The Warehouse
After exploring the meat packing plant ruins, Mike, Brei, Josh, and I headed over to check out this giant abandoned warehouse on the edge of downtown.  The place was obviously occupied by vagrants, but we figured we were a large enough group to tackle this expedition with only "acceptable casualties."

Here's a look at the outside.  I'll have to get a better shot from a distance (especially when the weather  isn't so overcast).

I took this picture by lying on the street corner after we left... with the people at the traffic signal a few feet away looking at me like I was nuts.

At first we skipped the window we ended up going through and looked for other entrances.

This opening was around the back and led into the basement... which was filled with several inches of water in every direction.  Not that we could have gotten in otherwise.

Here's the first floor.  Along the wall to the left were the belongings of a number of homeless people.

For whatever reason, it was impossible to go anywhere else on this floor except this room and the (smelly!) bathroom at the opposite end.

This is/was the elevator.  Now it's the trash dump. 

From the refuse an ecologist could get a good idea of the eating habits of the residents.  To summarize: Junk food.

Once a goth girl, always a goth girl!

For a time this building was run as a haunted house around Halloween.  This wall was covered with these great pieces made with white paint on the black wall.

You can also see some of the residents' belongings (out of focus) against the wall on the right.

Next we headed for the stairs were glowing orbs like to congregate.

This leads to the basement, but you would need scuba gear to go any further.  Just a couple feet in front of me was the beginning of water that grew very deep before you reached the bottom of the stairs. 

You would literally be swimming since there was less than a foot of airspace between the surface and the ceiling and the basement in this area (I couldn't see the bottom to gauge how deep this was, however).

We went up to the second floor next. 

This is what most of the building looked like: wide open spaces interspersed with concrete columns.

The thing in the middle of the frame (no, not Brei; the other thing) was a few pieces of wood surrounded by chicken wire that was left over from the haunted house days.  These were used to hold up nets, ostensibly as spider webs, one of which was out of the frame here to the left.

This is a view up the former freight elevator shaft.  I'm looking up here from the second floor, but this extended from the cable mechanism housing on the roof to the basement below.

The other elevator shafts (both freight and passenger types) were intact in the rest of the building, so I have no explanation for where this one went. 

Maybe they just dropped the packages down ten stories like UPS likes to?

This was a basket of belongings in one of the "camp sites."

Due to the lowered resolution you can't read the label, but this is for lithium (a popular mood stabilizer).

Air guitar rules!

If you don't think Van Halen when you see this picture, you need to brush up on your rock history, man.

Several floors up we ran across a fairly elaborate residence. 

Not that this area was tidy exactly, but there was actual furniture.  I have no idea how he managed to get the big stuff inside though, considering the narrow space we had to climb through.

The other side of the room.

Next time you pity Martha Stewart for her six months in the can, think about this guy instead.

Continue to Part II