I chose this month's Best Comment Ever from a post about a mysterious TV repair shop because it shed some light on a site that might not be abandoned after all, while adding more layers of mystery.
Thanks to David Pye for that back story. It's comments like this that keep me ever vigilant for more vacant buildings to feature on Abandoned Baton Rouge.
And welcome newcomers! If you found Abandoned Baton Rouge via my presence at South by Southwest or you're otherwise new to this blog, read on for suggested points of entry.
Found in a part of town heavy on the conifers and housing tracts, we have two very different sites today, each evoking a different TV show title.
Well Abe says, "Where do you want this killin' done?"
God says, "Out on Highway 61."
Airline Highway in Baton Rouge, also known as the storied Highway 61, is famous for its sketchy motels. Sketchy motels are an essential part of our cultural heritage: that's where nearly all the murdering and philandering and all sorts of untoward business goes down. Just look at every movie from No Country For Old Men to...well, almost every other movie ever.
It was at one of these Airline motels a little further south, Sugar Bowl Courts, where Jimmy Swaggart met with disgrace in 1987, along with his ladyfriend the prostitute. They don't still exist in the numbers they used to, but kind of shockingly, these mom & pop motels do still exist in this era of chain hotels and motels.
A few such establishments have already appeared here on Abandoned Baton Rouge: Ten Flags Inn and The Bellemont, the latter which you can see in happier days above. All of the historic "before" postcards in this post were found online or otherwise by Ken Freeman and posted on his website dedicated to remembering his hometown, Alexandria Retrospective. After he contacted me recently, the historic postcard section about Baton Rouge on his website gave me a new idea for finding sites for this blog: work backwards from historic photos and their addresses. Seeing those motel postcards prompted me to make a trip to Airline and see what was still standing.
The exercise reinforced a lesson I've been learning: seek and you shall find.
Here we have a cluster of abandoned businesses...or are they? As usual, this visit to a rather mundane site in the setting sun's light had a few surprises in store.
Abandoned Baton Rouge needs YOU!
I have a day job now and wander less, which greatly limits my finding new abandoned sites. So please get in touch if you've seen a great building I should explore: colleenrkane @ gmail.
Also, I'm sending all kinds of abandoned and urban decay -related goodies into the universe via my Twitter profile Yes Vacancy, and I could sure use more followers there. See you in the nerd zone.
I originally spotted Leo's Roller Rink on North a few months ago to my delight, but then found this website for a Leo's rink, called it to hear a human answer, and mistakenly thought the one pictured here was still open despite all appearances. Turns out that website was for a different Leo's location, duh.
Here in Baton Rouge, one former business featured previously still lights up their Christmas lights at this time of year.
And apparently Rome Cleaners isn't abandoned after all. They have a new awning, a new paint job, and Santa's in there.
In part one of this exciting two-part post, co-explorer Kara and I opted not to go into the green crackhouse. Instead, we went into this motel, where I'd glimpsed people inside when driving by the previous afternoon. Makes perfect sense, right?