Photo: "Building 253"

Building 253, Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard 

When I began taking photos of abandoned locations eight years ago, I always assumed there'd be a return visit to these sites and my friends and I would always talk about "the next time." But over the years, I have learned that each visit should be treated as the last because these relics can wind up inaccessible or demolished very quickly. 

This photo was taken during my first visit to a beautiful glass building, a machine shop, at the former Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco back in 2006. I made a few visits over the next two years, but when the site became much more difficult to access, I never made it back to this building. 

Photo: "Launch Silo No.3"

 
 

Looking across into the Launch Silo No.3 of the Beale 851-C Titan I Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Base in Northern California.

During the operating years, 1962 - 1965, this silo would have contained a crib structure that would have supported the missile. These days, this base sits empty collecting dust, waiting to be purchased.

Photo: Titan Tunnels Are Peace

Tunnel Junction, Launch Equipment Terminal - Beale 851-C Missile Base, Chico

It's hard to describe the feeling I had when I took my first breath of the stale air inside the Titan Missile Silo. It brought back many memories of other locations that smelled very similar; stale, damp and toxic.

For the rest of the 8 hour shoot, I wore a respirator, which drove me crazy, but in the end it didn't matter because there's something so peaceful and relaxing about wandering around places like this, which I'm sure that seems so strange to most of you. This location in particular was a place that was saturated with war, a location that terrorized many, but when I was here, it was a place of peace.

What is your happy place?

Photo: "Baffles"

Sound baffles were installed on the ceiling of the underground power station of a former Titan I ICBM base to help prevent the loud sounds of the machinery from reverberating due to the circular ceiling.