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zackmars

The old AUWC pavilion, and other Texas historical oddities

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When I was maybe 6 or 7, I went on a ferry ride as part of a late night roadtrip.

 

The ferry takes riders from Galveston island, to the end of the Bolivar peninsula, and on it's way, it passes by the end of pelican island, where you can see seawolf park, and the AUWC (American Undersea Warfare Center) pavilion.

On that night, we went on the ferry, and went up to the observation deck. As we got closer to seawolf park, i saw this oddly shaped building, just barely illuminated by its own light. I couldn't see the submarine or the destroyer escort, but i could see the building. 

 

I remember it had a really odd shape, to the point I thought someone went through the trouble of designing a building to look like a B-2 stealth bomber. I never really asked about it, because I had no clue what it was. Even when went to Seawolf park and toured both ships, I STILL had no idea that the building was there.

 

Then Ike hit, then Harvey. Throw in 10 years of neglect, and what you see is what is left. There really is no saving this place. The walls, ceilings, roofs, foundation, all shot. It was a puzzle and a half to get in to begin with. They had a fence surrounding the pavilion, but we found a hole in the back we could get through. Then they had fences blocking off the ground entrances, but we managed to scale the angled wall supports that got us through the open second floor, which let us get anywhere we wanted.

The ground floor was easily the worst, broken glass, random metal scraps, old chairs, other nonsense.

I could have put these pics in other threads, but this place has been burning a hole in my head for over 10 years. I honestly can't say what my deal with this place is.

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Edited by zackmars
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1 hour ago, dthomasdigital said:

@zackmars this was an eye opener, I lived in Port Arthur for a while and took that ferry plenty,, had no idea about this place. 

From what I've heard from my parents, it used to have a concession stand, and maybe something else, but they cant remember.

 

We really wanted to take a look at the old Falstaff brewery, because that thing is absolutely massive, but there were crews working, and we wouldn't be able to do much after spending time looking for an entrance, since we all had to run some errands a bit later. And we were a bit intimidated by its size, lol.

Edited by zackmars
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Nice pics mate, back in the days I was into Urban Exploration and these sort of abandoned buildings fascinating. I always wonder who owns the deed and if it would ever be viable to buy the land and build something cool (and resilient!).

 

Just look at the views in the second pic!

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21 hours ago, Thomas said:

Nice pics mate, back in the days I was into Urban Exploration and these sort of abandoned buildings fascinating. I always wonder who owns the deed and if it would ever be viable to buy the land and build something cool (and resilient!).

 

Just look at the views in the second pic!

The place is still owned by whoever owns the rest of seawolf park.

 

I don't think they can really afford to do anything with it, too many resources being gobbled up by the sub and DE.

 

I think it's kinda neat that these are the only pictures around of the inside of this place. We really don't get a whole lot of abandoned buildings here like up north.

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Fort travis, Bolivar.

 

We tend to be pretty big on history here, yet this place has pretty much slipped through the cracks.

 

Most historical places are owned by the state, but this place is actually owned by a private company, and they provide exactly zero maintenance, aside from some crews working on the plumbing systems and yard work.

 

The place goes all the way back to after the Texas war for independence, but the only structures that still stand are from ww1/ww2

 

Not truly "abandoned", but it's falling apart, and nobody cares.DSC_0022.thumb.JPG.651f22ee2eed61df3b866f02561fe3c4.JPGDSC_0019.thumb.JPG.d90d3492f2966fbf522e8a5f8643f8de.JPGDSC_0018.thumb.JPG.af6444fc1471c964c5c40c47c153e665.JPGDSC_0015.thumb.JPG.45fe180aaa9d0b356506f8109eadfeea.JPGDSC_0013.thumb.JPG.9e5487d5a1a01b528ad39d2b6f188461.JPGDSC_0012(1).thumb.JPG.ab59fb418807b7dd19f6a5412ca9d24c.JPGDSC_0010(1).thumb.JPG.112016d177d38a1cbd079e73efcf0a23.JPGDSC_0009.thumb.JPG.aa999e8ad16dc8a8446c2b3476efb6a8.JPGDSC_0007.thumb.JPG.e9a0235ba63c0f48e9ce055fa3f81b62.JPGDSC_0006.thumb.JPG.16c16de05e8932079270a6e723b46c58.JPGDSC_0005.thumb.JPG.9fa447e29c757d98b4e40002dbc2a340.JPGDSC_0002.thumb.JPG.9d7cb36411759a947311cf85813b8acb.JPGDSC_0004.thumb.JPG.c0e05125e27672745ca7b35b2b150fe8.JPGDSC_0001.thumb.JPG.5425ca9fbe6f37eb65ebbdca0feebcff.JPG

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37 minutes ago, Thomas said:

That is unbelievably cool @zackmars

Yup! I wish i could have gone in the bunker in pic 7, but that place was locked up tight. The ladder in the first picture was one of 4 shafts, only 2 had the ladders, but all of them were flooded. They surrounded the locked up bunker, and it STILL drives me up a wall because i can't help but shake the feeling that something really cool is down there ¬¬

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On 23/02/2018 at 4:33 PM, zackmars said:

Yup! I wish i could have gone in the bunker in pic 7, but that place was locked up tight. The ladder in the first picture was one of 4 shafts, only 2 had the ladders, but all of them were flooded. They surrounded the locked up bunker, and it STILL drives me up a wall because i can't help but shake the feeling that something really cool is down there ¬¬

Whats the law on properties like this? Can you legally walk around? If a door is closed and easy enough to force (and the building is abandoned) can you give it a hard shove and take a look?

Or is it one of those- its illegal but not enforced?

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1 hour ago, Thomas said:

Whats the law on properties like this? Can you legally walk around? If a door is closed and easy enough to force (and the building is abandoned) can you give it a hard shove and take a look?

Or is it one of those- its illegal but not enforced?

I think its kind of illegal, but definitely not enforced. The last bunker had tons of trash in it. Both had lots of graffiti, but the first one was in pretty good condition, since it wasn't as easy to get into. There was at one point a fence that surrounded the last bunker, but sections had been removed. The first bunker was still pretty secure, we got in by going from the top, down some stairs, through a pulled back chain link fence

 

They had grounds keepers watching us explore the bunkers, but they didn't care. My friend needed to relive himself, but their toilets weren't working. They told us to "get creative", so that kinda shows you how little they care.

 

As long as you aren't destroying, stealing, or smoking drugs/drinking, most people don't care.

 

It's not wise to just look around any old building here though, castle doctrine is quite strong in this state, so make sure nobody cares about the property, or get permission.

 

I plan on going to the USS Texas/San Jacinto battleground this thurs, hopefully 2ill get some cool pics

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Uss Texas/San Jacinto monument

 

I wish i vould have gotten more pics of the Texas, but 99% of the ship was cordoned off. I am not joking, there wasn't a single area you could fully explore. This was made worse by the amount of people walking around. I had to wait up to 5 minutes some times to get through a bulkhead.

 

Yes, the tub is 100 years old, and it isn't cheap to keep up to shape, but i think its a bit scummy to charge full price tickets to an attraction that doesn't have a single full fledged deck to tour. All the construction stuff also made it hard to get nice pictures, but oh well, such is life

 

The monument still looks great, no masses of dead birds this time, but i wasn't crazy about paying $6 to go to a super crowded observation deck.

 

I get they want to have the battleground look like it would have way back when, but it makes it real hard to get any idea about the scope of the battle. It's not like there were any trenches or bunkers to alert you to some military history.

 

I do have to admit, the resto work they're doing on the Texas is nice.

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Since this is pretty much an ad hoc Texas history thread, how about this surprise find?

 

In Texas, we have 2 "huge" flea markets, Canton, and Round Top. Canton is considered, or at least was, to be the biggest, but the recent trip I went on kinda proved the opposite.

 

Anyways, since Canton was kind of a bust, we went on a little bit of sight seeing on our way back. This took us to Crocket Texas, where we saw this old building.

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Its the Mary Allen seminary, and was the first Texas school for African American women. A (slightly) more detailed history can be found here.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Allen_Seminary

There was writing on all the steps, most seemed to be class markings (ie, class of 59) unfortunately all my pics were crappy, and I couldn't make out the dates even looking right at the steps.

 

It's in rough shape, but apparently whoever owns it is planing on restoring it, so hopefully that happens.

 

As a history nut, it makes me both really happy and sad that these places exist. Happy that I can just catch this this piece of history out of the corner of my eye, and learn something i had never known about, but also sad that it's in its current condition, and will likely never get any better.

 

I really wish I had gotten a better picture.

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