Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I sit here and write a real fine, thin line about vandalism found rampant in the park. I have always featured the disclaimer at the top of the site to let people know that breaking & entering into the park is illegal and immoral beyond all of the risks of what someone would consider rather meaningless photographs of a place that means little to so few people now. I had gone to the park with two trusted friends and took photos of the land and surviving buildings and was pretty shocked to see what sorts of vandalism is rampant in the park.


Picnic Tables

This is the skeeball building. Inside this building (the door was unlocked, but jammed pretty well) were the parks picnic tables. Piled on top of each other, they filled the entire room. While looking around the room, flashbacks and images of what the room looked like filled my head with the sound so deafeningly silent. At one point I closed my eyes and for an instant, saw the rows of skeeball machines clanging and making noise, watching the red & orange lights flash and dance along the back wall.

Artistic Talent

This area of the back wall shows some of the make-shift signs that the park had all over. Obviously the most talented employee had the daunting task of making these signs look appealing and whimsical as they could. Now, they are just distant reminders of one person's talent hidden away forever. Some of the other things that surprisingly remain are these numbers tacked onto the wall. I can't even wager to guess what they were used for, but they stay where they were last touched by human hands now 18 years after the closing of the park.



This isn't to say there aren't some human intervention. Sadly, my companions and I spotted this poster. A closer inspection shows one corner of the poster (above) has been burned, and a small area of the carpet looks as if its been singed. Vandals broke in to the park, broke several windows (fake as they were) at the front of the skeeball building and tried to set fire to it. A Chill ran up my spine when I saw this. As much as we were there to show the parks current condition, we saw people's attempts to burn down history.


This stuffed animal was housed in a shop cart still standing in the middle of the rear area of the park. It was half hidden underneath months & years of leaves & debris. Hidden inside the leaves and debris were plastic toys & soldiers. These were also inside the shop cart, now decimated. The top few items were blackened and brittle, obviously the same people who tried to burn the skeeball building succeeded in burning these plastic toys. Digging deeper, the bottom toys were water damaged and ruined from time on the ground.


Nothing says hilarity than "poop jokes".

Theater of distant memories

Looking around the rest of the buildings, the Bijou Theater took a pretty severe hit. Inside the children's theater, the benches have been used to smash into walls, lighting fixtures damaged and the fuse box next to the screen looks like whoever was there was trying to put the power on to the building. Several ceiling tiles were taken down and broken, definitely not from water damage. The theater housed at one point a projector hidden behind a wall, that projector is gone. The popular consensus between my companions and I have reason to believe the projector might have been stolen long ago.

One might argue that what I did, and what the unknown numbers of people who vandalized the park prior to my visit are one in the same. Entering a location off limits to the public is wrong. Not getting proper authorization to do so was wrong. I don't, however, group myself with the people who entered the park with destructive intent and had their way with buildings & trinket carts. Since my sophomore year in high school, where my classroom faced the park I had always wanted to go back one last time to see what the park looked like right now. My excursion into the park caused no further harm or deterioration to buildings or surrounding land, and I suggest that if you try to emulate my attempts yourselves, you share the same mentality & respect for other people's property.