Urban Decay
- Studies of relics of the modern era - Urban exploration -
- Australia - Railway - World - Bannerman's Castle - Centralia, PA -

Abandoned office block in Melbrourne CBD

Piermont Power Station


Geelong Power Station [Urban Exploration Australia]


Bannerman's Castle

Bannerman's Castle is a rambling idiosyncratic building built on an island in the Hudson River, New York. Designed in the style of a Scottish castle by dealer in Civil War surplus arms, Francis Bannerman VI, as a weapons arsenal, construction occured over a 17 year period, starting in 1900 until Bannerman's death in 1918. The building stood until August 8, 1969 when a fire almost totally destroyed it.

Centralia, Pennsylvania

A fire in a garbage dump in May 1962 ignited the coal seams running under this coal mining town. At the time, the town had a population of 1100. Now, the population is around 30, and over 500 homes have been destroyed - the fire causes severe subsidence, and produces large amounts of carbon monoxide.

In 1996, the Columbia County Mine Reclamation Project proposed building a $1.9 million clay-lined trench as a fire break, although nothing seem to have come of this. While over $35 million USD has been spent so far on relocating residents, $3.5 million has been spent on unseccessful attempts to extinguish the fire. A U.S. Office of Surface Mining study put the cost of extingishing the fire at $663 million.

Burning coal seams are relatively common - although not on this scale and with this much damage. Prior to human exploitation, these fires would be started either through spontaneous combustion or due to a lightning strike, or when a bushfire crossed an exposed seam - in coal mining areas, they are typically started by landfill fires. Note that the coal mining makes the fires worse as it opens channels for oxygen to feed the fire.

A underground coal fire in Burning Mountain Nature Reserve, North East NSW, Australia is thought to be over 2000 years old.

Andrew McNamara <andrewm@connect.com.au>