The Empty Force

Date of Visit: January 14, 2012 Generally, when I explore abandoned places, I find the most interesting locations are the ones with the most "stuff" left behind.  I like to try and decipher the story behind the people who once inhabited that space, whether it be the medical history of an elderly person who lived in a house, the interests of residents of asylums or nursing homes, or the personalities of employees at a factory.  (Okay, I admit it - I'm nosy!)  I look for inscriptions on walls, photographs, paperwork, name tags, something personal to tell me about the living history of the building.  Even machinery can tell a story, not only about the building (what was made there, how long the company was in business), but also about the companies who made the machinery (so many of which are now extinct).  And generally I get disappointed if I come away from a location without any significant clues into the past. There are exceptions to that rule though - such as when a building is epic or creeptastic enough on its own to command my interest, even if it's devoid of objects.  Such is the case with this old air force base.  The base was built during World War I and closed in 1993.  Many of the buildings have been reused or demolished, but the immense main building, the size of 11 football fields and one of the largest military buildings outside the Pentagon, continues to decay in silence.  Lime has leached from the brick, resulting in cream colored stalactites dripping from the ceiling and puddling on the floors.  The only reminders of the building's original purpose are the military-themed murals and occasional air force stickers on the doors.  The decrepit atmosphere is drenched in a creepy stillness.  This would be a fantastic place to shoot a horror movie.  And there are plans to demolish it within the next couple years.  Sadness fills my heart.

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