The construction of a building is a complex and costly process that requires significant effort and planning from a number of parties. For this reason, buildings are often refurbished
or renovated to extend their life, while unsuitable structures on highly desirable sites are commonly
demolished to make way for new developments. But some buildings fall victim to unique events
that lead them to become completely deserted. Once serving important purposes but now forgotten
and standing eerily frozen in time, these are the world’s most intriguing abandoned buildings. With the opening of the city’s first subway
line in 1904, New York finally had a rapid transit system to rival those of other world
cities, like Paris and London. The City Hall Subway Station was among the
grandest on the entire system with a gracefully curved platform, vaulted arch ceilings, decorative
mosaics, intricate skylights and impressive chandeliers. While the grandeur of the underground station
was widely admired, commuters quickly realised that the nearby Brooklyn Bridge subway station
offered much more convenient transport connections onto Brooklyn and further Downtown, significantly
reducing the number of passengers using the station. Additionally, as the popularity of the subway
system grew, so too did the length of train carriages. These longer carriages were unable to make
the journey through the station’s loop as the curved design of the system prevented
them from pulling up alongside the platform. without creating dangerously large gaps between
the train and the platform edge. By 1945 the number of passengers using the
station was as low as 600 per day and the decision was taken to close the station. While the number 6 train still uses the loop to turn around, the station itself has remained
unused for passenger purposes ever since. However, due to its somewhat protected location
underground, this abandoned structure has fared better than some of the others on our list. Shielded from the elements, much of the intricate detailing of the original design survives to the present day. The New York Transit Museum run a limited number of tours
of the site and film production companies occasionally use the platform as an early 1900s set. From its construction as a strategic Royal
Air Force base for the British in 1939, Nicosia International served as the main airport for
Cyprus. However, this came to an abrupt end in 1974
when a coup against the country’s then-president forced the airport to close, stranding citizens
and foreign nationals alike. Reopened to allow foreigners to leave the
island, the Turkish invasion just two days later, saw the area come under heavy fire, resulting in the facility being immediately evacuated and a number of
aircraft being left abandoned on the runway. While no longer actively at war, the island
remains divided to this day with the airport now lying within the United Nations buffer
zone between the two communities. Following failed negotiations by both parties
to jointly operate the airport in 1975, new airports were constructed in both territories
and the original facility was never returned to commercial operation. Though a portion of the main building now
operates as the headquarters for the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, the terminals, customs control
area and runways remain eerily abandoned and have fallen into decay. Constructed in 1928, the Canfranc International
Railway Station in the Pyrenees was the second largest railway station in Europe at the time
– measuring some 240 metres long – and became dubbed the “Titanic of the Mountains”. The station was intended to operate as an
interchange between France and Spain. Each country operated different gauge sizes on
their respective railways, preventing services from running through into the opposite nation-state. As such, the station had to contain customs and transfer facilities for passengers, luggage
and freight moving between the two countries. Despite its then-state-of-the-art systems,
the station was never used to its full potential due to the Spanish tunnels through the mountain
range being sealed-off during the Spanish Civil War and dwindling use by civilians during
the Second World War. The final blow for the station came in 1970
when international rail services were permanently halted following a train derailment and subsequent
bridge collapse on the French side of the Pyrenees. Facing financial pressure, the French government
decided not to rebuild the bridge and instead replaced the rail crossing with bus services. While rail services were still able to operate
from the Spanish side, the economic impact of the station now being a terminus rather
than an interchange saw the population of nearby Canfranc fall sharply. Though remaining abandoned and overgrown for
nearly 50 years, the government of Aragon, in Spain, have now purchased the building
with the intention to restore its historic structure and turn it into a hotel. There
are also plans to reopen the rail line, connecting the region to Bordeaux in France. Perhaps the most well-known building on our
list is the 105 storey Ryugyong Hotel – a vast tower that rises 330 metres above North
Korea’s capital Pyongyang. With construction works originally commencing
in 1987 – and the building then being a contender for the world’s tallest hotel the project was abandoned in 1992 following the fall of the Soviet Union and the subsequent
economic crisis that engulfed the country thereafter. Though the building had reached its full height
prior to it being abandoned, no interior or exterior finishes had been applied to the
structure and it stood as a hollow concrete skeleton over the city for many years, leading
it to be nicknamed “The Hotel of Doom” internationally. In 2008 the North Korean government together
with Egyptian company the Orascom Group began an effort to complete the hotel and bring
it into operation by 2012. Though this joint venture managed to complete
the facade of the building, the interior was never finished and no hotel operator could
be secured, resulting in the tower once again being abandoned without ever hosting a guest. While there are numerous abandoned theme parks, it’s often the case that a steady decline in patronage simply renders them financially unviable, leading to their closure. This was not the case for Six Flags New Orleans. Originally named Jazzland, the park was purchased in 2002 and reopened under the Six Flags banner
in 2003. Plans were developed to improve and expand the attraction with additional rides
and a water park to bring it in line with other Six Flags resorts. Sadly, these plans were never realised. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, overwhelming flood defences and devastating much of the city. Located in a low-lying area, the park sat
submerged in some seven feet of seawater for over a month before pumps could dewater the
site. With over 80% of the buildings and rides destroyed
by wind and rust – and Six Flags unable to settle claims with their insurers – the
park was closed indefinitely. With Six Flags filing for bankruptcy in 2009,
the park is now owned by the City of New Orleans. Though many plans have been put forward to
redevelop the site, none have yet come to fruition. Founded in 1970, Pripyat was built by the
Soviet Union and was the main city servicing Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant just three
kilometres away. Expanding rapidly, the
city contained more than 20 schools, a hospital, sporting and recreation facilities, a cinema
and an amusement park for its population of almost 50,000 people. However, Pripyat’s future transformed in
the space of just a few hours in 1986 in the immediate aftermath of the Chernobyl Nuclear
Disaster. The entire city was evacuated with residents and workers abandoning everything
as the extent of the meltdown became apparent. Located within what was established as the
Chernobyl Exclusion Zone residents were unable to return to Pripyat and were instead relocated
to the city of Slavtych which was purpose-built to house those displaced by the disaster. While nature has steadily begun to reclaim
the city, Pripyat has remained frozen in time for over 30 years, with many buildings still
resembling how they were left on the day that the population was evacuated. If you enjoyed this video and would like to
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The World’s Abandoned Buildings | The B1M
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