Thursday, April 9, 2015

Concrete City

Made a short little historical blurb of a post on my Tumblr account yesterday. Feeling rather compelled to share it here.


Concrete City is the iconic historical landmark of a small town tucked into the mountains of Coal Country Pennsylvania, Nanticoke.

A piece of early American International Architecture, an unornate modernist style characteristically devoid of personality, Concrete City was built as employee housing for workers of the Delaware, Lackawana and Western Railroad’s coal division of miners in 1911. The same company abandoned the tract housing project in 1924 after 13 years of bi-annual repair and repainting of the buildings, which presented the unanticipated side effect of sponging moisture up through the porous concrete.

The Glen Alden Company bought the property with intention to raze it, but the construction of each building proved so sturdy that even heavy blasts of dynamite failed to collapse their structure. It has sat in increasingly blighted condition ever since, periodically seeing use in military and emergency service training exercises, scheduled paintball tournaments an ATV races. More frequently, it is the haunt of graffiti artists and curious photographers or disaffected youth simply exploring the world around them.

I’ve made two trips to the locale myself. Much like Maryland’s former landmark abandonment, Henryton, it is generally uninteresting from any architectural or directly engaging standpoint. It’s simply a calm place to be. Though not separated from civilization by a great distance, it is detached enough from the hustle and bustle of common routine to allow one to simply sit, listen, and exist without thought to obligation or pretext. There are fewer and fewer places these days where one can simply be aware of the world without distraction of media saturation. For that, this area is one of my favorites.

A place to simply be.


Shooting this past weekend was a long needed reprieve from self-impose stress. No obligations, no worry, the opportunity to do things without any end goal, intention or point. To be able to just do things. I really need to schedule these weekends to myself with more frequency.