Weird and Strange History

Abandoned California | Abandoned Historic Places in California

Abandoned California | Abandoned Historic Places in California

California is home to creepy abandoned places. Do you want to visit it but not sure what to expect? Here’s are some of the best abandoned historic places in California that are a must-see. Welcome to Abandoned California.

1. The Sunken City in San Pedro

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Just like the sunken city of Atlantis, this one is visible to people looking from the California coast Southwest of Long Beach. It’s in close proximity to the lighthouse Fermin Park.

This landslide happened in 1929 when the water main beneath the hotel broke and a few days later had a gas line break. It was a clear indication to evacuate the area, but no one could protect the buildings.

The ground used to sleep 11 inches every day, and a huge area of 40000 square feet of land dropped in the Pacific Ocean. It took down a lot of homes, businesses, sidewalks, and streets.

2. Rock Haven Sanitarium

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It all started in 1923 when a psychiatric nurse decided to build her on sanitarium for mentally ill female patients. Within few years, the sanitarium turned into a refuge for models and actresses. And later on, it turned into a home for women with dementia and the elderly.

Later in 2006, it shut it down, and some developers purchased it to build condos. However, the community didn’t allow it and got it listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It can turn into a public park; however, now the garden sanctuaries and 15 buildings inside it are all empty.

3. Ano Nuevo Island

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Situated between Santa Cruz and SF California coast, the light station got abandoned in 1948; however, it still holds quarters of the old lighthouse keepers. However, the lighthouse became a hazard to endangered sea lions and northern elephant seals. The island is home to animals. It is closed for public visits, and no one is allowed to explore the island just because a number of white sharks, sea lions, and seals are already wandering around its waters.

4. Bodie Ghost Town

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The third most populous city of California in 1880 became a ghost town eventually. Today it has zero population. It turned into a ghost town in 1920 due to terrible weather of 100mph winds. However, it wasn’t all dead by then. By 1932 it had a massive fire and got deserted completely. Bodie is an iconic abandoned ghost town in California.

It still has hundreds of structures standing still like a Methodist church, an old general store, a cemetery, and a saloon. Today it’s abandoned, yet it’s a Historical Landmark and state park. You can even check out the town by paying $5 as it is preserved in it’s arrested decayed state.

5. Donner Pass Summit Tunnel

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It was the first railroad line ever to reach the Sierra Nevada range. This 1700-foot-long Tunnel was finished in 1867. The first train to ever pass through it was in 1868, and the last one went in 1993. Unfortunately, the route was changed, and it wasn’t as beautiful as the old rail line.

Today people are allowed to hike through it and check out the petroglyphs. You be able to see lots of graffiti and a Chinese wall which is 75 foot tall and handmade.

6. Gates of Hell Hacienda Heights

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These gates were rumored to have been situated in the sanatorium during the 1940s. However, then the hospital was shut as a lot of malpractices were reported.

The entire property is now fenced from a decade with barbed wires all fixed firmly inside the fence. No one is allowed to get inside, and the gate itself gives chills to anyone standing in front of it. Although it’s well fenced, no one has a clue as to why it is under close supervision. It’s common to hear subtle footsteps crunching and voices close to the property.

7. Elsinore Naval and Military School

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The building is in a state of rapid decay. The hunting exterior of the military academy and Elsinore Naval was built in 1920 to be a country club. Even after the construction, the club never got the chance to open due to the Great depression.

In 1933, it opened in the form of Elsinore naval academy. It had about 150 to 200 students from grades 1 to 12. The academy finally closed down in 1977. Many foreign dictators and wealthy people like Barbara Rush visited the school occasionally. Since 1977, the school has been empty.

The outbuildings burned down in 1980, and the rest of it faded away with age because of weather, squatters, and vandalism.

It does have effective chain-link security fans; however, it looks worn and tired like a wrecking ball. It requires restoration. There is a guard on watch on the RV on the location to keep an eye on the ground.

8. Kaiser Quarry Ruins

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It is a preserve that was once used as a gravel quarry when the Caldecott Tunnel was being bored between 1929 and 1937.

The quarry was transformed into a top round park and the first three East Bay regional parks in 1936. It remained as the top park in 1958 and was then renamed as Sibley regional volcanic preserve.

Much later, the road turned into a rail and had bits of old concrete. It became at railway people can walk on. Much below the train, you’ll see wooden stable structure industrial debris, tin roofing, and pieces of past structures.

9. Stone Cats at Nike Missile Site

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There is a place at Nike missile site, filled with a variety of stone cats put by a mysterious artist. You will find this sight in the hills of wildcat canyon park in Richmond, California. Many radars and cold war operators worked here long ago to monitor the skies of the bay area. They waited for Russian bombers during the night.

It’s still a mystery who and why put the cat structures there, but it is surely open today for people who dare to visit it.

10. Saltdale

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When all the miners in the 1900s were are looking for gold, one more thing precious was salt. A Salt dale called aptly was found in 1914 to get salt from Koehn Dry Lake.

These are popular in leaving behind the salt deposits after the evaporation of water. The salt business slowed down by 1940, and then it was finally shut down in 1975. It turned into a forgotten ghost town in American West. The exacerbating salt cause deterioration of buildings. As most of the structure was deserted, only rusting foundations of few buildings are left today.

In the End

However, California is filled with abandoned places; these are must-visit if you are interested in creepy locations. Visiting any of these places will surely give you the chills that you won’t soon forget!

For some abandoned Los Angeles heck out the abandoned zoo Los Angeles.

Weird and Strange History

Exploring The Abandoned Hawthorne Plaza Mall

Exploring The Abandoned Hawthorne Plaza Mall

The Abandoned Hawthorne Plaza Mall was on my seemingly endless list of places to explore. How I got there was purely coincidental. I was filming a movie and it just happened to be the first location. For the abandoned mall enthusiast, it’s delivers. There are freestanding escalators, and down escalators that lead to nowhere. As far as abandoned malls go, this one has it all.

For a little background on the mall itself, I leave that to the experts at Wikipedia:

Hawthorne Plaza is a partially dead mall along Hawthorne Boulevard between 120th Street and El Segundo Blvd in Hawthorne, California. The 40-acre (16 ha) property opened in 1977 and included an indoor mall and free standing stores at the property’s south end. The mall largely catered to the middle class residents living in and around Hawthorne and featured cheaper stores than other nearby malls such as South Bay Galleria and Manhattan Village.”

Despite initial popularity, the mall went into decline in the 1990s due in part to the economic decline of the area after the cutbacks in aerospace jobs and to competition from other shopping centers. The mall’s number of occupied stores declined from 130 in the late 1980s to 87 in 1994 and around 70 in 1998. By that year only one anchor store was remaining out of the original four. After the Macy’s Clearance Center (which replaced The Broadway upon the latter’s purchase by Federated Department Stores) closed down in December 1997, there were plans to put in an AMC Theatre on the site and to convert the mall into an open-air shopping center. Their plans never came into fruition, however, and the mall portion closed down in 1999.

The property’s southern part was redone in 1998 and is still open. It includes a supermarket, a pharmacy, and some small restaurants. The mall building and most of its multistory parking lots are now abandoned except for a police training center that was built in the portion formerly occupied by Montgomery Ward. On the northern side is an annex administrative office for the Hawthorne school district. The abandoned mall has also been used to film a number of movies, TV shows, and music videos such as Minority Report (2002), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), The Green Hornet (2006), Teen Wolf (2011), Beyoncé’s “Superpower” (2013), Gone Girl (2014), Lindsey Sterling’s “Heist” (2014), David Guetta’s “Bang My Head” (2014), Rush Hour (2016), Colony (2016), Westworld (2016), Taylor Swift’s “…Ready for It?” and Travis Scott’s Astroworld Trailer (2018).”

What will happen with The Abandoned Hawthorne Plaza Mall in 2021?

There are many rumblings of the mall being demolished to make way for an outlet mall. Some of the more recently plans, at least according to The Daily Breeze include, giving it a makeover to look like the Americana in Glendale (which I live dangerously close to).

The article goes on to say “The new development wouldn’t be a mall, but would include a large “power center,” or outdoor mini-mall, an office complex and walkable outdoor retail strips with upper-level homes. Courtyards and parklets are scattered throughout the plans and even included on the rooftop.

“The revitalization of the former mall must center on a development that is viable and reasonable in the context of the economy of both Hawthorne, the region and investors,” interim City Manager Arnie Shadbehr said. “It should meet the shopping and dining needs of the community but also be self-sustaining on its own to ensure long-term success and economic rewards for the developer, the tenants and the city itself.

“Ultimately, this development should erase the blight that has sat at the former mall site and help reinvigorate the heart of Hawthorne to instill pride in the community and help inspire economic growth.”