Tag Archives: whitewater

Urbex Photo Award

Who Are You?

The above photo won the Best of Category for Animals in the Fiskum Art Gallery – Summer Scenes Photo Contest at UW-Whitewater today. When I explain what urbex is to some, they just can’t see how it could be more than just exploring decaying abandoned buildings. Animals are not a subject I normally photograph. Sometimes, though, these abandoned buildings become home to the surrounding fauna. When I show people this example they look like they just opened a copy of National Geographic. Then urbex seems to make a whole lot more sense. There isn’t only beauty in decay, but also beauty in the living breathing things that now call the building home.

This photo was taken in the Armour Meat Packing Plant north of East St. Louis, Illinois.

Octagon House in Whitewater, WI

Octagon House in Whitewater, WI

Urbex doesn’t have to be about infiltrating abandoned buildings all the time. Sometimes you just have to walk around the neighborhoods that surround you and talk to people. I spoke with the sister of the home’s owner, who was packing her car. Erin did not know much of the history of the home, but she did tell me about the inside. The basement is a dirt foundation and not currently used for much. The ground level floor has a living room, kitchen, and small dining area. There is indeed a second floor to this home. A very tiny staircase leads to two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor. The home is currently occupied by a man, woman, and their young daughter.

One source claims that the house was built in 1855. I will have to return to the library and confirm this.

Haven Motel

Haven Main Office

Welcome to the Haven Motel.

Well, that’s what it was renamed to in 1958 and remained so until the 1980’s. When Ozzie & Harriet Nelson, boxer Joe Louis, and the von Trapp family of The Sound of Music fame stayed here it was known as Lein’s Cabins.

Haven Hovel

The adobe structures now sit in a state of disrepair. Whenever I drive past them on H12 I’ve noticed that they are decaying quite rapidly now that the weather has loosened the internal brickwork.


Research Links:

Hoard Museum

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Article

El Tidy’s Visit Account

My Flickr “Abandoned Haven” Collection