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August 2008

Uninhabited River Road

My fiance had a school assignment to explore uninhabited parts of River Road, from Baton Rouge down to the Houma House Plantation. This also sounded like a job for yours truly, so we went on an excursion along the Old Miss. We were not disappointed.

Our first stop: A decrepit shack being slowly reclaimed by nature.

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But first: an uninhabited, unidentifiable animal more rapidly being reclaimed by nature, with butterfly.

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Dry Cleaners Past and Present, Plus ABR Birthday Contest

I always seem to notice the signs and architecture of dry cleaners, probably because they so often fall into the fabulous, future-of-the-past category of midcentury modern. I've seen numerous examples while driving around and more recently, biking around town, the latter of which leaves me neither dry nor clean.

I am making the following up because I didn't bother investigating, but from evidence available to the casual passerby today, dry cleaning boomed in the '50s and '60s, in some cases bolstered by a futuristic process called "Martinizing" that the cleaners liked to advertise in large loopy cursive lettering on their trapezoidal buildings.

This amoebic sign has a flashy retro design but is probably new.

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But let's look at some other dry cleaners, some abandoned, some still operational, and some of course in that Baton Rouge category of "who the f knows?". In that occupied?/semi-operational category, we've got Government Street's Rome Cleaners, whose eternal sale on UNCLAIMED WEDDING G OWN   S depresses the hell out of me.

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Continue reading "Dry Cleaners Past and Present, Plus ABR Birthday Contest" »


Abandoned Baton Rouge's Greatest Hits

Welcome, newcomers! Today, a month or so shy of the one-year anniversary of this blog, I am honored to announce that Abandoned Baton Rouge is TypePad's Featured Blog of the Day.

I'm presently out of state, so I don't have a new post for you, but meanwhile, allow me to show you around some of the most popular abandoned sites so far.

Jimmy Swaggart Bible College Dorm: Don't you miss televangelist scandals? Relive the fallen glory with this tour of a dorm that never was.

The Bellemont Motor Lodge: Once one of Baton Rouge's finest places to stay, its lobby is now home to a living carpet of moss and mold.

Lincoln Theater complex: It's got history, it's semi-occupied, and it's for sale. Brad Pitt, don't you want to open an indie theater in Louisiana's second coolest city?

And make sure you don't miss the reminiscences and local color left in the comments sections by Baton Rouge residents and former residents.

I've also gotten love recently from The Bryant Park Project blog from NPR News. They found ABR via Baton Rouge expat The Mighty Favog of the Revolution 21 blog.

What's next? My artist neighbors recently told me about a few Louisiana abandoned sites so creepy, so gothic, so certainly haunted, SO exciting that I can hardly stand it (the teenage horror-fanatic metalhead in me is going berserk). Make sure to bookmark/blogroll ABR so you don't miss upcoming posts!