Beautifully abandoned places

Fri 4 Sep 2015 James Nuttall

2926Abandonment needn’t always be depressing. A beautiful structure will remain a beautiful structure, whether it is maintained or not, in most cases. We at Vertical Blinds Direct have had a look at abandoned places from all around the world, and have selected five to show to you today.

Abandoned railway, Missouri, USA

Missouri abandoned railroad track

Abandoned Railway, Missouri

Reportedly in Lebanon, Missouri, this railway was clearly abandoned several many decades ago. We don’t know about you, but the Vertical Blinds Direct team believe that the above picture is a far prettier sight than another boring old railway. Whether this was taken in autumn or whether the foliage is always this colour, this photograph is a vision to behold. All thanks to the track being abandoned and nature taking charge.

Miranda Castle

Miranda Castle - Belgium

Miranda Castle

Also known as Noisy Castle, Miranda Castle was built in 1866 by Edward Milner, an English architect commissioned by the Liedekerke-Beaufort family. The family had fled their previous abode, the equally extravagant Castle of Veves, during the French Revolution. The move was no easy decision for the Liedekerke-Beaufort’s, as they had controlled the area since the thirteenth century.

Nonetheless, they did set up residence at Miranda Castle, and their descendants remained there until until the Second World War, when the National Railway Company of Belgium, of all people, took control of the property and turned into an orphanage.  This facility operated until 1980, at which point it was closed down.

Since 1991, the place has stood, abandoned and empty. Despite offers from the municipality of Celles, the village in which the castle stands, the family refuses to sell it. Therefore, it’s likely to be left to fall into decay, sadly, with the very top floor already in a virtual state of collapse.

Still, with its incredible architecture and 56 meter-high clock tower, the castle is a favourite with urban explorers, who often pay a visit to investigate the property; and how can you not be intrigued by such a huge and gorgeous structure?

Madame Sherri’s Castle 

Madame Sherri's forest castle in New Hampshire

Source: Inn Brattleboro

While visiting friends in Chesterfield, Missouri in the 1920’s, Madame Sherri, a renowned theatrical costume designer, fell in love with the forest in Gulf Road. Her ‘castle’, although in reality little more than a small summer retreat, was constructed in 1931 at her request.

Sherri became a local celebrity in the area thanks to the raucous parties she threw at the chateau for her city friends. It is a little known fact that she did not actually live in the castle, which was constructed purely for entertainment; rather, her residence was a very modest farmhouse, nearby.

Long after she retired, in 1962, the chateau burned to the ground, leaving only the foundation stones and the winding staircase, which now reaches towards nothing but the heavens. These sparse stone structures are all that remain to suggest there was ever a property there. Still, it remains a beautiful, mysterious sight to any walker that is lucky enough stumble upon it while going through the woods. They say that Madame Sherri’s ghost still occupies the land, but we don’t believe in that superstitious tosh!

Michigan Central Railway Station

Michigan Central Station

Michigan Central Railway Station

The motor city is not what it once was, it has to be said. Global competition has seen much of the remaining production being moved out of Detroit, taking a lot of residents with it. Detroit is the home of Motown, the very first ever news broadcast, ice cream soda and, of course, the world’s largest tyre – plenty of reasons to pay a visit. But the population has plummeted in recent years, dropping from 1,850,000 in 1950 to just 701,000 in 2013. As a result, much of the beautiful architecture now lies abandoned and in ruins.

Pictured above is Michigan’s Central Station, lying abandoned and fenced off. At the time of its construction, it was the tallest railway station in the world, standing at a proud 230 feet (70 metres) in the air.  It was, between its opening in 1914 and closure in 1988, the main intercity railway connection for Detroit.

Plans for the building initially included a hotel, and offices in the 18 story tower built on top of the station. However, although they became offices for the railway company, the building was never entirely furnished, with several of the top floors never having any function at all.

A decline in passengers resulted in the closure of the station in the 80’s, and it has since been left abandoned. Although in 2011, mysterious projects began, which started by blowing out the windows to replace them… could it be that the glory days are set to return to Michigan Central Station? We at Vertical Blinds Direct certainly hope so!

Hotel del Salto

Hotel Salto Tequendama and waterfall

Hotel del Salto

The exclusive and opulent Hotel Del Salto was first opened in 1928. Overlooking the breathtaking Tequendama Falls, it was a welcoming home to wealthy visitors who stayed in the area. For several decades, it provided a gorgeous view and fabulous service to its guests until the waterfall and river became contaminated and visitors began to lose interest in staying there. The hotel closed in the early 1990’s, at which point it was abandoned.

Not helped by the fact that the area became a popular choice for people to commit suicide, the structure was left to decay for nearly 20 years, appearing to never have a purpose again.

This particular story does end somewhat happier than the others, nevertheless, in that it does have a purpose, once again. Now the former Hotel Del Salto has been given a new lease of life as the Tequendama Falls Museum. The Institute of Natural Sciences of The National University of Columbia worked jointly with the Ecological Farm Foundation of Porvenir in the renovation of the hotel for it to be turned into the museum, and it now continues to thrive. Aw!

Are there any gorgeous places you feel deserve a showing? Let us know in the comments!


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