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Urban Exploration in Richmond, VA

I just started getting into urban exploration in Richmond, VA a couple of months ago. I've been to an abandoned hotel, but construction workers had already started renovations, so nothing very exciting was found. (I also did not have a camera. :() It did kick ass that we gained access by crawling through an air vent and that we found a roof access, but nothing inside was that great.

One of my friends, Billy, decided to drive around a few days ago and look for new targets. He reported back that he had found several abandoned warehouses and an old power plant down in the industrial area. Off we went (three non-goons and myself).

Phase one -- Washed out bridge

This part wasn't really urban exploration, but it seemed interesting. Please note this lack of bridge on route 5:

Hurricanes are crazy. Notice how low the water is normally:

Phase two -- Abandoned power plant

The downstairs part of this building is apparently used by VCU's crew team. The two upper floors are locked off, so we decided to pay them a visit.

Here is our entry point. The camera flash made this picture look as bright as day.

Oh noes!

Here is an old safe (circa 1910 according to the patent on the lock) next to an old freight elevator shaft.

Oh noes again!

I have absolutely no idea why this wallpaper was in one room in an old power plant.

I have no idea what the hell this means. Apparently the workers really liked Chinese food and had a phone specifically for that :confused:

Here is a different freight elevator in the back of the building.

A look down the shaft...

A slightly creepy picture. You can see the long deceased door on the floor. The light fixture dangling from the ceiling didn't really show up, but it's there.

SPOOKY! We found this in a bathroom.

It's always interesting how most of the day-to-day items stay intact when a building is abandoned. Toilet paper was still on the roll in the bathroom, and these were in the trash can:

I am not sure what a crutch and a shoe are symbolic for, but it can't be good.

We found the freight elevator on the top floor.

Here is an artsy picture of the roof. I was joking with the other guys about how they should be thankful that the roof was collapsing. If we could get to the smoke tower and there was any kind of ladder, I might get myself into trouble. Little did I know the oppurtunity that would come later on.

I thought this doorway was interesting. It looks like it was carved out after the building was built. (The sheet metal is part of the roofing that had collapsed in.)

Some stove

Isn't there supposed to be a roof here? Naaah.

We could not hack the safe, though we tried :(

After some looking around, we discovered that the only access to the bottom two floors was through one of the elevator shafts. We found a hook cemented into the ceiling and used our magical engineering skills (a vacuum attachment) to attach a rope.

Trevor descended down a level in the shaft.

The shaft was closed off from the second floor with some locked doors. Trevor managed to pull off the chicken wire but was then met with what he said was a "definitely plastic" window. A corner of the plastic was missing, so he gently tugged at it. We then heard glass shatter and poor down the shaft. Somehow, he was unscathed by the shower of glass. Definitely plastic my ass. We were lucky as hell not to end our night with a hospital visit here.

Uh oh, we lost him.

Nevermind, there he is.

The bottom floors were very uninteresting. Two of us climbed down through Trevor's plastic window and looked around. Those floors are used by the crew team on a regular basis, so we found some boats. Yeah, that's it. Moving on to our next target...

Phase three -- Abandoned warehouse

None of the pictures of the whole building turned out (too dark). This warehouse is probably about two acres.

We crawled in the window on the left.

The restrooms looked harmless enough from the outside...


Exactly what I expected in an old warehouse. Big, empty rooms.

A freight elevator.

A very festive door between two parts of the warehouse. Again, what the hell is with the coloring in these places?

The spooky basement.

It was all flooded with a few inches of water and was pretty uninteresting. We contemplated playing ice hockey there in the winter, but there is too much broken glass and random crap mixed in with the water. Hockey between support pillars would have been awesome and totally safe :q:

Our first sign of danger up on the second floor:

There were several areas like this where the floor was rotten and completly collapsing. This yellow warning tape was a luxury that we would not have on the next two floors.

A cool looking door that we can only hope once guarded a dungeon or haunted castle.

Some old elevator company

I believe this was on the third floor. We had to be very careful about where we walked. The floor has definitely seen better days.

A crappy picture of the attic.

All of the windows upstairs have been bricked off. Weird.

This elevator has too seen better days.

Some elevator workings

This staircase did not seem too willing to let us see the real attic. (There was a higher attic that covered maybe a sixth of the total building.)

The building is definitely old enough for this to be an accurately dated graffiti.

This fire door was awesome. The weight, visible on the right, made this door sound like a prison gate when closing. All of the windows in this room were entirely blocked up. Once that door closed, it became the darkest place I have ever been in my life.

This arrow didn't really point the right direction at all. It pointed to the middle of the room.

Some pictures of a kick ass elevator motor:

We found a shelf with markings such as '1/4" fittings, 3/4" fittings", etc. Then we found this marking:

That concluded our trip to the warehouse.

Phase four -- TOWER OF DOOM

Not sure where to go next, we stood outside for a moment. Hey, what's that over there?

I am really pissed that almost none of the pictures turned out for this part, but that's what I get for doing night photography with no tripod (hence no long exposures).

Anyway, we noticed the water tower seen in the center of the above picture. There isn't much else to say about this last part, except that it kicked ass. Here are two pictures of me.

I officially estimate the height at "holy crap there is no way in hell to survive if I slip." Realistically, somewhere between 150 and 200 feet sounds about right.

After a heated rock-paper-scissors competition, Billy won rights to be first. Trevor followed. (None of these pictures came out.) Billy came back down, and I went up. The pictures are me coming back down last.

The three of us that successfully completed the TOWER OF DOOM challenge:


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