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Southern Shipyard

In a coastal South Carolina town sits an expansive abandoned Naval base and shipyard. Buildings that once operated as hospitals, administration and military housing now checker the 145 acre property which has yet to find its function in present day. Construction on the multi-use compound began in 1901 and the property was first used as a dry dock until the late 1920s when it was purchased by military contract. A power plant, military housing and the admiral’s mansion were built for Navy use. Numerous destroyers, amongst other ships, were constructed here for the U.S. Navy from 1930-1945 and at the height of the war, the base employed 25,000 people.

Over the next four decades, the base saw a steady stream of work from War World II German submarine conversions, to increased production in response to the Korean and Cold Wars, to construction of nuclear-capable subs. The base and shipyard were finally decommissioned in 1993 after the close of the Cold War.

(Naval memorandum dated August 18, 1967)

Unlike most sites I visit, this one was strangely void of any graffiti or extensive vandalism. I saw no signs of homeless activity and besides one room which had been paint-balled the only damage was from exposure to weather elements and asbestos. One exterior portion of the compound has found its future purpose and is being converted into modern-industrial style apartment lofts. The builder intends to incorporate as much of the original construction as possible in the new development.

For the full set, check out Naval Abandonment on Flickr.

 

Memo(ries)

A forgotten United States Navy Memo dating from 8/18/1967. I found this on a recent explore of an abandoned Naval Base.

St. Augustine, FL

St. Augustine has long been a favorite of mine to visit. I can remember visits as a kid to the fort (Castillo de San Marcos) with my mom and having picnics on the sprawling green lawns that surround the fortress and moat. There is something magical about walking down a coquina street that is over 500 years old that struck me as a child on my many trips to The Nation’s Oldest City. The city holds the same appeal and magic that it did on my first trip there 20 years ago.

Of course now as an adult, I am able to enjoy all that the city has to offer by way of food and libation too. Any trip I take to St. Augustine requires a stop at The Columbia Restaurant, an Old City staple since 1983. If you go, please order the 1905 salad and Black Bean Soup. You will thank me for this. There are some wonderful newer restaurants on the scene that have been welcomed discoveries like Spy Sushi, Collage and Bistro de Leon. For great atmosphere, a glorious Port list and a different-from-every-other-bar experience, please check out Stogies Jazz Club. This is a cigar bar, but if smoking isn’t your thing, there is a nice sized courtyard to sit and enjoy. Bonus points for live jazz on the weekends!

When I take a break from eating my way through St. Augustine, I most enjoy wandering the cobblestone and coquina streets to people watch and look for photo opportunities- which are everywhere. Flagler College, the Lightner Museum, Castillo de San Marcos and too many beautiful old churches to name are just blocks from each other. The streets of Old Town St. Augustine are lined with quaint Bed & Breakfasts and more candy makers and bakers than I can resist. The history, food and quirky cross-section of people you’ll find here make St. Augustine the most charming city in the state of Florida!

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, FL

I have always been fascinated with lighthouses and have a dream of traveling up the Eastern U.S. to capture all that I can along the coast. But, until that adventure is a possibility I will take advantage of the lighthouses that Florida has to offer!

The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, completed in 1887, is the tallest standing lighthouse in the state of Florida. Located on Ponce de Leon Inlet (formerly Mosquito Bay) this lighthouse is still in active service with a Third Order Fresnel lens in its tower. The climb to the top was slightly sketchy, but well worth it.

For more photos from the set, check out my flickr gallery: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjv569qm

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