Monday, August 29, 2016

Inside Michael Jackson's abandoned Neverland Ranch



Neverland Valley Ranch in Los Olivos, California, was Michael Jackson's home for 17 years. The King of Pop fell in love with the ranch when he first visited it while Paul McCartney was staying there back in the 80's. He later purchased it in 1988 for a sum variously reported to be 16.5 to 30 million US dollars. 

Inside the 3,000 acres ranch, named by Michael Jackson after the fantasy island in the story of Peter Pan, the King of Pop built a private amusement park, two railroads, and a zoo. The amusement park featured a Ferris wheel, Carousel, Zipper, Octopus, Pirate Ship, Wave Swinger, Super Slide, roller coaster, bumper cars, and an amusement arcade. Inside his mansion, Michael Jackson displayed his extensive art collection. The master closet also contained a secret safe room for security. 

When in 2003 Michael Jackson was charged with multiple counts of molesting a minor (charges were later dropped), the Neverland Ranch was searched multiple times by police. As a result, Jackson stated he would never live at the property again as he no longer considered the ranch a home. By 2006, the facilities were closed and most of the staff were dismissed.

In 2007, foreclosure proceedings commenced against Neverland Ranch, however Michael Jackson remained the majority stake holder of the property. Until his death in 2009, the King of Pop came close to losing ownership of the ranch multiple times due to debt. 

After Michael Jackson's death, the Neverland ranch has remained closed and has fallen into disrepair. The state of California was interested at some point to buy the ranch but those plans fell through. Today, the ranch is being sold for an asking price of 100 million dollars.





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Thursday, August 25, 2016

The abandoned bathtubs of an Indian city

Gurgaon, is a relatively new and largely privately developed city in northern India and it is littered with bathtubs. A visitor can observe abandoned bathtubs, everywhere: On sidewalks, under trees, in piles of rubble, left at intersections. Some have been converted into plant pots while other have been used as storehouses by street vendors. 

Gurgaon resident Namrata Mehta explains on the site brokentoilets.org that bathtubs are being installed in all new houses and apartments in the city as they are considered "an epitome of luxury" and increase their rental or resale value. However, people who buy houses in Gurgaon are ensuring they fit their lifestyles and needs and they do so by replacing the tiles, kitchen walls, or toilets provided by the developer, with new ones.

And like that, new abandoned bathtubs end up in the streets of Gurgaon every day.

Monday, August 22, 2016

An abandoned socialist textile factory in Hungary

This abandoned textile factory was co-founded in 1922 by Elberfelder Textilwerke and the Leipzig Kammgarnspinnerei Stöhr Co, in Budapest, capital of Hungary. The new industry, called Domestic Worsted Spinning and Weaving Factory Ltd., produced worsted wool of ultra-fine quality. The factory survived World War II with only a few direct bomb hits and later became the largest socialist wool plant in the country. 

The factory though didn't survive the fall of the Soviet Union. The textile business was privatized in 1990 and liquidated a few years later. Since then, some factory buildings have been rented by smaller enterprises. However, the large factory building has remained abandoned for years.