Hold Your Horses Part III

May I present, the main building. I believe it has been built no later than in the 1940’s and expanded in the 60’s or 70’s. Back then it was common to build wings like the one on the right to old houses. They would include a toilet, shower, sauna and perhaps a room for a central heating system, which made the auxiliary buildings obsolete. It may even be that the wing on the left side of the building was added in the same construction phase.

But by now I am a bit puzzled by some of the facts I am facing.

First of all I have difficulties understanding, why the cottage and this house exist on the same yard. I have two possible explanations, but both are just guesses.

It wasn’t uncommon back in the days for children to build a house next to their parents. So it might well be that the small cottage was the original building on the lot and the new main building was a later addition. The other guess is that they have been separate homes and at some point one has been sold to the other.

But things became even more puzzling, when I did some research on the name of the inhabitant, who, by the way, had a very, very rare surname with only around ten people with that name in the country. She was born in the late 19th century and died way back in the 1980’s. Yet there were newspapers newer than that in the stable.

Now I have no more guesses left. Let’s try an open door in the annex.

So this is the boiler room, then. The sign on the boiler could reveal, when the annex was built. Of course I don’t have a photo of it.

I don’t think that the system is in working order.

This room was again not connected to the other rooms. The front door was locked and there were no other doors, so we then proceeded to climb in through the kitchen window.

Ladies and gentlemen, the late 1970’s just called us. He’s back.

That over there is probably the living room. And yes, I believe indeed that it is a later addition.

I found the pattern on the floor rather charming. Wouldn’t use it in my own home, though.

I think the fireplace was built around the same time the annexes were built. It seems it has originally been panted red and then repainted brown when the kitchen got its current finish.

A closer look at the living room, where there has been a large dark brown bookshelf. Somehow I associate this shade of brown to the late 1970’s or early 1980’s, but I may also be wrong.

There had been a door from the living room to the room next to it.

Once again this same shade of brown.

A view of the mess in the living room and the back wall of the garage.

And a look back towards the kitchen. I have to say, that the roof doesn’t look very healthy.

We then moved on to other rooms. And were scared shitless, when a gust of wind banged the kitchen window shut.

This room was next to the kitchen and was what I believe had been the original bedroom.

And this room was behind the living room. The door between them had been on the wall on the left.

After the unitary brown appearance of the kitchen, this mismatch of colours made me feel a bit uneasy.

Before the central heating system was installed, this was used to keep the rooms warm.

Back in the kitchen again.

Merry Christmas everybody (it was the Christmas of 2021, when I wrote this post, actually). I am doing them all on beforehand and just publish them, when enough time has passed from the exploration and when I have time to do the photos. I still have a lot more in store.

In the fourth and final part from this house, we’ll explore the annex.

Hold Your Horses Part II

So here’s a better look at what we were actually exploring this time. Please ignore the strange effects on the sky that my photo editing software has decided to make.

In the first part we explored a stable which is located behind the building we are in now. This building is the cottage I described earlier.

On the left is another auxiliary building. In the first part I said that there were three of them, but there were actually four. The one straight ahead is a garage we didn’t explore.

The main building of the farm is the green one. That’s the cherry on the cake of this location, so we’ll leave it last.

Like the stable explored in part one, the third auxiliary building was divided in different rooms which were not connected with each other. The first one contained yet another desk and some clothes.

The birch whisks were there waiting for someone to warm up the sauna.

There were a lot of them. For the whole family – or for the whole summer.

A look back towards the two buildings described in part one. The cottage is the one closer to the camera, the stable is the one behind.

Here’s another look at the main building.

The third auxiliary building was mostly about storage space.

A couple of the spaces were filled with random stuff.

One compartment was empty. My guess is this had once been a firewood storage. Also it looks a little like the building has been enlarged at some point.

Another compartment. By now I am almost certain that the building has been enlarged at some point. The wall boards in all the previous compartments have been vertical, from now on they are horizontal. I believe we have now entered the original part of the building.

This room had a lot of colorful cupboards.

And the reason why I believe this one to be the original part of the building? Well the sauna was here. Back in the days when the houses had no bathrooms or running water, it was common to have an auxiliary building with a firewood storage room, a privy and a sauna.

The old sauna stove has suffered a lot.

So much for the auxiliary buildings then. In part III we’ll finally get to the main building of this little farm.

Hold Your Horses Part I

We didn’t have to walk for long on the narrow countryside dirt roads before finding the second location we had been looking for. This one was rather large. There was a main building and three auxiliary buildings on the same lot, and all of them had open doors.

We began with one of the auxiliary buildings. We hadn’t even managed to enter, when my friend said a lady walking a dog had seen us.

“What happened”, I asked.

“I just smiled prettily at her, so she smiled back.”

It seemed that it would be safe to enter.

The first door we entered through led to a storage room full of old boards sawn into short pieces. Probably they would be used as firewood.

But it soon turned out that the place was a horse stable. We couldn’t manage to figure out, whether the place was just the private stable of the kids in the family or a larger business.

Another mystery left unsolved. Is Belinda a horse, the name of the rider or just a random urban explorer, who wanted to leave her mark?

The newspapers are from 2008, so it was around then, when the property was abandoned. Once again the papers were too old for me to find myself there.

The building had several doors and the rooms weren’t connected inside. This one housed a collection of desks.

The initials on the wall were almost 30 years old. They are another mystery.

We then entered the second auxiliary building. This one was a small, old cottage, which looked like it could have been used for living.

The stairs were completely rotten. Luckily the step was very low.

The insides were pretty colorful.

They may have problems with mold here.

Another one of my window shots now something of a trademark of mine. This one is one of my favorites so far, to be honest.

All windows of the cottage had been smashed and lay on the floor of the building.

There had been a fireplace of some sort, but it had been demolished at some point. Or I believe, that there had been. What else would explain the chimney?

In the next post we’ll move on to the third auxiliary building.

Sealed Off

This exploration follows a pattern that was pretty clear that summer. A friend had seen my stories from abandoned houses and wanted to join me. I had once again found some new locations through other urbex sites, and was eager to see them myself.

This time we headed to a regional airport, as the rumour had it that there would be an area behind it with not just one but five different abandoned houses. The area was very rural with fields and forests, wasn’t near any major roads and was all in all pretty remote. The story didn’t tell, why the houses were abandoned. They were all rural houses built before the airport, so perhaps nobody wanted to live in the noise after their original inhabitants left this world.

The first cottage wasn’t very difficult to find. The overgrown yard and windows covered with plywood were an indication that we were in the right place.

Although abandoned, the place wasn’t neglected. It had strong locks and a barrier installed to prevent unauthorized access.

There was no way in, so we decided to move on to other locations.

An Institute Beyond Recognition Part III

We begin the exploration to the upstairs in the annex of the workers’ institute with a view to a kitchen.

And here’s another kitchen. I can recall having photographed here. Back then the closet doors were in their place and nobody had removed the stove.

There are houses right behind that window and the inhabitants were at home. We had to be pretty careful not to make too much noise.

The corridor back towards the stairs. Everything is covered in a fine white dust here.

I really don’t understand this statement. The windows have been broken for years, so probably the kitchen is as cold as it is outside.

Some explorers have left their mark on dust.

The panel part of the fuse panel is there, but the fuses have vanished.

This toilet was one of the few in the whole complex which had been modernized. Most of them were in their original shape.

A close up on the broken floor tiles.

What a strange thing it has been to paint even the roof of the bathroom green. The solution has not been original, as you can see from what is revealed from underneath it.

The contrast between the dirty white inside and the fresh green outside is pretty spectacular. The yellow word says ‘slut’ in Finnish.

The main building seen through the windows of the annex. We would have explored further, but one of us was expected home and so we agreed to finish exploring the annex and return at a later date to come check out the rest of the buildings.

Another one of my typical window shots.

And another kitchen. The wooden floors would have been wonderful given a good sand blasting and a fresh coat of lacquer.

The bathroom sewer still has the hair of the last person who showered there attached to it.

Another window shot.

What’s this then? A balcony shot?

One final picture from the attic. Once there was a comfy chair like a throne below the window with a broken TV next to it. Now they are gone.

And so were we. One of us went home to a family dinner, I and my friend decided to go have a beer. But we agreed to return once more.

An Institute Beyond Recognition Part II

Even the stairway had gotten a large graffiti. We would eventually go upstairs, but not quite yet. First we would explore the ground floor – or the section of the ground floor which was slightly above the entrance level.

There wasn’t much to see here. The windows had been shut by plywood since my previous visit and the few items of furniture there had been had largely been destroyed.

And like the previous time most of the rooms were just empty.

The many layers of paint were coming off. The walls seem to have been at least yellow and pink in their previous life.

The last time I was here the whiteboard was still on the wall, if I recall correctly.

The balcony door had been sealed shut, but this did little to prevent unauthorized visitors, as the main door was wide open.

Another one of my window shots. The roof visible here is an annex, which has been added later to the 1950’s building.

This hasn’t been a very healthy solution of vandals. The insulation in old buildings is known to contain asbestos, but the urge to destroy has overtaken safety.

First Time Explorer in Red Hat, (c) Deserted Finland, 2019.

There wasn’t probably a single intact window left in the whole building complex including the annexes.

A look back towards the main entrance and the burned classroom.

One last look downstairs…

And then we’ll she what has changed upstairs.

An Institute Beyond Recognition Part I

As the third location of our tour I took my friends to the abandoned workers’ institute I had photographed in 2014, 2016 and 2017 and where I had also taken a dancer for the experimental photo shoot, which really killed my interest towards photography.

Two years had passed, and since then things had changed. Back in the days the place seemed like somebody was at least trying to take care of gardening, now the yard was really overgrown and narrow paths went through tall grass, bushes and trees.

We approached the place from the back and set our course towards the first of the two annexes.

This wall was blank the last time I photographed it. Now there was a huge graffiti on it.

Paint had peeled of the walls and there was much more debris around. Even the roof had gotten a black glazing.

The reason for the black glazing was, that the large classroom downstairs had suffered a fire. There was certainly no more electricity in this building, so somebody must have lit it on purpose.

Almost every wall was now covered in large graffiti. Most of the windows had been boarded shut.

I have previously stated that the building looks wooden from the outside. This confirms its true nature. It’s a brick building.

The fire seems to have caused some damage, but only on one wall. I believe, it was this incident. The news is about a fire on the ground floor of the building in 2018.

The new piece looks much better than the ones it covers.

Need to say no more.

To be continued.

Workers of the Village, Disperse Part II

Upstairs we went then. Most of it was cold space, which had served as a storage. here some construction materials and long benches, presumably from the main assembly hall, were stored.

In this darker corridor, windows were stored. There might have been another room on the other side of the building, but we felt it unsafe to go further. The floor boards were missing and the sawdust used as insulation was visible, and a drop through the floor wasn’t really a nice option.

The only room accessible contained a kitchen counter, some furniture and a handloom, which surprisingly was intact.

Again there was one of the long benches this time with some clothes on it. The chairs from downstairs were also stored here.

One corner of the room contained old coat racks.

A closer look at the handloom. Those are valuable nowadays.

As you can see, new housing had been built fairly close to the old workers’ house.

The clothing was red, which was suitable for the building’s history.

Perhaps these jackets had been used by the cloakroom staff during the house’s heyday.

Another window shot, not one of my best, though. There was a container standing on the yard.

A closer look at the new houses nearby through another window. The cars in front of their garage were pretty new. This was not the neighbourhood for the poor.

Some more windows stored here. Somebody’s taken the effort to smash them, too.

The table would be nice given a good sand blasting and a repaint.

Somebody has played with eggs. The dark yellow tone is an indication that they mess was no longer fresh.

One last look at the main hall from the scene.

And another from our point of entry. At first we thought about exiting the same way we came in, but as we had managed to explore the house unnoticed, we just decided to walk out through the front door.

It wasn’t very difficult to get out unnoticed.

And one last look at the house. It was demolished in the spring of 2020.

Workers of the Village, Disperse Part I

Our journey perhaps had a failed start, but it did continue in much happier ways. Once again thanks to an urban exploration site I had found. There was a mention about a workers’ house in the suburb of Kello just north of my home town.

Quite a lot of work with old maps was needed to find the building. By researching Google Maps I learned, that brand new housing had been built right on the opposite side of the road from the house, which was located in the outsikirts of the residential area. That’s why we decided to approach the building from the back through a forest.

To reach it we had to push trough waist high trees, grass and burning nettles, but the trek was succesful. One back window was open and somebody had built a makeshift ladder to enter.

We jumped right in the heart of the house, the assembly hall. There had been quite a number of intruders, who hadn’t been very friendly. A lot of things had been thrown around and smashed.

Another look back towards the window we entered through. It required some agility to climb the narrow ladder and turn to reach the table. After that it was peanuts.

The view from the front of the stage towards the back of the hall. The “real” entrance can be seen on the right.

By the entrance was a small cloakroom, where people left their coats when coming to events. This small corner of the building had probably seen hundreds of thousands of coats, as the building was built in 1917 and closed down for good in 2010 because it posed a safety hazard.

Originally the place was heated with big ovens, which were in every room. A central heating system was later installed, but we’ll get to that a bit later.

At this point we realized that the trek through the woods had been unnecessary. The front door had been open all along. It was visible from nearby buildings, so maybe it was better to be safe than sorry anyway.

A door led from the cloakroom to a dark backroom. Most of the building’s windows had been covered by boards, so there was very little light inside. Two of us had the flashlights in their mobiles turned on while one of us was taking photos.

In the backroom we found a cabinet containing prize cups and banners of other organizations.

Now here’s a hint why the authorities deemed the building unsafe. The floor boards were completely rotten and the floor had collapsed. The poor stuffed dinosaur seems a bit lost here.

The workers’ association who owned the house had a name in the region. They were very well known for their gymnastics teams, but were also still active in football and volleyball.

A door at the back of the back room led to another room.

This room was also accessible from the main hall, and here was a small canteen. I suppose people coming to events could buy small snacks and coffee here.

In this area were also the public toilets of the house. The urinals were growing something, which looks like mould.

Here’s a closer look at the facilites in the canteen. The old and new stoves sit hire side by side.

The space under the new stove contained several issues of a magazine aimed at retirees. The recepient was a local lady, who died in 2009 and didn’t have to witness the final downfall of the building.

We also found a box containing a miscellanoux set of textiles.

Another look at the old and new stoves.

There was also a back door, which was nailed shut and a small hall with a few cupboards. There was a strong smell of oil around here, and we believe it originated from the tank of the central heating system, which was either open or leaking.

This was where the stairs to the second floor were located. For a while we considered if it was safe to go up, but we decided anyway. The findings upstairs are covered in the second post from this location.

The Excavator Made it First Again

In my home town was a café I had frequented for around two years. I loved them because of their service, which was so friendly you actually could imagine the staff being your friends when buying a coffee.

I bought a latte there every day on my way to work, exchanged latest things in my life with the staff and eventually we became friends. Whenever they were having breaks they sat in my table, we started having beer together and for my 30th birthday they served free sparkling wine and bought me flowers. I loved them.

I think I introduced around 10 people to urban exploration that summer, so it was no surprise when one day when picking up my take away order, the barista said:

‘You photograph those abandoned houses, don’t you? I want to come with you one day!’

Of course she said yes, so a few days later she arrived to pick me and one of her colleagues up in a bright beautiful orange car from the early 70’s. I had picked three locations for us, two of which I hadn’t visited earlier.

So we drove to a suburb, parked at a store and started walking the last part of the journey. We didn’t want to park the orange car at the front door, that would have attracted too much attention.

What I expected to find was a rather large one family house with lots of personal items from the early 2000’s, something like the House of Dirty Stories. What we found was this.

The house was gone and the rest of the rubble was still in small piles on the yard. We were no more than a month late, but had to concede defeat.

Their urban exploration journey might have started with a failure, but our next location wasn’t far away and it turned out to be a real gem.