Best Comment Ever, Miss Havisham's Repair Shop Edition


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.

FWIW, that "TV repair shop" looks totally abandoned, but I don't think it is. The buildings in your first two photographs were occupied by a mysterious...well, TV repair business as recently as 5 years ago. It's a loooong, story, but here's the short-short version: Against my better judgment, I purchased a cheap Akai TV from Sam's Club. The TV, of course, broke after a month. Akai actually had me drop it off at the buildings in your photo (which confused me because they looked much the same at that time). The inside of both buildings was creepy in a way that's hard to describe. The one on the left (top) seemed to be where they actually worked, and the other one seemed to be storage or something, but the contents of both seemed much the same to me--a combination of an old TV repair shop and Miss Havisham's dining room, frozen in time like something you'd find inside a pyramid. The three chain-smoking guys (all men a generation apart in age, probably from the same family) who seemed to own the shop were very odd, but affable enough. Still, I couldn't help but wonder what exactly was going on there that allowed them to make enough money to justify the place's continued existence. (And as for that speaker: They seem to have those wired up throughout the place, and connected to a radio to listen to while they...do whatever it is they do with their time in there. Perhaps the one outside is their way of signaling that someone is "home" because otherwise, it would be difficult to tell.

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.

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Motels of Highway 61 Revisited

Well Abe says, "Where do you want this killin' done?"

God says, "Out on Highway 61."

Bellmont - early 50s

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.

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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.

Roller rink, Barq's plant, and more



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.

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