This weekends adventure took us to Concrete City in Nanticoke, PA.
This was seemingly easy to find compared to last weeks trek to Lausanne Ruins. We parked off the main road and walked a well worn trail for roughly 8-10 minutes until we reached Concrete City. My suggestion would be to visit not in Pennsylvania’s rainy season. Although the short hike was manageable it still impeded the most common trail and left us with muddy shoes. You can also map it on your phone and it takes you directly to it.
First site, it takes your breath away. Why? Not because of its beauty, but because even after 100+ years and pounds of dynamite they are STILL standing. These buildings were constructed in 1911 and had its first residents move in in 1913. They were built for the coal industry workers by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Coal Company. The 20 concrete buildings housed 40 employees and their families, they were shared housing units and were meant for only English speaking employees of the Truesdale Colliery. They had 7 rooms, living, dining, kitchen and four bedrooms. Can you believe rent was only $8 a month? Concrete City only remained open until 1924 and closed because the city’s newest owner refused to add a sewer line that would cost nearly $200,000.
It’s hard to believe that at one point in time these houses were filled with the smell of dinner and children’s laughter. These 20 houses were constructed in a square. Only 4 houses on the shorter sides and 12 on the longer, 6 on each side. When walking through I kept questioning, what was in the middle?! Was it parking, was it a community garden or playground? The answer, it was a playground! Now the middle of this community fell victim to nature and litter, mostly littered with spray paint cans.
Each one of Concrete city’s housing units is covered in graffiti. Some left the walls beautiful, some covered it in profanity and some tagged it as members of the Wu Tang Clam, yes clam, not a typo. Although we didn’t walk through every unit, most were littered with beer bottles and you can see fire rings or burnt wood.
Most likely our favorite building was the one that had obviously been the one that they tried to blow up with dynamite. It left the walls slanted, holes in the second floor and sides of the walls blown out. Yet, it was still sturdy enough for us to be on the second floor and the steps remained.
- The history alone, especially if you are native to Pennsylvania, more specifically the “coal regions”
- The architecture of the early 1900s
- The graffiti art
- The adventure itself
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