Not too long ago, the photographer Pablo Iglesias Maurer’s attention was drawn to an old matchbook sitting on his desk. Or, more specifically, it was the photo that looked like a postcard on it, which was of a resort complex developed in the 1960s. Because of this, Pablo began to wonder what the once-famous monument looked like. The answer to this question inspired him to create an incredible photo series titled Abandoned States.
The old photograph was “How to Run a Successful Golf Course.” Still, when Maurer arrived at Penn Hills Resort, it was evident that the proprietor had not followed the instructions on the photograph’s caption. He did a shot of the location five decades after it had been abandoned by pointing the camera in about the same direction at the deserted place.
Pablo has been helpless ever since that event. He placed an order for more photo postcards from the 1960s on eBay. He then began traveling around the country to take pictures of abandoned buildings that had once been breathtakingly gorgeous but now serve as eerie reminders of a bygone era.
“The old postcards have their haze to them; the areas shown on them were never as excellent as they appear in the cards. Even I sometimes have difficulty getting the two photos to align correctly. However, the passage of time obliterates the distinction and brings everything into sharper focus.
Check out this fantastic sequence of before and after pictures posted below!
Additional views of Grossinger’s indoor swimming pool. The entire building, including the tiling on the floor, was air-conditioned and heated. Above, stunning mid-century “sputnik” chandeliers throw a brightness on the swimmers below. There are various amenities below the swimming pool, including exercise rooms, a gym, and a salon. Since the late 1990s, the swimming pool has been abandoned, and its condition is now beyond restoration.
The Olympic-sized outdoor pool at Grossinger’s was constructed in 1949 at a cost of $400,000, which is equivalent to nearly $5 million in today’s market. Private cabanas, a changing room, and lounges were once situated all around it, but they have since disappeared.
The browns, reds, and oranges of the-carpet in this dining hall in the Poconos have changed to a green color, which is the color of the moss that has grown in its stead.
On the southeastern outskirts of the well-known “Borscht Belt” is where you’ll find the derelict Homowack Lodge. A Brunswick bowling alley with four lanes can be located on the establishment’s bottom floor, which may be the best feature of the entire establishment. It certainly has not seen its heyday. The resort stopped operating in the middle of the 2000s but continued to work for a short time, first as a Hasidic resort and then, most recently, as the location of a summer camp. However, the center was required to close because the New York Department of Environmental Conservation deemed the property uninhabitable.
Grossinger’s indoor tennis center. On the back of the postcard is an advertisement for Grossinger’s rye bread, a popular item in the community while the resort was in operation. Jenny Grossinger, a member of the resort’s monarchy, makes the sales pitch as follows: “The excitement and fresh air visitors get here at Grossinger’s gives them an appetite.” They are crazy about all of our meals. Still, the Grossinger’s rye and pumpernickel bread is a particular favorite of theirs. You can now purchase this same wholesome and tasty bread at your neighborhood grocery shop. Give a loaf a shot. I’m confident you’ll adore it.”
I was soaking up the rays and going for a swim in the Poconos. It was postmarked in 1967. “Dear Jonnie: If only you were here, I would take you out for a horseback ride, or we could go golfing. If not, we could go to the movies. Be good until I meet you. Dr. Waterman.”
The primary structure of this resort in the Poconos was lost to a fire in the early 1970s. Its replacement was constructed shortly after that. A futuristic spaceship is an unforgettable sight hidden away in the thick of the forest.
The year when Grossinger’s indoor pool first opened for business was 1958. Florence-Chadwick, who was the first woman to swim the English-Channel in both directions, was the first person to take a swim in the new pool after its opening, which Elizabeth Taylor attended. An excerpt from the beautiful book “Lost Architecture of Paradise” written by Ross Padluck reads as follows: “…The new indoor-pool at Grossinger’s was the apex of the Catskills. There had never been anything entirely like it built before, and there never would be anything else again. It embodied the 1950s style of the Catskills in every way, including extravagance, elegance, modernism, and celebrity.
This theater is referred to as “the resort world’s most modern showplace” in the caption on the back of the postcard for this Pocono resort. Even though it is in ruins, the building has a capacity of 1200 people, so it still looks magnificent. This postcard has both a postmark and a response written on it. “Hoping you all have a wonderful weekend. Rowing a boat and playing shuffleboard are the two activities that provide any form of exercise. It’s a pleasure to see you acting so ladylike by not “rushing” about it! We shall meet you soon.”
The once-popular bar of a resort in the Poconos has since closed its doors. The printed caption on the back of the card reads, “Peaceful repose — healthful recreation.”
Some text can be found inside the matchbook, and it reads as follows: “Swim n’ Sun Indoor Swimming Pool at Penn Hills Lodge and Cottages.” The Most Luxurious and Up-to-Date Resort in the Poconos.”
The “Jenny G Wing,” designed in the style of Mies van der Rohe and opened in 1964, was one of the last buildings to be constructed at Grossinger’s. The renowned architect Morris Lapidus, who designed the Capitol Skyline Hotel and nearly single-handedly brought the “Miami Modern” style to the hotel industry, was responsible for the building’s layout and design.
A deserted theater can be reached by descending several stairs in the Poconos. It was probably in the early 1990s when this place finally saw its final curtain call.
Postcard text: “Birchwood is the only resort that offers three different swimming pool facilities, including an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, and a lake with a beach.” At the bottom of this picture lies the picturesque Eagle Lake near Village Green. At this location, lovers can use the powdery white sand beach, the chaise lounges, the bicycles and row boats, and the fishing off its coasts… Six inexpensive all-inclusive package options are available. They cover activities such as swimming indoors, riding in airplanes, going to the movies, bowling, horseback riding, all winter sports, and forty other free activities! More recently, the hangar at the resort’s airport served a different purpose. During a weeks-long search, cop killer Eric Frein made the area his home. He has finally been arrested just a stone’s throw away from Eagle Lake.
An employee of the Homowack lodge in the Catskills worked as a lane attendant.
Take a look down the side of the same building from the 1970s. The offices, the dining room, the cocktail bar, and the lobbies are all located in the ultra-modern edifice.
At a resort in the Poconos, a residential building has fallen into disrepair. The following message was printed on the back of the postcard: “Dear Bernie – Please don’t think that we have forgotten about you, but sending postcards has become a hassle instead because we are having such a good time. This is life, and the location and the people here are excellent. We couldn’t be enjoying ourselves more or be in a better mood. See you soon! Love, Lou & Shiela.
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