scoreboard was reset when the doors closed. Old bus garages are still present, but sealed up tight. I have no doubt in my mind that this was a beautifully crafted school when it was open.

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As always, I will end this with warning. I do not recommend going to this school, as enticing as it may seem. This place is no joke to visit. Aside from regular dangers, such as scrapper activity, police activity, loose ceilings, floorboards and water damage, this building comes equipped with its own scare tactics. The top floor has a few rooms with open windows, and that breeze helps make the most horrifying noise you would never want to hear. I will be working harder than ever to get my old stories back on this page, but until then i will be posting accordingly. There are many more explores on the horizon and not to mention the Planet Perish // The Ancient Future art festival meet and greet in June. Thank you to all of my fans and supporters. You make this site run.

Big news from Planet Perish & The Ancient Future!

First things first, welcome to the OFFICIAL Planet Perish website courtesy of Bill Finan! Planetperish.blog.com has recently went down and was not able to be salvaged. I will be working harder than ever to get the rest of my older stories back up but until then, I come prepared with great news. Planet Perish and Ryan of The Ancient Future have been invited to partake in the fifth annual Festival at the Falls-three day weekend in New York in June! We will have our own booth set up for meet and greets along with art for sale. When I have more information on where we will be situated, I will post accordingly. We are soooooo incredibly excited for this opportunity, seeing as how 25-30,000 people will be attending.

I also have a few items up for sale on my online store at the top right hand corner of my page, if anyone is interested.

Thank you to everyone who has shown interest in my work, along with my group’s work over the past year, and I am so humbled to find people have been paying attention to my blog and now website.

xoxo – Chellsea of Planet Perish.

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About Planet Perish

Ohio urban explorers documenting forgotten structures. Tell us about your local abandonment at planetperish@yahoo.com
 
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