As anyone that knows me knows that I love Urban Decay photography but, I don't often have the chance to get out and spend time in the very atmospheric locales to just focus on photography. Often I'm caught between investigating the sites at night and spending all of the best lighting indoors writing.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Urban Decay photography, this style of photography focuses on abandoned and neglected sites scattered throught the world. The imagery often has a haunting feeling conveying a sadness as you see what becomes of forgotten spaces that were once integral. These are usually abandoned amusement parks, office buildings etc. Some were left in such a state that it looks like time just stopped.
Fortunately, a recent site right in Utica, afforded me the opportunity to indulge my habit.
Rutger Park in Utica is a historic district in Utica that shows the prosperity of Utica between the years of 1830 and 1890. "The names of the original occupants are a roster of the important merchants and industrialists of a young America, and the homes they built along Rutger Street are fine examples of late nineteenth century villas executed in the Italianate style. It is one of the largest groupings of these structures in the Northeast, and its significance earned it a place on the National Register in 1973." [Landmark Society of Utica]
Thanks to the Landmark Society I was able to explore Rutger Mansion #1 which is currently one of the most dramtic examples of Urban Decay Photography for Utica. The Landmark Society is routely asked by photographers to take pictures inside.
A.J. Davis was more directly associated with the planning of number 1 Rutger Park (c. 1850), one of the finest examples of the Italianate villa in America. It was for many years known as “Munn’s Castle” after its original owner, the banker John Munn. Munn had made a fortune in Mississippi before returning to Utica with his southern wife, Mary Jane, who entertained lavishly “in true southern style”.
Rutger Mansion #1 was converted into a nursing home in the 60's-70s and after a couple decades of use it was abandoned. While the Landmark Society is working to restore the 4 remaining mansions Rutger mansion #1 or "Munn's Mansion" is lost in time. It's a perfect chance for some amazing Urban Decay photography right here in Utica. Old fixtures hang from the walls, the paint is peeling off almost every surface, old matresses lay on rusted metal bed frames, shower curtains hang from forgotten hooks and even the old phones are intact.
Without further ado, here are some of the top Urban Decay photography shots from Rutger Park in Utica.