Monday, November 30, 2015

Inside the abandoned Silverdome

The Silverdome, located in Pontiac, Michigan, with a seating capacity of 82,000 used to be the largest stadium in the NFL. It opened in 1975 and it was the home of Detroit Lions for the next 26 years as well as the home of Detroit Pistons on NBA from 1978 to 1988. When it opened, it featured a fiberglass fabric roof held up by air pressure, the first use of the technique in a major athletic facility.

Silverdome was used for a variety of athletic and non-athletic events. It hosted games of the North American Soccer League, the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and many basketball tournaments including the NBA. As a concert venue, Silverdome hosted WWE's Wrestlemania III, and artists such as Elvis Presley, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling StonesBruce Springsteen, The Jackson 5, Metallica and Madonna. The attendance record was broken on September 18th, 1987 when Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass in front of 93,682 people.

After the Lions moved to Ford Field in 2002, activity in the Silverdome dropped drastically although it still hosted some events. The city of Pontiac began to experience several years of serious financial problems and made several unsuccessful attempts to sell Silverdome due to the continued high maintenance costs of the stadium. Silverdome was finally sold in 2009 to Greek-Canadian real estate developer Andreas Apostolopoulos for only $583,000 while its 1975 cost was $55.7 million. The collapse of real estate prices in the Detroit metropolitan area as well as the incompetence of the local government have been blamed for the absurd sale price.

The new owner reopened Silverdome briefly between 2010 and 2012 for a few events. Apostolopoulos wanted to to bring top-tier pro soccer back to Detroit but Silverdome was too big to only host soccer games. The facilities started to deteriorate and in 2014 the owner decided to auction off any equipment that can still be auctioned. A few weeks ago, Apostolopoulos decided to demolish Silverdome in 2016 and sell the 127-acre (514,000 sq m) land its built on.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Follow the yellow brick road of the abandoned Land of Oz theme park

The Land of Oz theme park opened in 1970 in the town of Beech Mountain in North Carolina. The park was created with the intention to make the ski resort town a year-round destination. On its opening day, it attracted 20,000 visitors. Among its attractions, a small museum showcased props and costumes from the 1939 film.

In 1975, a fire destroyed some artifacts of the museum including the dress worn by Judy Garland in the movie. The theme park closed down in 1980 and for the next decade fell in disrepair with many props vandalized, stolen, or left exposed to the elements. However, some of the park, including parts of the yellow brick road, a few munchkin houses, some of the later costumes, and sections of the witch's castle were preserved. In 1991, the park reopened for a day for Beech Mountain's Independence Day celebration. 

In the late 1990s, former employees returned to the park for a reunion. A few years later 'Autumn at Oz' became an annual event. Today, Autumn at Oz attracts thousands of visitors on the first weekend of every October when the abandoned theme park returns back to life. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned theme parks and abandoned amusement parks around the world // More abandoned places in North Carolina // More abandoned places in the United States // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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Monday, November 16, 2015

Cleveland's old aquarium

The former Cleveland aquarium opened in February 6, 1953 in Gordon Park, in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. The facility, which operated under the Natural History Museum, featured 50 freshwater and marine exhibits, including sharks, swordfish, seahorses, eels, squid, octopus and coral. Among the most rare species were a pair of Australian lungfish and red-bellied piranhas

In 1967 the aquarium tripled its capacity, extending its old buildings. In the 1970s though, the it experienced financial deficits despite the large crowds it gathered. The increase of the admission cost wasn't enough and the aquarium finally closed for the public in June 1985 and ceased operations in April 1986. Its exhibits were moved to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo while its buildings became the dog training facility of the Cleveland Police Department. A new aquarium opened in Cleveland in January 2012.  

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A deserted Paris is mourning

On the evening of Friday 13 November 2015, a series of terror attacks across the city of Paris left at least 129 people dead while more than 350 were injured. 

In response to the attacks, France was put under a state of emergency and security was heightened. Public schools and universities in Paris remained closed on Saturday while sport events were postponed. Many tourist attractions, including Eiffel tower and Disneyland, remained closed. Paris residents were advised to remain indoors for their safety. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

The deserted Ducor Hotel of Monrovia

Ducor Hotel used to be one of the most prominent hotels not only in Liberia but in the whole Africa. Built in 1960 on the highest point of Monrovia, the 5-star hotel had 106 rooms and it was eight stores high.

Being the first international-class hotel constructed in Liberia (operated by Intercontinental Hotels), Ducor Hotel was frequented by politicians, diplomats and business people from across the continent. It host many important meetings between African leaders and its various amenities (French restaurant, swimming pool, tennis courts) made it popular with tourists and visiting professionals from all around the world.

Ducor Hotel closed in 1989, just before the coup of Charles Taylor which led to the First Liberian Civil War. The hotel was damaged and looted during the war and eventually its rooms were occupied by displaced residents of many of Monrovia's slums. In 2007 the government evicted the squatters and a year later it leased the hotel to the government of Libya with plans to renovate and reopen Ducor Hotel. However, with the fall of Gaddafi government, these plans were abandoned and Ducor Hotel remains abandoned until today.

SEE ALSO: More abandoned hotels around the world // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

Inside the Jaisalmer ghost airport in India

Jaisalmer Airport, located in the north-western Indian state of Rajasthan, was supposed to boost the Jaisalmer town's tourism after its construction finished in 2013. Until today though, the airport was never officially inaugurated and it has seen no scheduled flights. 

Built at a cost of $17 million, it is one of the 8 airports India has constructed over the last decade. None of them have entered service. The previous Indian government thought of new airports as a way to encourage travel and commerce across remote parts of the country so they scheduled the construction of 200 of them. However, the airports alone weren't enough to bring tourism. Today, dozens of Indian airports remain deserted as it wouldn't be profitable for the airlines to schedule flights when there is no demand for air travel. 

Jaisalmer Airport is big enough to handle more than 300,000 travellers a year, with parking bays for three 180-seater narrow-body jets. As no travellers have passed through its gates, it joins the list of deserted, ghost airports.