The Hotel Stratford is a historic hotel in Alton, Illinois. It opened in 1909 under the name the Illini Hotel. St. Louis architectural firm Barnett, Haynes & Barnett designed the hotel in the Classical Revival style. The came up with this gorgeous five-story brick building. On which features brick quoins, limestone bands, sweeping window sills, views of the Mississippi River and terra cotta-ornamentation.
One year after opening the hotel opened a rooftop garden and a reception room. By 1912 it became one of the hotels which drew many visitors to Alton; a contemporary newspaper account described the building as part of the "greatest improvement in property in the city of Alton". In 1925, new owner E. J. Lockyer renamed the hotel to its current name. This decision was largely influenced by the new owners love for everything Shakespeare.
Though by 1990 the hotel had started to crumble and was no longer the place to be seen, the Hotel Stratford was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. At this point, only one floor remained open, with 12 rooms available for guest use. Also at this time, it was prominently featured in a major motion picture; “The Big Brass Ring”. However; it was featured as a run-down hotel in the film.
After more than 100 years, in 2011; the historic Hotel Stratford closed its doors on Halloween (Oct. 31, 2011). Over the century of use, the hotel served as a restaurant, bar, banquet center and home for several long-term residents.
The current owner, Bill Moyer; said there still are two permanent residents at the hotel, and they are finding new places to live. A few street-level businesses below the hotel, including Edward Jones, the Sierra Club, and WBGZ Radio, still operate after the hotel's closure. Moyer said he plans to prepare the structure for "hibernation" in the hopes that he someday will be able to fulfill his dream of renovating the building to its former glory. Let’s hope Bill can make this happen before it’s too late.
For me, the strangest thing is the radio station still broadcasting from the basement, WBGZ. It’s a local news channel, operated by a group of residents. I’ve found myself listening to their live stream while thinking of my visits to this haunting hotel.
Enjoyed the music? Listen to the full track and share it below:
Balloonfest '86 was an event held by the United Way of Cleveland in Ohio. They set out to raise funds for the less fortunate and beat a world record by releasing almost one and a half million balloons, However; they stopped at a little over 1.4 million.
The event was intended to be a harmless fundraising publicity stunt, but the balloons drifted back over the city, Lake Erie and landed in the surrounding area, and caused problems for traffic and nearby airports.
The balloon also interfered with a United States Coast Guard search for two boaters who were later found drowned. In consequence, the organizers and the city faced lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in damages, and cost overruns put the event at a net loss
The stunt was coordinated by BalloonMart by Treb, a Los Angeles-based company headed by Treb Heining (shown in the video above). Tereb spent six months preparing for the launch. He and his team constructed a rectangular structure the size of a city block. It measured 250' x 150' and grew to three stories high. All of this was then covered by a simple piece of netting material.
Inside the structure over, 2,500 students and other volunteers spent grueling days and hours filling the balloons with helium. United Way did not approve of Balloonmart or Treb Heining's handling of the situation.
Children sold sponsorships to benefit United Way at the price of $1 for every two balloons. Beyond that, the event was a failure. The lawsuits caused by Treb and his team exceeded funds raised for the needy.
All of that aside, Ted is doing well and following his dream and the United Way is still able to provide help to the less fortunate.
Ted's Latest Video:
Exploring with Josh is a YoutTube creator who vLogs his explorations of abandoned places and buildings. Sometimes in places that turn out to be horrifying or horrifyingly fake; it depends who you're asking. For the moment I would like to put this minor controversy aside and invite you to view the most comprehensive Exploring with Josh playlist. This way you can judge for yourself while appreciating the amount of content this young man has put out in to the world:
Little is known of the person we see on Exploring with Josh. In-fact people speculate Josh is not his actual name because no one has been able to confirm his last name is real. Again, putting that aside; we do know a few things about this weblebrity:
His first YouTube channel was used to promote his b-boy dance videos. The success of his first channel launched his main channel. He decided to break ties with his breakdancing crew and converted to doing exploration videos only. In addition, to break dancing, he is an amateur photographer, has a gaming YouTube channel, and sells merchandise.
"Josh" was born on March 20, 1993, in Rhode Island, Canada. To a working class family and was raised alongside his two brothers.
He is a Canadian citizen and his ethnicity is unknown. He moved to London when he was fifteen years old with his family. He missed his childhood friends once he immigrated to the UK.
As a child, he developed his interest towards dancing, along with his two brothers. He has no known or verified education, however he has achieved some big things in his young life.
Josh is very active on social media such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Currently, he has more than 150k followers on Instagram, almost 45k followers on Twitter, and around 69k followers on Facebook. Not to mention, he runs a YouTube channel which has earned over 2.9 million subscribers.
Many of his videos earn millions of views. Some of his most watched videos are: "Abandoned federal gold exchange bank", "Abandoned Drug Dealers Mansion", "Abandoned Plane Found", "My Abandoned Middle School Found My Yearbook, and Abandoned New Hospital".
As of now, he has not received any awards in his career. However, he became the finalist for the Shorty Awards in Travel.
So far, there are not any drastic rumors regarding his personal and professional life. For the most part, he has not faced any controversy in his career to date. Other than some of his videos being staged or overly acted. Once you get past his arrogant nature and bizarre hairdos, you find that what he is showing you is fascinating. He is an entertainer at his core and his videos do just that, entertain. This young YouTuber has explored abandoned buildings across the world in countries like Japan, Germany, the US, and Hong Kong. His experiences as a world traveler make his videos extremely fascinating to watch.
The Piasa Bird is a local legend in the river bend area of Illinois. The first record of the beast dates back to 1673. Father Jacques Marquette, while recording his journey down the Mississippi River with Louis Joliet. Described the "Piasa" as a birdlike monster painted high on the bluffs along the Mississippi River, where the city of Alton, Illinois now stands.
According to the journey log, the Piasa "was as large as a cow with horns like a deer, red eyes, a beard like a tiger's, a face like a man. The body was covered with green, red and black scales and a tail so long it passed around the body, over the head, and between the legs."
The creature was given its name by the Illini Indians, "The Piasa", meaning a bird that devours men.
There are many legends regarding its origin. Somewhere the creature dies, others where the beast still stalks in caves. In this video I cover the more popular telling:
Many moons ago, there existed a birdlike creature of such great size, he could carry off a full-grown deer in his talons. His taste, however, was for human flesh. In fact, hundreds of warriors attempted to destroy the Piasa and failed. Whole villages were destroyed and fear spread throughout the Illini tribe.
At this time Ouatoga separated himself from his tribe, fasted in solitude for an entire moon and prayed to the Great Spirit to protect his people from the Piasa.
On the last night of his fast, the Great Spirit appeared to Ouatoga in a dream and directed him to select 20 warriors, arm them each with a bow and poisoned arrow, and conceal them in a specific location. An ill-fated warrior was to stand in an open view, as a victim of the Piasa.
When the chief awoke in the morning, he told the tribe of his dream. The warriors were quickly selected and gathered. Ouatoga offered himself as the victim. Placing himself in open view, he soon saw the Piasa perched on the bluff eyeing his prey. Ouatoga began to chant the death song of a warrior. The Piasa took to the air and swooped down upon the chief. The Piasa had just reached his victim when every bow was sprung and every arrow sent sailing into the body of the beast. The Piasa uttered a fearful scream that echoed down the river and died. Ouatoga was safe, and the tribe saved.
National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is an American auto racing sanctioning body and operates automobile races. NASCAR is mostly known for its failing stadiums and dwindling fan base. Its three largest racing series are Monster Energy Cup, the Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. NASCAR sanctions over 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 29 out of the 50 of US states. They, however, are much less popular than they were in the 80's and 90's. During this time of transition, they have built and abandoned many stadiums Cafes, and Relics.
In the early 1980s, Mike Tyson owned a monstrous mansion in, Ohio. The world heavyweight champion boxer built this 13,500-square-foot mansion in order to be near the facility of his promoter, Don King.
By 1988, he was at the top of the boxing world and throughout those years he lived in this garish mansion. Purchasing cars, expensive clothing, and many other things, including a $2 million bathtub (featured below).
The Ohio estate included lavishly decorated rooms with imported crystal chandeliers; it had five-bedrooms, tigers in cages, a full kitchen, and a mini-kitchen. His pool was larger than most houses. On the floors stretched zebra print carpets. The structure was garish, the rooms were huge, and the light flooding through the windows was a relief from the fluorescent track lighting.
The later abandoned mansion was Tyson’s home until March 26, 1992, when he was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison for the rap and sexual assault of a member of the “Miss Black America Pageant”. Tyson was 25 at the time of the crime. He was sent to the Plainfield Correctional Facility.
Tyson was released three years later, but he was convicted again, this time for a traffic accident in 1998. Directly after the accident, he assaulted two motorists. He was sentenced to another year in prison. When he got out, he continued to struggle financially and was forced to put the Ohio mansion on the market.
In 2003, Tyson filed for bankruptcy. On the TV talk show The View, Tyson said he was “destitute and broke”. Tyson’s mansion sat abandoned throughout this time.
In 2010 Tyson’s mansion had a chance to be occupied. When it was purchased by the entrepreneur and businessman Paul Monea. For a steal at $1.3 million, but Monea never lived in the house. Monea was under investigation for money laundering. The FBI set up a sting by acting as a connection to a drug lord. Monea was arrested and eventually convicted of conspiracy and money laundering. He remained in prison until this year (2018).
Mike Tyson’s mansion sat abandoned partially due to its location and partly due to its size. Not many people wanted to spend this much to live in the Ohio countryside. The mansion remained empty until 2015 when a local church acquired the property through donation. Thankfully it has found a new use and did not go to waste.
This is a collection of media from lost and abandoned corners of the world.