Posts tagged ‘abandoned’

February 24, 2013

Lying on the ground

A rail, wheee

Confession: I haven’t been out shooting much since Hurricane Sandy. It’s seemed pointless. And now that winter’s upon us, well, everything’s dead and ugly in the winter, and therefore winter photography requires more creativity and thinking outside the box than I’m inclined to do at the moment.

“So why, then,” you ask, “do you keep assaulting us with lousy photos and halfhearted posts? Why not just stop blogging, or at least take a break?”

“Because,” I reply, “I’ve always been prone to unmotivated lethargy. It’s the whole reason I started this photoblog in the first place. I’m supposed to force myself to get out and take photos when I don’t feel like doing it. That’s the whole point. And if I stop, I know myself, I’ll never start it back up again. Better to push through!”

Usually, this kind of mopeyness resolves itself within a month or two; I’ll admit this has gone on longer than I should’ve let it. (And don’t worry, the rest of my life is fine— it’s only my interest in photography that’s in a bit of a lull.)

I bring this up now mostly to explain why all my photos this week are going to be outdated and ugly (again)— I didn’t get out to shoot at all this weekend (again). This here is a detail of the abandoned Rahway Valley Railroad.

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February 20, 2013

Things change

New Providence, Grove Terrace abandoned greenhouse

Last February, on a Weird NJ message board, I saw a tip for some old abandoned greenhouse in New Providence. I don’t know if this is what they meant, but I eventually tracked down this abandoned structure on Grove Terrace and snapped a photo.

This February… well, they’ve been busy over the past year. This green house is built where the old shed used to be.

New Providence, Grove Terrace new construction

As you can see, it’s no longer an empty or abandoned lot. I dunno if anyone’s living in that green house yet, but it’s certainly more livable than it used to be (heh).

The grown-up in me says, “good! At least the land will be used properly now,” but the rebellious adolescent in me says “awwwww, I never got inside!”

January 12, 2013

The abandoned Rahway Valley Railroad: Appendix A

When did you say the next train comes through here?

Last year, I had a brief obsession with trying to hunt down the abandoned tracks of the Rahway Valley Railroad (which used to connect two still-existing commuter rail lines). As it turns out, I didn’t need to spend nearly so much time worrying about trespassing, or how to get to the tracks.

There’s a well-marked built-up footpath from Summit’s Briant Park bike path to the railroad tracks, right in the back of the park. The tracks are about ten feet from the path.

Map of Briant Park, Hidden Valley Park/ Houdaille Quarry, and the Rahway Valley Railroad right-of-way

See, now, had I figured that out earlier, it would’ve made for some much easier explorations. But where would the fun be in that?

August 16, 2012

Campbell’s Pond pumping station 3

Faux HDR, yo

More Campbell’s Pond pumping station.

I was pretty intrigued by how to treat this shot. It would’ve been a perfect opportunity for HDR imaging… if my camera shot RAW, and if I had the software to process HDR, and if I’d had a tripod with me.

1/100 sec, f/3.5, ISO 400 1/1000 sec, f/3.5, ISO 400

I ended up cutting and pasting and compositing these two images by hand, which required INCREDIBLE PATIENCE (I am not patient). If you get close to the final image, it doesn’t hold up at all at full resolution. But seriously, who cares?

August 15, 2012

Campbell’s Pond pumping station 2

Spring has sprung

The Campbell’s Pond pumping station has been neglected and gutted by fires for at least half a century, as far as I can tell.

Maybe these springs used to help support the roof; the springs are down, but the roof is still up (barely).

I love light beams! Glad I don't live here, though.

…For legal purposes, I only admit to having entered the pumping station once, in June, when the door was wide open. Currently, there’s a pesky fence around most of the building, so any goofball who breached this shiny new fence would not be able to use the innocent “but the door was open” excuse. Therefore, I must have taken these pictures in June.

June 20, 2012

Campbell’s Pond pumping station

Inside the Campbell's Pond pumping station, South Mountain Reservation, 2012

The brick pumping station at Campbell’s Pond in the South Mountain Reservation is a ripe target for urban explorations. It features an enticing climb-through-able hole, about five feet from an existing trail, so even hikers who weren’t planning on checking out an abandoned building that day might suddenly feel compelled to do so. (That’s what happened to me, anyway.)

For safety reasons, I can’t recommend it to local explorers. The unstable wooden floor has given way in several places; photos taken just a few years ago show more flooring than there is now. But if you happen to be passing by, and you’re curious about how and why the pump station came to be… here’s what I found out:

If you Google “Campbell’s Pond pumping station,” you’ll generally come up with urban exploration photos that say it “once supplied water to the City of Orange.” Okay, yeah, so what?

Campbell's Pond pumping station in the South Mountain Reservation, identifiable by its big old smokestack.

To give some background, water from the Orange reservoir (situated a little further north, on a west branch of the Rahway River) flows through a 16-inch water main, downhill through Millburn, and eventually ends up in Orange. Initially, the main supplied Orange by gravity alone, but as water consumption grew, water pressure in the city decreased. Additionally, the city of Orange sprawled out across higher lands that couldn’t get their water from gravity-driven water.

To combat these problems, the reservoir was supplemented by a smaller reservoir along a western branch of the Rahway River: Campbell’s Pond (sometimes called “Bass Pond”), which was dammed in 1882. Here, “a pumping station was established having a capacity of about two million five hundred thousand gallons per day, and the water was… pumped from the Campbell’s pond reservoir into the sixteen-inch main” (Vroom, 1909, 372). All this helped to increase the water pressure.

According to the record of a Supreme Court case, even in 1907, they had started laying the newer 20-inch water main (which was completed c.1923 [Elliot, 2010, para. 5]), and they planned “to abandon the present pumping plant at Campbell’s pond” (Vroom, 1909, 375).

While I don’t know exactly how long the pump station has in fact been abandoned, if the newer main wasn’t finished until 1923, this old pump station was probably around for at least that long, which could explain the origins of the creepy dam/bridge across Campbell’s Pond.

Word on the street is that it has been gutted by fires (arson?) more than once. Whether or not these fires led to its ultimate abandonment, I couldn’t tell you.

But it’s at least a little more of a story than “it once supplied water to the City of Orange.”


Elliot, W. (2010). “Orange Lifts Water Advisory, Repairs to Finish this Week.” Local Talk News.Com.

Vroom, G.D.W. (Reporter). (1909). “Herbert Lighthipe, prosecutor, v. the City of Orange, the Crocker-Wheeler Company and the Western Electric Company, respondents.” Reports of Cases Argued and Determined by the Supreme Court and, at Law, in the Court of Errors and Appeals in the State of New Jersey, vol. 46. Soney & Sage: Newark, NJ. Google Books, pp.365-375.

February 3, 2012

Abandoned overpass 2

Abandoned Triborough Road overpass, NJ 24, Chatham and Florham Park, NJ

As continued from yesterday… in case you’ve forgotten, I’m talkin’ about this mostly-completed cloverleaf interchange/ overpass that doesn’t connect to any roads.

Triborough Road unfinished cloverleaf exchange over Rte. 24, Chatham and Florham Park, NJ

Once you find the little gravel-tracks that were clearly supposed to eventually be paved roads, you can just follow them up and find yourself on top of Route 24.

View of Route 24

The cloverleaves, though not paved, have been curbed and graded.

Cloverleaf on the abandoned overpass

From the tire tracks, my preliminary guess was that Triborough Rd. is currently being used as some kind of service road, since it’s really close to some PSE&G power lines, and this would be a convenient way to get trucks across Route 24.

But I had a conversation with a nearby resident (Steve!) who was taking his dog for a walk; he assured me this was pretty much publicly accessible land, and apparently the locals are really into driving their ATVs through here. (I saw one too, and Wikipedia mentions it, so it must be true.) I dunno. It could be service vehicles AND all-terrain vehicles.

Why do I refer to the overpass as “Triborough Road” if there isn’t actually any road associated with it? Apparently, as you drive along NJ 24, there is a sign posted on the bridge that labels it as such.

Aaaaaand that’s all I know about the abandoned Triborough Road overpass.



Alpert, S. (n.d.). “New Jersey Roads – NJ 24.” Alps’ Roads. and

Anderson, S. (2006). “NJ 24 Freeway.” The Roads of Metro New York.

Ca3ey. (2007). “Abandoned ‘highway’ in Morris County.” Weird U.S. Message Board.

Wikipedia. (2012). “New Jersey Route 24.” and

February 2, 2012

Abandoned overpass 1

Abandoned Triborough Road overpass, Chatham/ Florham Park, NJ

At some point in the early-to-mid 1970s, construction began on a cloverleaf overpass for a road that was intended to connect NJ 24 to NJ 124. (124 is a main street through Chatham and Madison; 24 is a major freeway that runs parallel to 124; 24 wasn’t finished until 1992.)

A couple standing on what would eventually become Route 24; c.1970?

But locals raised a fuss; apparently the plans for the new “Triborough Road” ran uncomfortably close to the Passaic River, so environmental concerns (as well as budgetary concerns) prevented the road from ever being constructed.


Triborough Road unfinished cloverleaf exchange over Rte. 24, Chatham and Florham Park, NJ

Thus: there is a mostly-constructed cloverleaf exchange, totally unused, totally unconnected to any roads, sitting in the middle of basically nowhere. (It’s on the border of Chatham and Florham Park, not far from Millburn’s Short Hills Mall.)

For all the trouble it took me to get to this thing, I’m going to stretch this out into two days, so… stay tuned! I’ll continue this tomorrow. (Click here for the next Abandoned Overpass post.)



Alpert, S. (n.d.). “New Jersey Roads – NJ 24.” Alps’ Roads. and

Anderson, S. (2006). “NJ 24 Freeway.” The Roads of Metro New York.

Ca3ey. (2007). “Abandoned ‘highway’ in Morris County.” Weird U.S. Message Board.

Cunningham, J.T. (1997). Images of America: Chatham. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0738545619.

Wikipedia. (2012). “New Jersey Route 24.” and

October 30, 2010


An abandoned house!

The site has been part of the Watchung Reservation since the 1920s. Since the 1960s, Feltville has gone through various phases of repair and disrepair, becoming rental houses, outdoor education classrooms, and full residences.

Currently, three of the houses in the “deserted village” are being lived in. (Which has got to be annoying when visitors like me come along, amazed that there’s still a lace curtain hanging in the window! after all these years! and go to take a photo, and then notice there’s a light on inside, plus a stern-looking woman standing at the window. and oh yeah a teeny little sign in front announcing “private residence.” whoooops.)

Aaaaaand that concludes our Deserted Village of Feltville tour!

Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders (Eds.). (n.d.) A Self-Guided Tour of the Deserted Village of Feltville/Glenside Park. [Pamphlet.]

(This is part of a series on the Deserted Village of Feltville. Click here for other Feltville posts.)

October 29, 2010


Yeah, so, turns out you're not supposed to do this. Whoops. Don't play on rotting porches, kids.

Starting in 1916, the local summer visitors of Glenside Park/Feltville started getting CARS, so they could go FAR during the summer—like to the Jersey Shore! (Side note: those—the summer visitors from New York or north Jersey, especially obnoxious ones—are what native Jersey Shore-ites call “bennies” or “shoobies.”)

And thus Glenside Park/Feltville went through a second bout of desertion.

Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders (Eds.). (n.d.) A Self-Guided Tour of the Deserted Village of Feltville/Glenside Park. [Pamphlet.]

(This is part of a series on the Deserted Village of Feltville. Click here for other Feltville posts.)

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