I've received some reader comments on my April 8, 2016, post Architecture of Indiana | Indianapolis Central Library. I always research my posts, but apparently I got this one wrong. It has come to my attention that although the title and accompanying images are for the Indiana Central Library, the text describes the Indiana State Library.
I was unaware that there were two separate locations and have made the necessary adjustments to the April 8 post. One friendly reader, who works at the Indiana State Library, invited me to come shoot there...so expect that post in the near future. Sorry for the confusion. Now enjoy some urban decay, brought to you by the city of Gary, Indiana.
Gary’s neighborhoods are pockmarked with 21 abandoned schools littered with broken windows and gang graffiti that add to the northwestern Indiana city’s urban decay. Gary Community Schools officials say they’re unable to sell the buildings because of a $7.1 million lien from the IRS over delinquent taxes and penalties.
The district has several million dollars more in debts and has been laying off teachers and closing schools for several years as the city’s population has plunged more than 20 percent since 2000. The former Brunswick Elementary on the city’s west side is partially boarded up and surrounded by knee-high grass. Melba Johnson, who lives across the street from the school, said the building’s condition makes the neighborhood look unsafe.
The problem with Gary’s vacant schools drew attention earlier this month when a 17-year-old Chicago girl was found strangled to death inside one former school building. The school district began selling buildings in 2010 as its finances were being squeezed by declining enrollment, reduced property tax collections and decreases in state funding.
The former Tolleston Middle School was sold to The Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Indiana for $100. Banneker Elementary School was sold to the National Civil Rights Museum for $50,000. Beckman Middle School was sold to Lew Management for $100,000.
The population loss and blight that led to the school closures also makes it difficult to attract potential buyers or developers for the properties, said Marisa Novara, director of housing and community development for the Chicago-based Metropolitan Planning Council think tank. (source)
The former Lew Wallace High School has only been closed for a year, but weeds have already overtaken its sidewalks, some windows are broken and a brick wall on the building’s west end is crumbling.
For tips on how to improve your interior architecture shots, go to my post Interior Real Estate Photography: 5 Tips for Better Results.
For more urban exploration images, read my article 6 Stunning Locations Every Urbex Photographer Should Shoot.