Mad Mark’s Castle, Albany Bulb

Mike GristAbandoned Art, Grafitti, Ruins / Haikyo, USA, World Ruins 5 Comments

Mad Mark’s Castle is a glorious achievement, a hand-built faerie castle made of scavenged rebar, concrete and plaster that stands proudly atop the Albany Bulb in San Francisco Bay, offering a fantastic view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Completed in 2000 and adopted ever since as an ever-changing graffiti canvas by the numerous artists haunting the Bulb, it remains a stunning piece of one-man art in itself, and the culmination of ‘Mad’ Mark (Marc)’s life’s work. Mad Mark’s Castle by Peter Merts. Mad Mark’s Castle interior (Great Hall) by Peter Merts. I’ve never been to the Albany Bulb or even …

Abandoned Lighthouses 9. Ship John Shoal

Mike GristLighthouses, USA, World Ruins 1 Comment

Construction of the Ship John Shoal Lighthouse in Delaware Bay took 27 years, from a decision by the US Congress in 1850 that a light was needed, through various incarnations of caisson-foundations, screw-pile roots, 2000 tons of rip-rap, and a temporary anchored lightship, to placement of the completed iron tower in 1877. The lighthouse went unmanned in 1973, and as recently as last month (June 2011) it was declared no longer necessary by the Coast Guard and made available for public sale. Ship John Shoal sitting on a heap of concrete and rip-rap. Image by Nick Zelinski. The Shoal upon …

Abandoned Lighthouses 3. Tillamook Rock

Mike GristLighthouses, USA, World Ruins Leave a Comment

The Tillamook Rock Light was built in 1881 on a rock off Oregon coast called Tillamook Head. It was born in blood; with its grand opening overshadowed by a nearby shipwreck just days before its guardian gas-light was lit. 16 people died when the barque Lupatia wrecked on the rocks in a storm, proving the necessity of a lighthouse there. Tillamok Rock. Image from Wikipedia. Due to the extensive surveying and blasting necessary to build a lighthouse on the Tillamook sea-crag, combined with the erratic weather conditions, it was the most expensive West Coast lighthouse ever built. It soon became …

The Prada store that got left behind

Mike GristAbandoned Art, USA, World Ruins 6 Comments

In the Texas desert near the little town of Marfa, on a stretch of Highway known as the loneliest road in America, sits the Prada store that got left behind. No attendants bustle behind its chic white counters, though it’s fully stocked with veblen bags and shoes. The automatic doors don`t open and no one will validate your parking, but the lights do come on at night, making its glowing glass frontage the only illumination for miles around. Photo by Jonathon Percy.

Stonehenge’s little brother: Carhenge

Mike GristAbandoned Art, Cars, Churches / Shrines, USA, World Ruins 1 Comment

Carhenge is a replica of the 4,500 year old Stonehenge ruin in England. It was built by Jim Reinders in Nebraska, USA, using 38 vintage automobiles spray-painted gray and posed after the original sarsens, lintels, and altar stones of Stonehenge. Now the work is surrounded by a ring of ‘portal’ cars, dinosaurs, and giant fish, spray-painted in gaudy colors and forming a wider ‘Car Art Reserve’. Altar ‘stone’. Photo by Jeremy Burgin. Carhenge consists of 38 automobiles arranged in a circle measuring about 29┬ámetres in diameter. Some are held upright in pits 1.5┬ámetres deep, trunk end down, and arches have …

Ruins of the Statue of Liberty

Mike GristFantasy Ruins, Movie/TV Ruins, Statues / Monuments, USA, World Ruins 11 Comments

The Statue of Liberty is an icon, a beacon-fire at America`s shore calling out to all and sundry- `come on in, there`s plenty of room!` To destroy her is to denounce the very idea of America, to throw that generosity of spirit back in her face and cry out `who needs you?` Aliens have done this a few times. Meteors twice. Global warming and global sanding have been involved also. In disaster movies the destruction of Lady Liberty has become something of a cliche, but that doesn`t stop it from being awesome. Read on for the gallery.

Nuclear Craters on the Marshall Islands

Mike GristMarshall Islands, Nuclear, USA, World Ruins 29 Comments

The impact was immediate and massive. In a second the fireball of flame, earth and smoke spread almost four and half miles wide, engulfing everything within its path, visible over 250 miles away. After one minute the atomic mushroom cloud reached 47,000 feet high and 7 miles wide.? 5 ships were destroyed, numerous islanders were poisoned by the nuclear fallout, and a whole island was gouged out of existence as a crater 2km wide and 250 feet deep was burned into the earth. It was the 15 megaton 1952 ‘Castle Bravo’ atomic bomb test on Bikini atoll in the Marshall …

Airplane boneyard in the Mojave desert

Mike GristPlanes / Tanks, USA, World Ruins 54 Comments

This is where planes go when they die. Vast hulks of metal that cost millions to build, now grounded in obsolescence, taken out to the boneyard to be shot in the head like Old Yeller. Their long neat lines look a lot like the white tombs of fallen soldiers at Arlington cemetery, seemingly endless in number, waiting for the day they will be hacked open like sheet-metal pinatas to get at the valuable guts within. Fallen soldiers at a final roll call in the boneyard. The boneyard is just one part of the Mojave Air and Space Port, the same …