Alanna’s Top 10 Images of 2017 – Abandonment

Happy New Year’s Eve 2018 and welcome to my Top 10 of 2017 – Abandonment. Please read my Top 10 Images – Cityscapes if you have not done so already! 

Man was it hard to choose a Top 10, I saw so many abandoned locations, so many great photographic subjects, took thousands of photos! This year, I did a lot more exploring outside of Detroit than in years past. Detroit has been changing a lot and the abandonment is quickly going away. So, that just means I have to go to where it is!

The types of buildings I visited on my travels are churches, schools, mansions, psych hospitals, masonic temples, YMCAs, funeral homes, theatres, monastaries, hospitals, hotels/resorts, restaurants, power stations, a silk mill, and an industrial furnace (Carrie Furnaces in Pittsburgh). I am sure there are some other miscellaneous places in the mix I forgot to mention. But that about covers what I saw. 

Want to see more abandonment? Check out these galleries.

Here is the Top 10 in no particular order.

  1. Cooley High School Auditorium, Detroit. It had been a couple of years since I had been inside Cooley High School, so this summer I made the trip to photograph it again. I was very happy to find the auditorium bathed in light, as the last time I had been there, it was in complete darkness, and the only way to photograph is with light painting. It appeared a hole in the roof above the stage was allowing light in. It was a good thing I had photographed it when I did, as this beautiful auditorium had burned, a victim of arson (it is believed). This was to me the most beautiful auditorium of any Detroit school. It is sad to see it in its charred state (if you want to see an image, I have one in this gallery).


2. Mansion, Memphis TN. This mansion at one time had been a residence, its last incarnation a night club.


3. New York Mansion. Photographing mansions has quickly become a favorite of mine to shoot, especially when old, vintage furniture and artifacts are left behind. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more of these in the future.



4. Maryland Silk Mill. We had received permission to shoot inside this silk mill that had closed its doors in 1957. It is a literal time capsule, even with calendars still on the wall from 1957! The cart in the image below is filled with spools that would have been full of silk thread. When I learned about this place, I knew I had to go especially with my love of industrial subjects. In this day and age, with so many industrial buildings either renovated or torn down, it doesn’t get much better than this.


5. New York Resort. The resort towns of New York have been hit hard. So many abandoned resorts. I have to admit, they made for really interesting photographs though. I hope the area makes a comeback, because it is really beautiful in those New York mountains.


6.  New Orleans Church. This is my favorite church I’ve photographed this year, because of the golden hour light coming through the yellow stained glass windows. Unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The church was so old, you can tell by looking at those wood floors, but in better condition than one would think.


7. Massachusetts Psych Hospital. It’s true, psych hospitals can be creepy, but so compelling. This is so far my favorite psych hospital, so many artifacts left behind, such as gurneys, medical equipment, wheelchairs, etc.


8. New York Pharmacy. This pharmacy is another example of a time capsule, finding all of these potions and lotions still lining the pharmacy shelves. I could have shot in here for hours, getting all the little details of these vintage bottles.


9. Marine Terminal Reflection, Detroit. The Marine Terminal is one of the best places to photograph reflections, so much water pools there after a good rain.


10. St. Louis Church. This was a sick room inside of a church, I really liked the light coming through the beautiful stained glass windows.

Want to see more abandonment? Check out these galleries.

Related Images:

6 thoughts on “Alanna’s Top 10 Images of 2017 – Abandonment

  1. mark says:

    What a great year of photography for you Alanna! It’s cool seeing the branching out from the Detroit area to show these new and interesting places. That mansion from TN, wow.

    • Alanna St. Laurent
      Alanna St. Laurent says:

      Thanks Mark! Yes I have been making it a priority to see more of our country, whether its abandoned or a cityscape. I know, that mansion was one of my favorites (hence the Top 10, right??) it was a very unique space.

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