Urban Decay & my camera: Central Massachusetts Edition
October 30, 2015 2:37 PM   Subscribe

Since my divorce and recent hospitalization, I've been trying to plan every single day to the fullest. Tomorrow I have plans, but Sunday is empty. Help me fill it. See inside:

I've recently been divorced, ditched by a new flame, and spent sometime in Hotel California (they really aren't as strict as you think, once you get in you can actually leave).

Since then, I've been instructed and have been very strictly scheduling my weekends. Those are my hardest times of the week to deal with.

I recently took photos of an abandoned trail tunnel in Clinton, MA. It was one of my favorite photo shoots in years. So, meta, I'm asking... where are other abandoned sites in MA that are LEGAL to enter and take photos of? I'm not looking to get arrested.

Things I like to shoot: Rust, decay, buildings falling apart, abandoned property.

Essentially, all the pretty stuff. Would appreciate LEGAL suggestions.

posted by Draccy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Here are the search results for "Massachusetts" at Atlas Obscura.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 3:57 PM on October 30, 2015

I'm from that area. If the weather is nice, and you also like outdoorsy stuff (i.e. the woods, nature) you might enjoy the few bunkers that you can peek at the WWII ammunition bunkers which are here. Sometimes the doors are open and you can peek inside. It's also got plates to hike. Do't get me wrong, there isn't a lot to look at there, but the stuff is neat and totally 100% legal. A few other options can be found by poking around this site about Cold War Massachusetts. You might also find some other interesting places to go via NELSAP the New England Lost Areas Ski Project. This area is in my home town, for example.
posted by jessamyn at 4:21 PM on October 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Checking in Atlas Obscura, which is my go-to for things like this, I see the Worcester State Hospital (creepy old mental hospital), Bancroft Tower (feudal-style tower), the Belchertown State School for the Feeble-Minded (another creepy mental hospital), and The Rutland Prison Camp. Should be plenty of rust and decay. Poke around the rest of the Massachusetts listings, though. There's lots of interesting stuff on that site.
posted by ananci at 5:59 PM on October 30, 2015

I'm not too familiar with most of these, but you might check out some of the abandoned railroads in the area.

Not useful at the moment, but if you find yourself in the Boston area while the harbor island shuttle boats are running, Peddocks Island has some beat-up stuff creepy enough it was a filming location for the movie Shutter Island.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:17 PM on October 30, 2015

To clarify: While there may be trespassing issues on the actual track bed, I was particularly thinking that abandoned infrastructure might be found near abandoned railroads, and some of them run alongside public roads. Before it got turned into ped/bike path, there was some fine abandoned rail infrastructure along the roads near the Watertown Arsenal. Obviously, avoid any active railroad.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:43 PM on October 30, 2015

Well, these aren't exactly urban but...

In East Princeton there are some 19th century mill ruins (Gleason road just off of route 140, according to this) - watch out for poison ivy, though.

Seconding the Rutland prison camp, which would put you in the vicinity of the Quabbin reservoir, which has cellarholes galore from the four towns that were disincorporated to make the reservoir. If you're up for a bit of a walk (3.4 miles round trip) on fairly flat terrain, North Dana Common (Gate 40) is worth a visit. There are also some interesting spots along the road from Gate 33, including the former Golden Lake Cemetery; all of the graves were disinterred in the 1930s but the crypt is still there.

Further north in Royalston is Doane's Falls - the falls are beautiful and there are ruins of an old mill alongside them. Also in Royalston, if you can find it, is the Gale-Gates Cemetery which is quite old and also has a spooky abandoned crypt.

There are (or were, it's been a while) also geocaches near all of those places, in case that's also of interest!
posted by usonian at 5:24 AM on October 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

(I should add that "ruins" in these cases mostly means foundations and the occasional partial wall; the structures are long gone.)
posted by usonian at 5:25 AM on October 31, 2015

There are parts of Chelsea (off Eastern Avenue) where there are lots of gas tanks, warehouses, etc. Same thing over in Everett off Beacham Street. And in East Boston just over the Meridian Street bridge in the Eagle Hill area.
posted by shw at 7:38 AM on October 31, 2015

« Older How to "wear" a plastic Hallowe'en mask suspended...   |   Beach Cafes In/Near Los Angeles? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.