Adaptive Reuse Proposals for LA’s Fashion District

Adaptive reuse in downtown Los Angeles' historic Fashion District.(Image: Google Street View. Adaptive reuse proposed for LA Fashion District building)

Let’s return to one of our favourite subjects: adaptive reuse – the process of reusing old (sometimes abandoned) buildings or sites for new purposes, while preserving their history and, by extension, the unique character of the broader cityscape around them. And that’s not to mention the environmental benefits of such a practice.

A new adaptive reuse project may soon create around 60 residential and commercial units to downtown LA’s Fashion District; an area where, as Curbed Los Angeles reported last month, “something of a development boom seems to be quietly getting under way.”

Situated on South Towne Ave to the south of the infamous Skid Row, the four-storey industrial building at the heart of the proposals was built in 1927 and currently houses a convenience store and textile businesses. Proposals call for the ground floor to be retained as commercial space while the upper storeys would be turned into small live-work units.

The proposal is one of several plans put forward to rejuvenate the historic Fashion District, including a major redevelopment of the Southern California Flower Market. Hat tip: Curbed LA.

Read Next: Arizona: Adaptive Reuse at Centre of Tucson Redevelopment

The post Adaptive Reuse Proposals for LA’s Fashion District appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.

Adaptive Reuse Proposals for LA’s Fashion District

Adaptive reuse in downtown Los Angeles' historic Fashion District. (Image: Google Street View. Adaptive reuse proposed for LA Fashion District building)

Let’s return to one of our favourite subjects: adaptive reuse – the process of reusing old (sometimes abandoned) buildings or sites for new purposes, while preserving their history and, by extension, the unique character of the broader cityscape around them. And that’s not to mention the environmental benefits of such a practice.

A new adaptive reuse project may soon create around 60 residential and commercial units to downtown LA’s Fashion District; an area where, as Curbed Los Angeles reported last month, “something of a development boom seems to be quietly getting under way.”

Situated on South Towne Ave to the south of the infamous Skid Row, the four-storey industrial building at the heart of the proposals was built in 1927 and currently houses a convenience store and textile businesses. Proposals call for the ground floor to be retained as commercial space while the upper storeys would be turned into small live-work units.

The proposal is one of several plans put forward to rejuvenate the historic Fashion District, including a major redevelopment of the Southern California Flower Market. Hat tip: Curbed LA.

Read Next: Arizona: Adaptive Reuse at Centre of Tucson Redevelopment

Ride London’s Historic Post Office Railway (Mail Rail)

Mail Rail: book your tickets to ride London's preserved Post Office Railway.(Image: cakehole. Mail Rail: ride London’s preserved Post Office Railway)

It’s one of subterranean London’s most unusual abandoned places. The Post Office Railway, also known as Mail Rail, spans 6.5 miles of deserted tunnel beneath the streets of England’s bustling capital. Originally opened in 1927, the line served eight stations on its route between Whitechapel and the Paddington Sorting Office, and was well maintained after closing down in 2003.

As of today, visitors can descend deep beneath the city streets and take a 20 minute ride on the historic Mail Rail’s miniature trains. The tour is open every day except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and the last train leaves at 4:30 pm.

Ride Mail Rail at The Postal Museum from The Postal Museum on Vimeo.

(Images: cakehole)

From the Postal Museum website:

Descend into the former engineering depot of Mail Rail – the one hundred year old Post Office railway – board a miniature train and descend into the stalactite-filled tunnels.

Pass deep below Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant sorting office, see the original and largely unchanged station platforms and be transported back in time. Take in a theatrical experience that peels back the layers of time to the railway’s lively 1930s heyday.

See and hear the people who worked on it, experience their lives below ground and glimpse hidden parts of the railway that kept the mail coursing through London for 22 hours every day.

(Images: cakehole)

This is exciting news for those fascinated by transportation history and those often little-known subterranean spaces that lie hidden beneath our feet, and in some cases become the stuff of folklore and urban legend. Book your ticket here.

The post Ride London’s Historic Post Office Railway (Mail Rail) appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.

Ride London’s Historic Post Office Railway (Mail Rail)

Mail Rail: book your tickets to ride London's preserved Post Office Railway. (Image: cakehole. Mail Rail: ride London’s preserved Post Office Railway)

It’s one of subterranean London’s most unusual abandoned places. The Post Office Railway, also known as Mail Rail, spans 6.5 miles of deserted tunnel beneath the streets of England’s bustling capital. Originally opened in 1927, the line served eight stations on its route between Whitechapel and the Paddington Sorting Office, and was well maintained after closing down in 2003.

As of today, visitors can descend deep beneath the city streets and take a 20 minute ride on the historic Mail Rail’s miniature trains. The tour is open every day except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and the last train leaves at 4:30 pm.

Ride Mail Rail at The Postal Museum from The Postal Museum on Vimeo.

(Images: cakehole)

From the Postal Museum website:

Descend into the former engineering depot of Mail Rail �“ the one hundred year old Post Office railway �“ board a miniature train and descend into the stalactite-filled tunnels.

Pass deep below Royal Mail�™s Mount Pleasant sorting office, see the original and largely unchanged station platforms and be transported back in time. Take in a theatrical experience that peels back the layers of time to the railway�™s lively 1930s heyday.

See and hear the people who worked on it, experience their lives below ground and glimpse hidden parts of the railway that kept the mail coursing through London for 22 hours every day.

(Images: cakehole)

This is exciting news for those fascinated by transportation history and those often little-known subterranean spaces that lie hidden beneath our feet, and in some cases become the stuff of folklore and urban legend. Book your ticket here.

Ironbound Stadium: Abandoned Football Arena Finally Refurbished

New lease on life for abandoned Ironbound Stadium in Newark, New Jersey (Image: Rachel Fawn via Untapped Cities. Ironbound Stadium in Newark, New Jersey)

Our friends at Untapped Cities recently featured the long-abandoned Ironbound Stadium, which has been closed since 1987 and is now undergoing a major refurbishment. Check out the full video below.

From the website: “Located on 26 Saint Charles Street in Newark, New Jersey, the football arena had fallen to a state of decay, until city officials, in partnership with chemicals company Celanese, agreed on terms to clean up the contaminated site in 2015.”

Ironbound Stadium in Newark, New Jersey (Image: Rachel Fawn via Untapped Cities)

“The decision came nearly 30 years after the field was shut down in 1987, when toxic levels of PCBs and other chemicals were discovered by workers at the corner of St. Charles Street and Rome Street in the early 1980�™s.”

The terraces of Ironbound football stadium in NJ (Image: Rachel Fawn via Untapped Cities)

Visit Untapped Cities to find out more, and be sure to check out our roundup of abandoned sports arenas and forgotten rugby grounds.

The Deserted Ghost Town of Flat, Alaska

Now a deserted ghost town, Flat, Alaska is pictured here back in 1911 when the settlement was a vibrant mining community. (Image: Lomen Bros. Flat, Alaska pictured in 1911)

The post office in Flat, Alaska closed in 2004, and the 2010 census recorded the Otter Creek ghost town’s population as zero. But though Flat’s population may have disappeared, the world-changing discoveries associated with the Alaskan ghost town remain should keep its history alive for years to come.

Gold was discovered in Otter Creek in 1908, and by 1914 some 6,000 people had moved in to seek their fortune. They built schools and stores, restaurants and hotels, as well as a pool hall. After some dispute over whether or not the town �“ which was never platted, and instead just built on mining claims �“ was really a town, the US Post Office would acknowledge its existence and serve the community for decades.

Preserved: Wiley Post's Lockheed Vega aircraft Winnie Mae in 2008. (Image: Jarek Tuszy�„ski. Preserved: Wiley Post’s Winnie Mae in 2008)

But Flat, Alaska (which lies within the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area) was destined to fade like so many other mining boom-towns of the day. A single family of five remained there until 2000, maintaining the mining equipment and the land throughout the winter months.

One notable person to settle in Flat early in the town’s history was Peter Miscovich, an inventor from Croatia. Before his death in 1950 (Miscovich had settled in Alaska), he would invent the steam-powered washing machine and make great improvements to the steam bath.

His son, John Miscovich, was also an inventor. Not only did John live in Flat, he also helped repair the aircraft that crashed there in 1933. Pioneering American aviator Wiley Post was flying a single-engine Lockheed Vega called the Winnie Mae at the time of the accident. After Miscovich and other locals helped him repair his craft, Post went on to complete the first solo flight around the world in less than eight days.

Flat Airport is seen to the east of the Alaska ghost town of the same name. (Image: Google Earth. Flat Airport is seen to the east of the ghost town)

John Miscovich continued to follow in his father’s footsteps, developing the intelligiant – the standard water cannon used in fire fighting and hydraulic gold mining. He also developed a fire-fighting system specific to airport runaways, no doubt indirectly saving countless lives over the decades.

Today, the former mining community of Flat, Alaska is a ghost town, nestled at the side of the railroad that once connected it to Iditarod, now on a national historic trail with its roots in the mail and supply route. Flat Airport (FLT), meanwhile, with its turf/gravel runway, lies alongside Golden Horn Mine Road (more info here).

Read Next: 10 Lesser-Known National Parks of the United States

Project Habakkuk: The Wartime Plan to Build Ships From Ice

Sea Hurricane fighters aboard escort carrier HMS Avenger (D14) during the Second World War. (Image: Royal Navy. Sea Hurricane fighters aboard escort carrier (D14) HMS Avenger)

World War Two was a desperate time, and desperate times call for desperate measures. There were a whole host of bizarre plans put forward on Allied and Axis sides alike. Project Habakkuk came from the UK War Office’s Combined Operations Headquarters.

The secret programme was the brainchild of English journalist and inventor Geoffrey Pyke, who sought a way to counter German U-boat activity in the Mid-Atlantic, an area beyond the range of land-based planes where conditions were often cold and inhospitable.

Project Habakkuk investigated the possibility of building an aircraft carrier from pykrete - a mixture of ice and wood pulp. (Image: Jerzy Strzelecki. Project Habakkuk investigated the possibility of building an aircraft carrier from pykrete – a mixture of ice and wood pulp)

These challenges were made even more difficult by the shortage of materials like aluminium and steel for shipbuilding. As a result, the visionary Pyke proposed using something that was readily available: ice. Icebergs, it was suggested, could be adapted as de facto aircraft carriers. And to ensure these floating airfields didn’t simply melt, Pyke suggested using pykrete – a mixture of ice and wood pulp.

Not only was pykrete stronger than plain ice, it also melted incredibly slowly. The UK Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, was enthusiastic, and asked Lord Mountbatten to demonstrate Project Habakkuk’s potential for the admirals.

A Sea Hurricane takes off from an aircraft carrier during WW2. (Image: Royal Navy)

Mountbatten (a long-time friend of Pyke’s) produced a block of ice and a block of pykrete and fired at both with his service revolver. The ice shattered as the round pulverised it, but the second bullet ricocheted off the pykrete block and grazed the trouser leg of Admiral Ernest King, Commander in Chief of the US Fleet during World War Two. Pyke and Mountbatten had got their point across.

Though steering remained an unresolved problem, scale model tests on a lake in Alberta, Canada, proved promising.

Fairey Swordfish on the deck of HMS Tracker (Image: Oulds, D C (Royal Navy). Fairey Swordfish on the deck of HMS Tracker)

Had it been built, the “HMS Habbakuk” would have been 2,000 feet long with a beam of 300 feet and a depth of 200 feet. The War Illustrated suggests that it would have had hangar capacity for 200 Spitfires or 100 Mosquitos, including work shops and everything else required to keep the aircraft operational. The ice carrier would accommodate 3,620 officers and men. (Visit io9 for an artist’s impression of what such a ‘vessel’ might look like.)

But rising costs, the development of longer-range aircraft and the use of airfields in the Azores, from which to hunt U-boats, all conspired to forever shelve Project Habakkuk, leaving little more than some scale test articles and classified documents to melt into history.

Read Next: Abandoned Warships: 10 Decaying Aircraft Carriers, Submarines & Other Military Vessels

Doors Open Day at Derelict St Peter’s Seminary

Tickets are available to explore the ruins of St Peter's Seminary, Cardross, before the Scots building is transformed into a public arts venue.(Image: Mad4brutalism. The ruins of St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross)

It’s one of the best known abandoned buildings in Scotland. The concrete form of St Peter’s Seminary near Cardross, Argyll and Bute, has been described by Docomomo International as a “building of world significance”.

Built between 1961 and 1966, the brutalist structure closed as a Roman Catholic seminary in 1980 and in recent years has fallen into neglect. But its stark architecture has led many to campaign for its preservation and restoration efforts have ensued. As a result, St Peter’s Seminary is now considered one of Scotland’s most important modern buildings, and is now set to be transformed into a public arts venue by NVA.

Those who wish to explore the abandoned seminary building can now do so, thanks to an upcoming open weekend that will guide curious visitors through the ruin. Tickets for the event, which will take place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September, are available here.

Abandoned St Peter's Seminary, Cardross, Scotland(Image: Mad4brutalism)

From the Eventbrite page:

Walk through the abandoned chapel, find yourself in a graffiti artists’ paradise and try to imagine what life might have been like for the young men who lived here during the 1960s. This is a rare opportunity to visit Scotland’s most iconic modernist building in its raw and ruined state.

Built as a college to train Catholic priests in the 1960s, the Seminary was only in use for 14 years and has been abandoned for decades. It is celebrated worldwide as a masterpiece of modernist architecture and its decay has only added to its otherworldly charm.

About to be reclaimed by public art organisation NVA as an arts venue and visitor attraction, this is your chance to visit St Peter’s before construction begins.

The abandoned Roman Catholic seminary is considered one of Scotland's most important modern buildings.(Image: Mad4brutalism)

The post Doors Open Day at Derelict St Peter’s Seminary appeared first on Urban Ghosts Media.

Doors Open Day at Derelict St Peter’s Seminary

Tickets are available to explore the ruins of St Peter's Seminary, Cardross, before the Scots building is transformed into a public arts venue. (Image: Mad4brutalism. The ruins of St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross)

It’s one of the best known abandoned buildings in Scotland. The concrete form of St Peter’s Seminary near Cardross, Argyll and Bute, has been described by Docomomo International as a “building of world significance”.

Built between 1961 and 1966, the brutalist structure closed as a Roman Catholic seminary in 1980 and in recent years has fallen into neglect. But its stark architecture has led many to campaign for its preservation and restoration efforts have ensued. As a result, St Peter’s Seminary is now considered one of Scotland’s most important modern buildings, and is now set to be transformed into a public arts venue by NVA.

Those who wish to explore the abandoned seminary building can now do so, thanks to an upcoming open weekend that will guide curious visitors through the ruin. Tickets for the event, which will take place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September, are available here.

Abandoned St Peter's Seminary, Cardross, Scotland (Image: Mad4brutalism)

From the Eventbrite page:

Walk through the abandoned chapel, find yourself in a graffiti artists�™ paradise and try to imagine what life might have been like for the young men who lived here during the 1960s. This is a rare opportunity to visit Scotland�™s most iconic modernist building in its raw and ruined state.

Built as a college to train Catholic priests in the 1960s, the Seminary was only in use for 14 years and has been abandoned for decades. It is celebrated worldwide as a masterpiece of modernist architecture and its decay has only added to its otherworldly charm.

About to be reclaimed by public art organisation NVA as an arts venue and visitor attraction, this is your chance to visit St Peter�™s before construction begins.

The abandoned Roman Catholic seminary is considered one of Scotland's most important modern buildings. (Image: Mad4brutalism)

Westchester Avenue: Ruined Railroad Station in the Bronx

The long-abandoned Westchester Avenue station in the Bronx, New York City. (Image: Peter Greenberg. The long-abandoned Westchester Avenue station in the Bronx)

The New York Times called it a place �œWhere Ghost Passengers Await Very Late Trains”, and it’s not hard to envision ghostly figures dressed in turn-of-the-century clothes, clutching their luggage and waiting for trains that will never pull into the station.

The disused Westchester Avenue station in New York City‘s Bronx was built in 1908, and today, it’s one of four surviving stations designed by Cass Gilbert. Each one was completed in very different styles, but it’s the Westchester Avenue building that’s particularly beautiful even in its advanced state of decay.

Approaching Westchester Avenue ghost station in the Bronx. (Image: John)

The elevated station seems to float above the tracks. Even though it’s overgrown and crumbling now, you can still see traces of the glazed cream terracotta detailing, decorated with elegant flourishes befitting the financier who commissioned its construction: none other than JP Morgan.

(Image: Peter Greenberg)

The Westchester Avenue station was built by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad and also served local commuter trains operated by the New York, Westchester and Boston Railroad. But in 1931 the station was closed to passenger trains.

(Image: Peter Greenberg)

By 1937 the New York, Westchester and Boston Railroad had ceased operating, leaving many of its local stations abandoned. Eight decades later, Westchester Avenue station is a haunting shell.

(Image: Jim Henderson)

A catalyst for the railway’s downfall was the New York Subway and its five-cent fare. Unable to compete, the writing was on the wall for the New York, Westchester and Boston Railroad. While some of Gilbert’s other stations have found new use �“ like Morris Park’s transformation into a gun club �“ Westchester Avenue has sat neglected for years.

Birdseye view of the abandoned Westchester Avenue station in the Bronx, NYC. (Image: via Bing Maps)

Though the station is now owned by Amtrak, and a series of proposals have been put forward on how to save the decaying structure, none have yet come to fruition. There’s been talk of incorporating the ghost station’s waiting room into the Concrete Plant Park and the Bronx River Greenway, should the usual funding hurdle be cleared.

Read Next: 10 Disused Subway Stations & Platforms of New York City