The 1st floor.
The first exploration of 2021 took place in Hazard, Kentucky. Driving to Hazard is a long but pretty drive. Jay Farrell and I finally hit Hazard, after a little under four hours, and immediately set off in search of our first destination, M.C. Napier High. M.C. Napier was built in 1953 and abandoned in the ’90s, its students absorbed by a larger and newer school. We spotted our quarry and drove down a narrow road made up of sharp twists and a steep decline. Pulling up we were more than a little surprised the abandoned school stood in the middle of a neighborhood, and mercantile strip. What’s more, nothing barred our entrance from the old brick building.This to be honest was off-putting. Most abandoned buildings like this are fenced off unless they sit forgotten in the middle of nowhere. After gathering our gear and looking about we entered the parking lot and then the building itself. Here are but a few shots of the exploration of M.C. Napier. Be on the lookout for a more detailed exploration later this weekend, you’ll love the hauntingly creepy photos!
Once in front of the high school I took a few quick shots of the exterior, walking along the wall I began to notice something truly worrisome. The brick facade of the structure was soaked. The bricks had become as water logged as a sponge! I’d only seen this once before in Memphis, Tennessee. Years of water leaking from a factory’s water tower flowed down to the building’s roof and over the decades inn-undated the buildings face. We were going to have to be a bit more careful in here than we usually were.
Instead of entering the derelict school’s front entrance we decided to go in through a side entrance. It just seemed right, and less slippery. As it turned out, it wasn’t. The first florr was indeed the most worrisome footing wise. Jay and I found ourselves standing in an ocean of water soaked debris.
This place was grim as hell and I for one was damned glad were exploring on a nice sunny day, an overcast day would have made this exponentially more difficult. Onward we went, silent but remarking to ourselves and one another about the state of decay that had befallen this school.
I wish I could describe the overall atmosphere of abandoned places like this. There is of course a stillness. But there is a weight too. It can at times be menacing and oppressive. But it has it’s moments of wonder. A sudden oasis of sunlight that reveals a beauty even amongst such decay.
As I said, there are brief oasis of light in these places, they are strange and wonderful.
You can never really become numb to the things you find when exploring abandos, from bad graffiti, and children’s toys, to miniature front loaders that for whatever reason sit within what was once a lunch room.
We’d traveresed the morass of the first floor and everything was just fine. Next up was the climb up to the second floor. There were two other stairwells but they were just far too dark to make out and the risers far too clogged with who knew what to risk.
That’s it for now kids. Next installment will be Hazard High the upper floors.