The world is dotted with the ruins of ancient civilizations, from the devastation of Pompeii and Mesopotamian relics to the lost temples of Southeast Asia. The US is, comparatively, a baby. But this baby can boom and bust with the best of ‘em. Many of our ghost towns, now crumbling to time, were thriving a century ago. Our crumbling factories were paragons of the recent industrial age. Mexico has ancient Mayan ruins. Here, we’ve got the shells of former Blockbuster Videos.
Cornish Estate Ruins
Cold Springs, New Y ork
You can drive north from New York City to Hudson Highlands State Park in about an hour-and-a-half. (Make it two hours. This is New York traffic we’re talking about.) The reward is a sweeping 8,000-acre landscape of trees, hills, parks, and trails along the Hudson River. Hike deep into the forest and you’ll come across the ruins of an old mansion, where a husband and wife entertained guests with parties away from the chaos of city life in the 1920s and ‘30s. It all came to an end when the couple died within weeks of each other. The home was abandoned and much of it destroyed in a fire. Those who visit the remains often report the sounds of laughter and toasting glasses—perhaps the homeowners continuing their party on the other side?
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