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Abandonedamerica.us Mailbag

Posted: 18th March 2011
Q: I love looking at all of your photos. You really make these empty, forgotten buildings beautiful art. I was just wonder why you don't say where these places are? America is a big place! I'd love to see some of these places in person, if I lived near them.
sent via facebook via Kelly C.

A: Hi Kelly, thanks for the comments and for asking. I don't reveal locations for two reasons - the first is that many of these properties are by their very nature endangered. Posting their location makes them targets for vandals, thieves, scrappers, etc. I have seen a number of sites get very badly damaged because they became well known among urbexers. People are as destructive if not moreso than the elements.

The second reason is pretty simple: for the reasons listed above, many of my contacts, be they sources of information or property owners, do not want the locations of their sites being given out. Curious locals or adventure-seeking photographers are a huge liability and to a property owner, a huge pain in the neck. I am able to gain access to the places I do and information about them directly because of the fact that I work so hard to maintain confidentiality.

As you can see, identifying locations is bad for properties, bad for property owners, and by extension bad for me. I don't want my work to contribute to damaging a property, causing problems for a property owner, encouraging a viewer to go somewhere they could get hurt or arrested, or making a site more difficult to gain access to again in the future. I get a lot of flack for the policy but I stand by it. There are dozens of other people who photograph old buildings who are more than happy to share their info with whomever is interested, but I personally feel that since once information can't be retracted once given out, silence is the best policy.
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Photo comment By Ruth Loughlin: I received a response from you about an abandoned Military housing. I lost the e-mail sorry ny cat decided my computer need my tea more then I did. So I had to get money together to get another one. But, I have the info on the place where do you want me to sent it to?

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