Thirty five miles northeast of Louisville, Kentucky on the Indiana side of the Ohio River, a 987-acre property with crumbling structures sits abandoned. The land is the former site of the Marble Hill Nuclear Power Station, an unfinished plant which would have been the only operational nuclear power-generating facility in Indiana.
But construction was halted – then completely abandoned – in 1984. Skyrocketing construction costs ultimately doomed the project. A change in social attitudes toward nuclear energy, increasing liabilities for the operator, and an internal scandal all helped contribute to the largest failed capital spending project in Indiana state history.
Located in the hills of Eastern Tennessee, this abandoned complex was once home to the International Printing Pressmen and Assistants Union of North America. The bucolic setting was chosen for its remote location and proximity to a spring believed to offer health benefits.
The property was purchased in 1911, and for sixty-five years Pressmen’s Home offered training, healthcare, and leisure services to union members and their families.
But by the late 1960s union leadership decided the remote location was too far removed from the political eye, and in 1967 the headquarters was moved to Washington D.C. Pressmen’s Home spent the next two years winding down operations, and the buildings have been vacant ever since.
Welcome to Forest Haven, one of the most deadly institutions in the United States.
This asylum for the mentally ill was built not far the nation’s capital in 1925, hidden in forested acreage away from the busy city center. The campus was beautiful, however care and treatment would deteriorate rapidly as the city’s budget tightened. Understaffing issues were common, and for decades reports of resident abuse and neglect went ignored.
The District treated Forest Haven like a dark secret nobody wanted to discuss. A combination of budget cuts and lawsuits eventually forced the institution to close in 1991 after 80 years.
But before Forest Haven was shuttered, hundreds of residents died and thousands more deteriorated while enduring a horrific quality of life.
You’re not far from Shanghai, yet the spire of the Victorian revival church in front of you casts its shadow across a medieval town square. A row of Tudor homes are just around the corner from a string of pubs and shops. But you notice everything is closed. The only people you see are the occasional wedding party taking photographs. A sign at the entrance reads:
“Welcome to Thames Town. Taste authentic British style small town. Enjoy sunlight, enjoy nature. Enjoy your life and holiday. Dream of Britain. Live in Thames Town.“
It’s not quite right, much like the rest of the town.
The borough known as Thames Town was part of a 2001 initiative to move millions from Shanghai’s city center into nine international suburbs. The concept had noble intentions, but things did not go as planned.