A Decaying Mecca Part II of III
It had been some time since my last visit to Grossinger’s in the Catskill region and this time I was on a mission to get some shots that I had missed during the previous adventure. This time it would be in the summer and instead of dodging golf balls to get in we decided to try a different route. While this was a shorter distance it was a bit trickier to navigate. Once inside the huge complex we head down the hill and hang a left into the first open doorway we see which happens to be the hotels main lobby.
Already we can see the vandals and paintballers have been here and smashed up the place pretty well.
Much to our surprise as we continue through the maze of metal hanging in our way from broken and rusted drop ceiling fixtures we end up in our old pal the Coffee shop! As previously stated, the soda jerks have been stolen and since I already have a shot of the bar stools there is nothing left to do but LIGHT-PAINT! A couple of flashlights plus 30 seconds of exposure equals fun!
After a bit of fun we head back out and continue in the direction we where headed when we entered. This brings us to a ramp and an extremely dark area. Out come the flashlights again when I immediately notice heavy particulate in the air. I caution the three others that are with me to grab their masks and put them on. The particulate is water most likely laced with mold spores. Yes folks, we are under the indoor pool. With 90F plus temperatures out doors and cool moist air in, we have….wait for it…..FOG. Masks on we head in to the mist. As we walk the very first step scares the crap out of us. On the ground is an inch deep layer of broken glass. The crunching in this all tiled area is deafening, and quite startling at first. Apparently there was a salon down here and all of the windows have been smashed by vandals. My friend and I head right as my other two friends explore the salon. Our right turn takes us into the men’s locker room and sauna area. Here we find a gigantic industrial dryer.
Sadly on a later trip we find this old beast has been toppled and smashed. Conforming to my mold theory, further exploration reveals mold seeping from the cracks in the ceiling from the pool area above and white mold growing on the ground that looks suspiciously like egg whites.
Feeling short on breath and as though I had enough of the crazy moist air I headed up the “Stairway to Hell” as we had aptly called it on a previous trip and entered the indoor pool area. Ahhhh, my favorite place! First shot on my list is a shot of the underwater window. This window allowed peepers to watch people in the pool from down in the sauna/salon area. Kinda strange if you ask me. Guess you had to make sure your trunks were on tight when diving in this pool, or not.
Shortly after snapping the shot my other two friends emerge from the depths. Here is a shot of mirage doing his best “Hey, I’m the king of, er, well..these lounge chairs!”
The indoor pool is starting to show more signs of degradation. The roof has a gaping hole in it now, the floor is getting very soft in spots (not a good sign for concrete), the ice, snow, and plants have been lifting the tiles. Once a roof is compromised it is only a matter of time before imminent collapse. I found it interesting that these tiles were all imported from Holland.
The pool and it’s ever changing look is a grand spectacle worth making the trip for. There is a lot to see at the old resort, and a lot I still haven’t seen. I always make time for the pool! Here are some of my most popular Flickr photos to date.
The textures and colors are always changing at the pool. Every time I visit it’s a different palette.
Not all the cool things are down at eye level. Hung throughout the pool area are these awesome satellite lights. Man, I would love to have a couple of these to put up on top of the house to annoy the neighbors and confuse airplanes.
Once again this indoor abandoned wonderland fails to disappoint. One last funny shot before we head out explore some other areas.
We head back into the deadly mist and back into the coffee shop area. Two of my friends want to get one more shot in the sauna area so while we wait for them I shoot a few other detail shots in the coffee shop area. I always carry a second camera body with my trusty Sigma 50mm 1.4 prime mounted. This is a fast lens and makes it easy to take quick shots in low light with little trouble. While they are not my usual epic hdr’s, they do serve well to present the mood of the site.
Ironically one of the Exit signs at the coffee shop had been turned around and was pointing in to the building, as if to say “this way to exit reality.”
The “G” logo, once standing for empire of relaxation and entertainment, now reduced to holding together a few pieces of shattered glass.
The view from the coffee shop window. Back in the day it was a well manicured garden with tree-lined walkways and now there is absolutely no trace of the hard work that went in to making this place a beautiful place to vacation.
One last shot of the exterior of the indoor pool. It’s only a matter of time before these trees and a good storm start shattering those amazing windows.
My friends emerge from the sauna and we head over to check out the skating rink lodge. I am told that ABC Wide World of Sports used to shoot the famed Barrel Jumping competitions here. Sure enough, after we climb over a gaping 8 foot deep hole and make our way in we are greeted with the proof.
The colors in this room rival that of the famous indoor pool. If it weren’t for the massive mosquito infestation I would have loved to film more of this area. Maybe a winter trip is in order? Here is a shot of the exterior.
As we head out for the day, we make our way though the very first building I recall entering at the resort. It’s a large warehouse-like structure. A twin beam of light captures my attention in the distance. I have never been over in this section but what the heck right? You only live once as far as we know. Kicking up the dust as we go the two beams of light reveal this all too familiar ghostly figure. No photoshopping here folks, this is exactly as I captured it.
A quick snap of the Harry G building. (Still looks like ghosts in those windows to me)
Up the hill to grab one quick shot of Tennis clubhouse. This is the shot I originally wanted on the first visit but did not get. This sofa has such character.
As always a really cool trip to an old friend. The more I see and photograph here, the more I am drawn in. Every time I visit it’s different. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Vandals, taggers, and scrappers are taking their toll on the old girl. You wouldn’t think there would be anything left to steal but every time I visit there is another wall smashed out with piping and conduit strewn about. It won’t be long until she is nothing but a memory, at least I have the photos though, right?
You can read Part III at this link: Grossinger’s ~ The Re-Revisit