1. Post #1
    Sirrus's Avatar
    January 2009
    916 Posts
    I was walking around a nearby city today and there was a complex of abandoned buildings that was first built to be a mental hospital, was converted into a correctional facility and is now being slowly encroached on by developers and being converted into condominiums and apartments. I was greatly dismayed at this and walked around for a bit, but was by myself with no equipment besides my camera so I wasn't particularly interested in entering, especially as it was broad daylight. I went down to the sales buildings and tried the "it never hurts to ask" approach and was shut down, saying that "it's too dangerous, no one is allowed in without an escort, and those are generally only given to those interested in buying a building."

    I just, have to get in though. The buildings are incredible, the architecture is amazing, and it's just the kind of place where you can almost stand in the middle and breathe in the history. I'm determined to find a way into these buildings but I'm not quite sure the best approach. They have a "contact" form on their site, but it's for inquiries about housing. I drafted this message, and I believe it conveys what I'm trying to say and what I find appealing, but I feel like it would get glossed over.

    Hello,

    I'm a local photographer, part architect and part historian. I visited the complex today and learned a bit of its history as well as walking around the grounds. I was disappointed to learn, however, that all buildings were off limits. While this decision makes sense to me, I was greatly dismayed, as the site's history as a mental hospital and a correctional facility was amazing to me. I believe that buildings are a reflection of purpose for humans, and in studying architecture we gain an understanding of lives past. This is all together too apparent in abandoned buildings and I believe that they have an inherent beauty, and through photography you can draw forth that story of a structure. This was evident to me as I walked through the grounds of the Villages.

    I would be much obliged for a chance to photograph some of the buildings on your site. I can't offer money but you're welcome to use any of the photos for commercial use.

    -(my name)

    tl;dr: I'm a photographer that loves abandoned buildings, I have no commercial affiliation or any reason to get into a set of buildings owned by a company that will later turn them into condos outside of art and love of urbex and storytelling, but I think there's a story worth documenting and I want to get in terribly badly but don't know how to get the company to take me seriously.

    edit: will post some pictures around the outside in a bit.

  2. Post #2
    Well Rolled
    Tophat's Avatar
    July 2006
    746 Posts
    #1 mistake: Asking. Don't ask, just do.
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  3. Post #3
    Sirrus's Avatar
    January 2009
    916 Posts
    The issue that I have with this set of buildings is that it's in a very developed area with a clear cut owner. Hell, the vast majority of the buildings are in a gated community. I could probably get into the steam plant across the street without anyone noticing but, ah hell, I dunno. I'll go back there with a friend.

    edit: Repercussions if caught? Is this a more slap on the wrists or cuff on the wrists situation if entering somewhere with clear "no trespassing" signs?

  4. Post #4
    :smugspike:'s Avatar
    December 2009
    1,345 Posts
    considering it can be done with such ease, usually it's just a slap lol

  5. Post #5
    Hello, my name is Penis. Please refer to me as such. I'm totally cool with it.
    SPESSMEHREN's Avatar
    November 2009
    4,725 Posts
    The issue that I have with this set of buildings is that it's in a very developed area with a clear cut owner. Hell, the vast majority of the buildings are in a gated community. I could probably get into the steam plant across the street without anyone noticing but, ah hell, I dunno. I'll go back there with a friend.

    edit: Repercussions if caught? Is this a more slap on the wrists or cuff on the wrists situation if entering somewhere with clear "no trespassing" signs?
    Where there's a steam plant, there's probably steam tunnels that connect to everything anyway, so if you can get into teh plant without anyone noticing, you should be all set.

    Unless you have personal or political connections to any city leaders or the development company, they probably won't get back to you.
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  6. Post #6

    May 2011
    1,095 Posts
    Likely just a slap on a wrist, assuming you don't have anything like a knife, drugs, lighter, or b&e tools on you.
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  7. Post #7
    Gold Member
    draugur's Avatar
    March 2012
    5,044 Posts
    Naw, just do it. You're a photographer, they'll just escort you off the property and say "lolkbai"
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  8. Post #8
    ManicMarauder's Avatar
    April 2011
    307 Posts
    okay, what i do when im trying to paint somewhere is this. you go to the building, find those little "No trespassing" signs. and rip them out of the fucking ground. so when somebody comes to bitch at you- "i didnt know it was private property"

    it might not work for this situation, but its a good way to get out of a tight spot
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  9. Post #9
    Gold Member
    FFStudios's Avatar
    August 2008
    10,243 Posts
    #1 mistake: Asking. Don't ask, just do.
    Don't listen to this moron.

    If there's at all a chance you may be able to get in legally, with permission, asking should be your first bet. If not, and they say no, wait a little bit for their suspicion of anybody entering to die down, and THEN go do it.
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  10. Post #10
    Well Rolled
    Tophat's Avatar
    July 2006
    746 Posts
    Don't listen to this moron.

    If there's at all a chance you may be able to get in legally, with permission, asking should be your first bet. If not, and they say no, wait a little bit for their suspicion of anybody entering to die down, and THEN go do it.
    Don't call me a moron, I know very well what i'm doing thank you very much.

    I already knew that option you mentioned and it's still not nearly as good as mine. End of story.
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  11. Post #11
    bye
    Gold Member
    bye's Avatar
    August 2006
    3,109 Posts
    ^ moron right here. End of Story.

    a legit tour is your first glimpse into penetrating the building illegitimately, don't disregard.
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  12. Post #12
    Well Rolled
    Tophat's Avatar
    July 2006
    746 Posts
    Whatever, you guys seem to think that you know better than someone who actually does this a lot. Suit yourselves.
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  13. Post #13
    bye
    Gold Member
    bye's Avatar
    August 2006
    3,109 Posts
    pull the other one kiddo

  14. Post #14
    Gold Member
    FFStudios's Avatar
    August 2008
    10,243 Posts
    Whatever, you guys seem to think that you know better than someone who actually does this a lot. Suit yourselves.
    you are so dumb please stop

    you can do something for a long time and still be doing it wrong, keep that in mind
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  15. Post #15
    Well Rolled
    Tophat's Avatar
    July 2006
    746 Posts
    you are so dumb please stop

    you can do something for a long time and still be doing it wrong, keep that in mind
    Quit insulting me man. It was rude for you to call me a moron in the first place.
    If someone called you a moron out of nowhere, i'm sure you'd react too.

    I may have come off as arrogant, but only because you provoked me. If you actually knew me you'd see that i'm not normally like this. And I admit that I could be wrong, but it has always worked for me every time I've ever explored.
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  16. Post #16
    Lost_n_found's Avatar
    January 2012
    359 Posts
    i hate to see this escalate further.

    i see where tophat is coming from. almost always you can just go in when the coast is clear and you'll have no problems. it is exploring after all. scope it out, take your time, and go in. but at the same time, most of the time, FFStudio is right, it is best to do your research and find out what your options and risks are before visiting a location. depending on how much time you are willing to wait, you can try to contact the owner.

    as for sirrus and this original discussion, do you have a portfolio or website to go with it? if you are going to take that route you need as much of a professional or professional-looking background as possible to sway their decision, even include things outside of the realm of abandoned buildings.

    i've tried asking permission on a few sites, i've called the realtors and bullshitted like i was interested in leasing the property, called environmental contamination site owners as a professional photographer with no success so far. i've had better luck getting in with a monkey wrench. if you are concerned about the locations safety, go with a friend or two with the proper equipment and you should be fine. i would just go for it.
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  17. Post #17
    Gold Member
    HiddenMyst's Avatar
    June 2006
    6,616 Posts
    Not saying legitimate entry isn't a good option, but in the case that you ask and then get refused, being caught at a later time trespassing on that land could have larger repercussions (although probably still just a slap on the wrist at the end of the day).
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  18. Post #18
    bye
    Gold Member
    bye's Avatar
    August 2006
    3,109 Posts
    Not saying legitimate entry isn't a good option, but in the case that you ask and then get refused, being caught at a later time trespassing on that land could have larger repercussions (although probably still just a slap on the wrist at the end of the day).
    how? it's not like you sign an affidavit with your name on it when you ask, and it's not like anyone can see whose face wrote a letter

    being punished more because you still did it after they said no?
    unlikely
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  19. Post #19
    The Disabled Kid
    Dennab
    February 2011
    4,770 Posts
    craw through sewage, do what you gotta do.

       not really   
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  20. Post #20
    Gold Member
    Kenneth's Avatar
    June 2006
    708 Posts
    My philosophy is, if you can get in somewhere without breaking or damaging anything then you're good to go. Can't stand vandalism, all it achieves is increased security and added difficulty for anyone else who wants to look.

    "Take only pictures, Leave only footprints"
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  21. Post #21
    Maku220's Avatar
    February 2010
    135 Posts
    #1 mistake: Asking. Don't ask, just do.
    I actually agree with this, but I live on another side of the planet anyway and things are completely different here.

  22. Post #22
    Don Knotts's Avatar
    October 2009
    2,176 Posts
    craw through sewage, do what you gotta do.

       not really   
    do what you gotta doo doo
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  23. Post #23
    Gold Member
    t h e's Avatar
    February 2011
    6,767 Posts
    how? it's not like you sign an affidavit with your name on it when you ask, and it's not like anyone can see whose face wrote a letter

    being punished more because you still did it after they said no?
    unlikely
    If you trespass without asking and get caught you can just say "oh I didn't know sorry lul" but if you ask, get turned down and then trespass, they can go "we already told you not to come here" and there's no denying it.
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  24. Post #24
    Gold Member
    FFStudios's Avatar
    August 2008
    10,243 Posts
    there's no way they're gonna know you're the same person just by asking

    unless you walk into town hall and let them take a bunch of pictures of you or something

    Edited:

    actually in these days your name is tied to most things electronically so i guess it'd be a little easier
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