Research

Gilroy Stadium

Posted by on June 14, 2012 at 9:24 am
Gilroy Stadium

Photo: A stadium doomed from the very beginning. Sports play a quintessential role in experiencing the American Dream. On the field, court, track, pool or rink is where our heroes are born. It is a place where even those coming from less than ideal circumstances can rise above their social station. These venues are secular […]

Central State Hospital

Posted by on February 26, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Photo (source): The “Old Main” building of the hospital served as the Men’s Department. Prior to the establishment of mental health facilities in the United States most individuals suffering from mental disorders were relegated to living as beggars in almshouses, being secluded in damp basements, or confined for the rest of their days in prison. […]

Sears, Roebuck & Co. Complex

Posted by on December 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Photo (source): Sears, Roebuck & Co. complex as it appeared in 1906. Contemporary American consumers can purchase almost anything they need via the internet around the clock. Online retailers like Amazon rely on a readily accessible inventory catalog, honest customer reviews, and shipping distribution hubs to satiate a consumer’s every desire. While the internet component […]

Ravenswood Hospital

Posted by on November 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Photo (source): Ravenswood Hospital as it appeared in 1945. The American healthcare system is for profit. American citizens’ health, safety, and well-being are managed by large companies looking to stay in the black. The other democracies and various forms of government in industrialized nations have recognized the danger that this poses to general public. While […]

The Damen Silos

Posted by on January 16, 2011 at 7:30 pm
Up For Auction

Photo: The state of Illinois would like to move this property that sits opposite downtown Chicago. The colloquial “Damen Silos” harken back to an era when Chicago was a big player in the grain trade. The land on which the grain elevator lords over has been in use since the early 1800’s. In 1832 a […]

Brach’s Candy Factory

Posted by on January 11, 2011 at 6:44 pm

The monumental Brach’s candy factory in Chicago is a crumbling shrine to “The World’s Candy Capital.” Perhaps more appropriately though, the colossal factory is a tombstone marking the agonizing death of the American Dream. The factory is a well-known urbex location in the greater Chicago area. It was a great thrill to finally get to […]

Milwaukee County School of Agriculture and Domestic Economy

Posted by on January 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm
Milw-School-Agriculture Mar10

Photo (source): The administration building. Wisconsin has a strong cultural background in agriculture. One of Wisconsin’s first attempts at providing technical education resulted in the Milwaukee County School of Agriculture and Domestic Economy in Wauwatosa. The site of the former high school enjoys protected status on the National Register of Historic Places, State Register of […]

Barber-Colman Factory

Posted by on December 23, 2010 at 7:14 pm
Fabrik

The abandoned 65-acre Barber-Colman factory complex is a sprawling 795,000 square foot facility that is currently under demolition by the city of Rockford, Illinois. When I first discovered the site I had no idea that it had such an engaging history. Many of the things we consider modern conveniences were developed by the man who […]

Armour Meat Processing Plant

Posted by on June 11, 2010 at 3:15 pm
Armour

In American public schools Henry Ford gets credited with inventing the assembly line. He’s touted as an American hero for figuring out that dividing labor into small specialized tasks could maximize output and drive down production cost. If you believe this story, you are complicit with the oversimplification of American history. By his own words, […]

Gateway Community Hospital

Posted by on June 2, 2010 at 7:00 pm
Gateway Community Hospital

An excerpt from Savage Inequalities by Johnathan Kozol on the medical facilities available to East St. Louis residents in 1990. East St. Louis-which the local press refers to as “an inner city without an outer city”-has some of the sickest children in America. Of 66 cities in Illinois, East St. Louis ranks first in fetal […]