JJ_MacCrimmon (jj_maccrimmon) wrote in rural_ruin,

Abandoned Places – Lost Radio (Summer 09)

Back in September 09, I finally got to scope out a site I’d spotted previously but couldn’t find the time of opportunity to explore. In the US, it’s a rarity to find an abandoned community radio station, but there it was. Stations like these dotted the countryside before corporate networks gobbled them up. These stations were very compact and frequently had the offices, broadcast booth, transmitter and tower all on site. Stations like this all but faded away from the US landscape by the early 90’s.

Because this site is in plain view from several businesses, we approached on a weekend and did a quick circle of the outside perimeter. I ask that if anyone recognizes this location, don’t mention what community it’s in.

The back entrance would have been my preferred point of entry, but it is completely overgrown and impassible

Likewise, the side entrance was also so overgrown that getting to the door would have been very noticeable

When in doubt, abandon the obvious and try the front door – wide was complete unlocked. Oh the site wasn’t posted either

Opening the front door, we were immediately hit by a moist and musty scent – rotting wood, mold and wet carpet. Apparently, the stucco exteriors held the moisture in far too well in this 1920’s era structure.

The way the building was set up, it looks to once have been a residence, but was converted in the 1940’s or 50’s into a radio station.

There were 33’s and 78’s on the floors

More records here and there in front of the control booth. Most US radio stations gave up playing records on air over 15 years ago.

The wet floors/carpets have taken a toll on anything left on the ground floor.

The radio station call sign is distorted intentionally to make the site a little less identifiable

The door to the broadcast booth

This is a second sound booth access. This corridor was pitch black in the first floor

Music carts (cartridge) were a common fixture in radio stations thru the early 90’s and contained everything from promos, public service announcements (PSA’s) and advertising. Most radio stations now use digital media, portable flash media and downloaded material from the parent networks.

At some point, a fire broke out in the transmitter and power supply area. The corridor leading to the area was unsafe to traverse

Fire extinguisher inspection card dated 25-9-92 (25 Sep 92)

At the back of the building and spiraling upward was a nearly hidden staircase leading to the second floor. The scene there was a stark contrast to the dimly lit ground floor. Sunlight streamed into the rooms and gave the place a completely different feeling.

Kitchenette on the second floor

Above the fire damaged area, the floor was collapsed in giving the rains and weather access to the floor below.

Out the second floor balcony and into the ‘jungle’

Thus ends photos from this wander. Though centered on Cullman, there were shots from Hartselle, Gadsden, Lacy Springs and sites in between.

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