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Urban Exploring
May 1, 2009
9:33 PM
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February 14, 2009
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NMR I would love to see some of your work. Who knows maybe one day you can come out and shoot one of my jobs.

April 26, 2009
4:15 AM
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I would just like to say that I've never tried to destroy any contractors machines or yelled and made a big stink over something which is clearly out of my hands, my intrests lie in watching demolition, taking pics of the machines and seeing the process of change over time. This and this alone was my main reason for joining demofourms, photography is just one of my many hobbies but I hope this explains why I am constantly asking where jobs are and when there starting.

Honestly I would love to work in this field and become an operator but I cannot seem to find a company that is currently looking for employees. I do have to say that this thread was a sad one as I knew an inspector who actually perished at Philadelpia State Hospital, we were not close friends but he let me get close enough to snap a few quick shots of the exteriors of the buildings and then shortly after fell through the stairs and died.

His name was James a very decent person and he worked for LVI, may he REST IN PEACE.

April 18, 2009
9:02 AM
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February 14, 2009
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There are websites that are dedicated to this sort of thing if it is what I am thinking of. The one here in Michigan is called Northvilletunnels.com or something like that. It was an old mental hospital that was abandoned for year. We used to hang out there as kids and scare the crap out of each other at night! We drank beer that we would get from the old mans fridge and all but the drug scene just was not there like you here about today. Funny though... When I was about 19 it was one of my first jobs! Wreck it!!!

April 14, 2009
5:47 PM
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Wolf
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yeah, it's too bad that all that stuff usually just gets crushed in the demo process. most people working the demo don't bother with it at all.

i saw where they uncovered a gold rush era ship under the streets of san francisco doing demo. the area was covered with landfill, and the ship had been abandoned, burned and then just covered up. apparently the ship had sailed to san francisco and was abandoned when the sailors on it ran for the gold fields. it was later used as a building, since there was a shortage of buildings in town, and then a storage house. then it burned when the city burned in the early 1850s and was covered up.

unfortunately, when i saw it, a big CAT excavator was sitting on top of it with a hydraulic hammer busting it up into pieces. I talked to the operator Kevin who told me he wasn't allowed to save any of it (don't understand why) but when I approached the driver of the highsides who was taking it to the landfill with a ten spot, he pulled out a few pieces of the old ship for me that I still have as a neat souvenir. The ship was the General Harrison, and it was documented.

April 14, 2009
2:45 PM
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Wolf;11487 said:
It is interesting that the website says the urban explorers are the last hope at saving our history. That is a strange way of looking at it.

From a photographer's point of view I absolutely understand what they mean.

I am currently doing a series called Forsaken Structures where I go into a building just before the demolition and photograph it as it stands.

In some cases it looks like someone worked there yesterday, in other cases it looks like a scene from Planet of the Apes.

It is immortalizing the history of the world, however we choose to remember it.

When I was shooting Boston's Big Dig there were a great many archaelogical discoveries under the streets of Boston. Digging in Bostons Blue Clay yielded 10 foot diameter waste water pipes made of brick, harpoons and even a shipwreck or two.

Connecting the history of the use of any particular building with those that may have worked or live there tells a story of how we lived.

It is the history of the world and when we are dead and gone it would be the only record of our existence.

April 13, 2009
4:19 PM
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Wolf
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yeah, kudos to geppert brothers from doing the demo of one of the baddest buildings in philly.

they've been at it for a long time too.

April 13, 2009
3:38 PM
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Wolf
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It is interesting that the website says the urban explorers are the last hope at saving our history. That is a strange way of looking at it.

April 13, 2009
8:26 AM
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April 2, 2009
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Sorry for repling to an old topic.

Urban exploration is when people visit old abandoned buildings.Some just want to know what the building was like others want to harm the building.Byberry to some people was like there own subculture.I heard when the first closed it,after a couple of weeks loiters gutted the building out with copper and electronics. After that almost every teenager was down there at byberry. There burned almost anything flamable in each building. Almost every wall was completly covered in graffiti. One of the reason why byberry was brought down was just to stop kids from destroying the place.They even had security and almost every one entered the property from the laundry building.I heard before they demoed it, that over 200 people visited the site daily. My question is why are they mad at geppert brothers, they should be mad at westrum from purchasing the property from the city of philadelphia. Xemmaleighx was your excavator protected? I mean did it have any anti vandilize equipment on it. I know I contractor in philly that has these vandal protection kits. If there working somewhere bad they had these sheetmetal sheets that covered over the cab to stop vandals from smashing windows and stealing the excavator. I have to tip my hat of to geppert brothers from doing the demo of one of the baddest buildings in philly.

an example of an urban exploration site.
.::Abandoned But Not Forgotten::.

July 3, 2007
5:05 AM
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Yes I do work for GBI, and I am speaking of Byberry.
And in your defense, I saw many photographers that came due to wanting to see our machines at work.

It becomes worrisome to a contractor when you have people playing in partially demolished buildings.

July 2, 2007
10:44 AM
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Let me say that I have been on both sides of the coin, I am not a contractor or involved with anyone, I enjoy seeing the machines at work.

After listening to what you folks have been discussing I just realized I know what your talking about, you must work for Geppert Bros and the facility you speak of is Philadelpia State Hospital or (BYBERRY) as it is refered to by those who live near it.

I will never damage anyones equipment or do harm to anyone on a site I am there for positive reasons only photography that is all...

June 6, 2007
8:25 AM
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See, now why can't they all be like that?

June 4, 2007
4:06 AM
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Usually we are the first most visisble entitiy on site so we draw the wrath of the "radical preservationists"; this had only happened to me two times in my career and both times I was able to shift the focus away from us by explaning that we didn't make the decision etc. Sometimes peole feel like the demo contractor is the one behind the whole process.

June 3, 2007
4:47 PM
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Wolf
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I agree. The anger is completely misplaced against us demo contractors. We aren't the ones who decide to destroy the old buildings. By the time we get there, the decision has long been made by the developers to rip down the old places.

So why do we take the heat? Have any of you other guys experienced this misplaced anger before?

I have and I think it's sure unfair---especially when they take it out on our equipment or take it out by yelling at our workers. Any thoughts?

June 3, 2007
3:17 PM
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Something like that Wolf.

I think the anger is placed more against the developers as opposed to the demo contractors

June 2, 2007
12:02 PM
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Wolf
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Sounds like Philly is out of control.

Maybe you could just make arrangements to let them come in and salvage any of the historical items before you started the demo, and then they would agree to keep away once the wrecking began.

Might be a compromise to let them retain something of historical interest and value to them (assuming it had no salvage value to the demo contractor and you were going to trash it anyway) and to keep them from vandalizing your loaders and hoes.

Maybe that would be a win-win. Are they really interested in the historical preservation aspects or just trying to make trouble? If they are acting in the interests of historical preservation, it seems like they are going about it the wrong way, or maybe they are just frustrated that all the old buildings seem to get torn down in the end (they feel like the developers always win out).

June 1, 2007
11:39 PM
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That

June 1, 2007
5:18 PM
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Wolf
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Is that the mental hospital outside of Philly where they had been having all-night "raves?"

Can't believe they arrested 150 people. Were they trying to stop the demo, like to preserve the hospital, or were they just there to party and do drugs? Sounds kinda wild.

June 1, 2007
5:08 PM
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James, for the most part-many of them are that way.

It seems though, at least jobs in our area-vandalization is out of control by this genre. We recently took down an abandoned mental hospital and met with more opposition in taking it down by the UE community, than the surrounding community itself.

For us it was trespassing, thanks to how the law is viewed in our state.
We had wonderful police presence and picked up a GOOD security company. In the end, if anything, the only ones who benefited was the city and the fines it was able to levy off of over 150 arrests.

June 1, 2007
12:05 PM
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Wolf
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What do you mean by the Urban Explorers vandalize equipment in hopes of halting demolition. What is their motive there?

Do you let these people take photos while the demo is going on? What kind of vandalism are they doing? Isn't this trespassing? And dangerous, given the condition of the buildings.

June 1, 2007
8:47 AM
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I have only run into a couple of times. I have never had any of them vandalize any equipment though. They came in took some pictures and then ask if the could take a brick or two, so no problems here.

Have you had your equipment vandalized by these "people"?

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