Horrors of the elderly

U R B E X C E N T R A L

This explore went unexpectedly smooth and what every urban explorer hopes for – easy entry, no interruptions and a location that was full of memories of the past which offered a small glimpse into what went on at this now abandoned rest home hospital for the elderly.

Soon into the explore, I came across scenes akin to a horror movie, grey hairs still sat next to the ‘saloon’ of the old rest home, wheelchairs and toilet seats everywhere and possession’s lying around – even a nurses dress hanging up, sitting idle exactly how they were the day the hospital was closed.

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Farewell Old Napier Hospital

 

A selection of images from our explores to Napier Hospital over the years, which is at the later stages of being demolished.
An amazing abandoned hospital that was a joy to explore, packed with things to see and memories of the past, rest in peace!

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Exteriors of Napier Hospital

 

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The wards of Napier Hospital

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The Surgery at Napier Hospital

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Napier Hospital Laundry

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Horrors of the elderly

This explore went unexpectedly smooth and what every urban explorer hopes for – easy entry, no interruptions and a location that was full of memories of the past which offered a small glimpse into what went on at this now abandoned rest home hospital for the elderly.

Soon into the explore, I came across scenes akin to a horror movie, grey hairs still sat next to the ‘saloon’ of the old rest home, wheelchairs and toilet seats everywhere and possession’s lying around – even a nurses dress hanging up, sitting idle exactly how they were the day the hospital was closed.

 

 

Cathedral

Images of the exterior of Christchurch Cathedral from a couple of months ago. The Cathedral was badly damaged in the February 22nd 2011 earthquake (and other aftershocks) that devastated New Zealand’s third largest city. It’s a surreal experience, the centre around Cathedral Square is mostly unrecognizable, apart from the iconic Christchurch Cathedral.

The Anglican Cathedral was built between 1864 and 1904 in the centre of the city, surrounded by Cathedral Square. It became the cathedral seat of the Bishop of Christchurch in the New Zealand tikanga of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Repeated earthquakes have damaged the building (mostly the spire) in the course of its history: in 1881, 1888, 1901, 1922, and September 2010. The February 2011 Christchurch earthquake destroyed the spire and part of the tower, and severely damaged the structure of the remaining building. The remainder of the tower was demolished in March 2012. The west wall suffered collapses in the June 2011 earthquake and the December 2011 quake due to a steel structure – intended to stabilize the rose window – pushing it in.

The Anglican Church has decided to demolish the building and replace it with a new structure – a decision which has become controversial in post-quake Christchurch. Various groups have opposed the Church’s intentions, with actions including taking a case to court. As of January 2015 the judgements have mostly been in favour of the Church, with one more judgement pending. No demolition has occurred since the removal of the tower in early 2012.

There has been opposition to demolition, with heritage groups including the UNESCO World Heritage Centre opposing the action. A local character, the Wizard of New Zealand, made protests calling for the cathedral to be saved. Kit Miyamoto, an American-based structural engineer and expert in earthquake rebuilding, inspected the cathedral after the September 2010 quake. He cited his experience in stating that restoring and strengthening of the building was both “feasible and affordable”.

In April 2012, a group of engineers from the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering launched a petition seeking support of 100 colleagues to stop the demolition. They claimed that legal action was also a possibility. In the same month the Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group was formed and sought signatures for a petition to save the cathedral.

Abandoned Polytechnic

Sitting unused and idle for the last 14 years after closing in 2001 and sitting next to an active military base, this old polytech has been a joy to explore and take photos.

Throughout our many visits to this location over the years we have found ourselves discovering different classrooms and lecture theatres each time, this old polytech used to host courses in dental, engineering, telecommunications and radiation therapy.

Enjoy the photos, this derelict campus has recently been sold by the ministry of education and is about to be redeveloped.

 

The Fort

A video exploring one of our favourite hangouts in Wellington. Hopefully in the future the fort can be restored, so it can be enjoyed by everyone; not just taggers, street artists and the occasional urban explorer.

Soon to be imploded

Soon to be imploded, this old Police station was built in 1972, it was the 11th tallest building in the city before the earthquakes.

Cautious in our approach and full of excitement and adrenline we found many interesting trinkets of the building’s history as a large police station, it was a miserable place for many throughout the years and seemingly in it’s demolition, due to the large amounts of asbestos removal.

Inside the station we went straight for the roof, wondering what great views of the city we would get, as we walked up the stairways we contemplated the fact there was not much chance of escape if we were greeted by someone at the old station.
Once on the roof we were met by stunning vistas of the city and at one point, the sound of police sirens beneath us – luckily they were responding to another job and not revisiting their old haunt.
Down in the basement we found the cells and huge amounts of old graffiti from inmates, the cells seemed to go on forever like a labyrinth. One of the rooms we found reminded us of a morgue with lots of solid concrete tables and cctv cameras and tv above our heads, we never figured out what that room was.
We hope you enjoy viewing some of the last pictures taken of this place before it’s demolition implosion in the next few days.
Explored in collaboration with http://www.wildboyz-ue.com

Derelict Meat Killing Plant

This plant was closed in 2009 with a large amount of redundancies and has sat vacant ever since with attempts at re purposing the plant failing.

Inside this derelict meat works we found an array of old machinery and relics of a past industry and some incredible, massive old silver lined chillers that felt almost like entering another universe.

Meatworks
Meatworks
Slaughterhouse entrance
Slaughterhouse entrance
Playing with the light
Playing with the light
Presumably where the animals were first brought in to be slaughtered.
Presumably where the animals were first brought in to be slaughtered.
Conveyor belts.
Conveyor belts.
Those meat curtains.
Those meat curtains.
One of the chillers has collapsed.
One of the chillers has collapsed.
Meat board!
Meat board!
The clock used to tick.
The clock has stopped ticking at 5pm, end of the workday.
Offices, left the same as they day they were made redundant.
Offices, left the same as they day they were made redundant.
Old floppy disks
Old floppy disks
Building plans.
Building plans.
Workshop, with a murder chalk scene?
Workshop, with a murder chalk scene?
Control Room
Control Room
More of the Electrical Room
More of the Electrical Room
The Electrical Room
The Electrical Room
Graffiti in the workshop
Graffiti in the workshop

 

The Farm

Inside an abandoned former catholic girls school/farm/’rehabilitation unit’ we visited in mid 2013. Founded by a French sisterhood in 1953 -“the girls who came into the care of the sisters often had problems that could not be resolved in their normal environment and needed the loving care of others to restore their sense of self-worth.” The first residents stayed at the ’13’-room Manor built by its previous owner; and over the years the Catholic order embarked on a building program that included a 25-girl dormitory, two-story working/training block, visitor accommodation and sports facility. The last building was an expanded convent for the growing number of sisters at the facility. At it’s peak there were apparently up to 50 nuns in the house, and at least 70 girls. The farm/school/borstal/convent finally closed down in the early 1980’s.

Last days in the old slaughterhouse

This meat freezing works was opened in 1889 and closed down in 1987. When it closed there were 900 job losses, making a huge impact on the town that surrounds it. After many interesting explores here finding conveyor belts, old rotten meat, control panels and meat hooks the demolition of the freezing works is getting into it’s final stages, this would be our last visit here.

Cargill’s Castle

Cargill’s castle is located on a beautiful position overlooking the pacific ocean, it is one of only two castle’s in New Zealand.
Gutted by fire and restored in the 1940’s to be abandoned in ruins till present day this castle is protected by a trust who are trying to fun raise to turn the castle into an attraction, sadly there seems to have been little progress since 2012.

This was a fun little explore and is a well known landmark between locals of Dunedin, the castle used to even have it’s own private access to a beach down a winding staircase, which has now fallen to disrepair, it is rumored the cliffs surrounding have played victim to numerous suicide jumps throughout the years and access to the cliff is now fenced off.

 

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Hospital Down South

Standing proudly on top of the hill overlooking a lower South Island town, this once-grand hospital now sits decaying and derelict. Little positive future can be foreseeable aside from demolition for this location as the buildings were purpose built as a hospital and not a motel, there are simply too many buildings and grounds for the owners to know what to do with. The hospital-turned-backpackers was opened on 2 December 1872 and closed in 1998, much of the site including its operating theaters, x-ray, psychiatric and emergency departments have been abandoned since.

Nudex in the Morgue, NSFW

It took us a while to find this morgue at this infamous abandoned mental hospital in New Zealand that has been ‘landbanked’ and left to decay since 1998.

After many visits of plotting and working out which building could be the morgue of this large sprawling mental hospital we finally found it!

Urbex Central seldom takes the normal approach when taking our photos in abandoned spaces and for this morgue we thought the most fitting of poses was to pose naked, welcome to nudex 2015!

The Holiday Inn

Abandoned and severely crippled by the earthquake this hotel had also played host to an arsonist over the years.

Cautiously venturing around the burnt ruins of this hotel you could smell and feel the wet carpets from when the fire was brought under control. We could hear the faint beeping of nearby smoke alarms and motion detectors for an alarm we thought could surely not work anymore due to the damage.

Further into our explore we finally found what we were searching for the pool, sauna, gym and main reception! Excitement flowed through us as we took our photos quickly, cautious of triggering any alarm. Once we had finished with the pool we entered the reception, an amazing space seemingly untouched with tourist pamphlets from 2011 still sitting there, one step further and we would finally set off the security alarm, piercing our ears letting us know it was probably time to go.

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‘Devil’s Angles’ Gang House

Urbex Central found this abandoned bar situated in Wellington a couple of years ago, on a recent revisit we noticed the location had been trashed and tagged by the ‘devils angils’. Which were some kind of nazi loving, intimidation gang that can’t spell very well, they were trying to spread hatred with a message they most probably don’t understand themselves.

The explore of this bar was obviously quite intimidating and we kept it brief, the entry to the bar was now rigged up with a rope and some sort of warning system to warn whoever trashed and took over this place that someone was coming.

This has to be one of our most memorable and equally shocking explores of 2015 so far.

 

Teachers College

This beautiful heritage building was once a teachers college and acted as an apartment block before it was badly damaged in the Christchurch earthquakes. There is a promise made to rebuild and restore the building but years on little progress has been made.

Walking inside with the floor creaking beneath us we cautiously stepped inside over rippled earthquake damaged flooring, greeted by breathtaking character of a once beautiful building.

 

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The Abandoned Cathedral Part Two

After the media explosion following our explore in the Cathedral we were asked a lot of questions and had some amazing comments of support from the public, which we  appreciate so much.
We explore to see what’s hidden out of  the public view in abandoned buildings, and do so for no profit, this is just our adventure.

Enjoy this second post about the Cathedral!

The Abandoned Cathedral

The Cathedral is at the heart of the city, and this earthquake damaged building gets photographed by groups of ‘earthquake tourists’ constantly throughout the day. We had to be patient and wait for the perfect time to enter the Cathedral without being rudely interrupted- which ended up taking hours of standing around and waiting for crowds to disperse- for that perfect moment.

The Cathedral was built between 1864 and 1904 and has been abandoned since the February 2011 that devastated Christchurch with the loss of 185 lives. There is huge support in the city to see the Cathedral rebuilt and strengthened, yet the Anglican Church and the Cathedral’s bishop want to see this place demolished.

The damage to the Cathedral is fairly extensive, with the main tower already being demolished, we hope eventually it can be saved.

Explore completed alongside our friends, WildboyzUE from the U.K.

Abandoned Doctors Clinic

Hiding down a Wellington side street lies this abandoned doctors clinic, declared ‘earthquake prone’ in 2012, the fate of this building is undecided.
Most things were stripped from this clinic but there was still the odd lamp and drug signs, this was a quick in and out explore, avoiding the sensors for the alarm.

Wellington’s Abandoned Chapel

It has been a long time since urbexcentral visited this beauty, a famous abandoned icon of our city.
While the rest of the buildings fall further into despair the chapel remains mainly untouched, preserved and safe from graffiti for now – let’s hope it stays that way.

 

Waikune Prison Part two

Abandoned since 1986 this derelict prison camp located in a remote area of the North Island in New Zealand barely resembles a prison. The prison is heavily decayed with surprisingly little vandalism and the prisons strange colour schemes were meant to help calm prisoners. Our road trip taking us to this prison began with a sunny 18 degrees, five hours later we were in snow, this place  had a very somber feeling to it.

With thanks to WildBoyzUE who joined Urbexcentral for this explore.

Chiller

A video from a couple of years ago- wandering around the creepy ruins of an abandoned cool-stores facility in Taranaki. Happy Halloween folks 😉

Power Station

This thermal power station was completed in 1972 and was decommissioned between 2001 and 2008, it’s chimney was once the tallest structure in New Zealand, it is now being demolished and in the final stages of demolition.

We began exploring this Power Station back in Easter where after trekking down in the darkness from the top of a hill we eventually reached a shoreline where we met a couple of angry seals who we had to dodge as they tried to attack us. Once we found our way in, avoiding light and the risk of areas with motion detectors we reached the main building, our eyes were greeted with a wonderland of ‘pipe-porn’ and steel. The first thing we knew we wanted to hit was the turbine room and to reach this we needed to scale some ladders through the maze of pipes and steel.

Upon reaching the turbine room we found a gigantic space full of yellow turbines, all fully lit up, the whole place echoed as you walked through it which made us feel on edge. After documenting the turbine room we advanced on to find the control room, from intel we had been given we attempted to enter through to the control room where we were met by locked doors, the control room was not to be seen that visit.

Included in this post are pictures months apart, the second series of pictures were pictures taken when the turbine room was mostly deconstructed but we finally found an intact control panel room :).

 

A Religious College

This old college was a religious secondary school built in a religious “commune” solely by volunteer labour missionaries in the 1950’s who worked for the church. The school has a huge American influence as you can tell by the pictures, it is huge! The amount of things left behind is also astonishing, what a waste!
The school was closed when church leaders accepted that mainstream schools offered “quality education” and the school has started to be demolished to either be converted to farmland or some other future usage.

Our explore here began by cautiously entering a construction zone, in the past we had been greeted by angry residents who live on the commune and we were chased into a wet marsh behind the school, so this time we did our best to avoid that situation. After finding access presumably created by vandals, we were greeted by a huge American style school including full size swimming pool, gym and theatre, all without any signs of vandalism and the only graffiti being that of previous students to the school, making it the best abandoned school we have seen so far in New Zealand.

See our video too.

 

Inhospitable

Filmed in late 2011- this was the final days of the old Hawera Hospital (1925-2012). Demolition was already well underway on the South Taranaki Hospital, with at least half the complex already gone. A compact digital camera was rigged onto the hot-shoe of a DSLR to capture on video the state the place and what was being photographed- plenty of shaky camera footage ensued. Abandoned in 2002, the hospital’s state of decline over the next decade was dramatic and completely unnecessary. It wasn’t a pretty explore- a bleak and hazardous environment, the complete opposite of what a hospital is supposed to be about- inhospitable.

House on the Hill

Rural legend says this house was transported to its spectacular hilltop location sometime in the 1980’s. Allegedly the farmer who owned the property, had intended to renovate the house and make it the family home. Apparently though soon after the building was in place, the couple separated and the man was left to bring up the children on his own. Then, because he couldn’t afford to spend any more time and money on the house, it duly deteriorated and is still standing like a folly decades later. Check out our videos here and here.

The Chancery Arcade

This shopping arcade in central Christchurch was once bustling with shoppers, now damaged beyond repair it awaits its fate of demolition. The owner of the arcade before the earthquakes was a millionaire business who has since declared bankruptcy with the fate of this arcade being the last straw. While exploring the arcade we bumped into a man who used to work in the mall who described the place as being a great place to shop that soon turned into a ghetto once a strip club and dodgy bar were opened on the second story by the millionaire owner.

Korokoro dam

Built in 1903, the Korokoro dam was the first gravity fed concrete dam in New Zealand. It was originally constructed to supply water to Petone, some kilometers away.
The dam is now defunct and full of silt.

Undercity – House beneath the hotel

Until finding this place, I had no idea there was any kind of undercity in Wellington (drains notwithstanding).
It seems this hulking highrise luxury hotel has been built directly on top of an old house which is accessible from a dank ledge perched beneath the overhead colossus. Supporting columns sprout from the floors and pigeons seem to have taken up residence in this old home. Given Wellington’s tectonic nature, this was somewhat of an uneasy location to explore – but a very cool one nonetheless.

I’m not sure what the motivation was here in not demolishing the house, perhaps it was impossible to do so given some heritage protection – so the developers may have just worked “around” the problem…

Some old hotel paperwork hint at the house being previously accessible from the hotel above – but now any such route has been sealed over and the only access is via a a climb through a trash, rat and sewage filled dead space between buildings.

International School

This International School was one of the main international schools in Christchurch, after extensive demolition in the central business district of Christchurch this is one of the last multi storey buildings awaiting demolition. There were many interesting items left here from when the earthquake happened in February 2011 which paint a sad picture of the day the people evacuated in panic and were never allowed to return.

Abandoned Strippers

Along our journey exploring what Christchurch had to offer with our new found friend, Wildboyz we found something we had never explored before, an abandoned strip club! In the past we have found the odd brothel but never a strip club and with it a load of old artifacts such as stripper dollars, stilettos, g strings and even a hidden secret room that was for the most “special” of customers at the fine establishment, I hope you enjoy our latest post.

Sea View Asylum

Located in a tiny town on a remote coast of New Zealand lies this bizarre and mysterious old mental hospital which started life as a gaol and decommissioned as a hospital in the 90’s. Amazingly throughout its operation there were no reports of mistreatment unlike other hospitals of this era, however due to the remoteness of this place it makes you wonder even more what really happened between these walls with electric shock treatment being just one of the horrible treatments used at the time.

On our drive over to this asylum, U.K based explorer WildBoyz,  who had joined up with us for this explore seemed rather perplexed by the windy roads and the remoteness of where we were headed, persistent in my desire to find this location I reassured him it would be worth the drive, I hope you will agree.

Stadium Wasteland

This stadium was built in 1880 and has seen extensive redevelopments and financial difficulty over the years, up until the Christchurch earthquakes which have deemed the stadium damaged beyond repair. The stadium however still sits idle and abandoned with no final decision over it’s future. Throughout it’s lifetime the stadium played host to such famous acts as Tina Turner, Pearl Jam, Meat loaf and U2.

This explore was in collaboration with Wildboyzue from the U.K and finding this stadium was quite a shock to us, such a huge, seemingly solid looking facility wasted and most likely soon to be demolished.