First Church of Christ, Scientist- Des Moines, IA

Psalms says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

On the corner of Grand and 38th street stands The First Church of Christ Scientist. Completed in 1932, this romantic temple was once referred to by the Des Moines Register as, “…one of the Midwest’s most handsome churches.” 

This stone beauty with its iron steeple pierce the canopies of the surrounding oak and hickory trees firmly established on the church grounds. Almost entirely intact, the only signs of abandonment are the numerous “No Trespassing” signs, small holes in the faded stained-glass windows, the deteriorating front steps and the overgrown lawn. 

Its a shame what the future holds for the church- the property was bought out by WesleyLife; a condominum and retirement home company that plans to demolish the church and build a condo unit on the grounds. Shame. 

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.


itiscalledthetardis said: I think you should try this one abandoned hotel in Johnston that I heard about. I looked it up on google maps and it seems to be located exactly where I was told it was- right behind the quicktrip in johnston off of I-80. I can't find proof of this, but I was told the story behind it is that the manager of the hotel went insane and killed six of his employees. It'd be really neat to check out, I think.

I’ve been scoping it out for a while too! Its on my to-do list!


iowaarchaeology said: Hi! I just watched the youtube video featured on your Tumblr. My computer speakers weren't working, so I turned the closed captioning on. Does YouTube or the Daily Iowan generate the closed captioning? There is a very embarrassing and politically incorrect word at 35 seconds. It definitely needs to be fixed! If it's the Daily Iowan, I'll write to them myself. Just wanted to give you a heads up! --Elizabeth at the OSA

Oh jeesh! I’m fairly certain Youtube does the CC on videos. The spot was just shot with a journalist from the  U of I and I’m 100% certain there wasnt any sort of language in the final product.

Well, I’m going to out myself here, but this is a great news vignette that was shot by a University of Iowa journalist for the Daily Iowan out of Iowa City! Check it out!

Button Factory- Washington, IA

In the early 20th century, clothing buttons were primarily made from the pearl insides of clams and oysters from the beds of the Mississippi River and many other tributaries or bodies of water. This particular factory was a facility that did just that. Clams and oysters were shipped into the small town of Washington to be turned into accessories and fasteners. 

Closed since 1965 due to the massive increase and ease of access that came from making plastic buttons instead of pearl, the facility stands strong in a state of active decomposition. Instead of seeing glistening pearl dust on the ground, broken class and various pieces of rusted metal litter the grounds of the former largest employer in the area. 

Also, special thanks to Inma Mateos Aguilar for taking the time to film and interview me as I took pictures!

Sources and more info found here:


— inWashington, IA.

Just some edits I’ve done over the months.

 Critique, comments, and constructive criticism is welcome.


Beaver Elementary School- Beaver, IA

After the spring warmth comes and melts away the snow, but before the weeds can plant their roots and the shrubs fill their twigs with foliage, this three story school house bares all. 

What was once a bustling school in rural Boone county, now stands only as a dilapidated reminder of its former life. Classrooms now lie in a pile of rubble in the basement; shards of blackboards litter the lowest floor.


Cambria Consolidated School- Cambria, IA

To say Cambria is a disincorporated town would be an incorrect statement; the tiny rural community never technically incorporated, inspite of this, Cambria has existed since 1849- just three years after the state of Iowa became established. 

One can imagine that Cambria is a pretty unremarkable, small town. Calling it quaint would be giving it a little too much credit. Within the city limits of Cambria, however, is a fine example of a common school house during the early to mid 20th century. Opened in 1923, Cambria Consolidated School is still in remarkable shape- signs of continued maintenance and upkeep are apparent, but the creeping signs of decay are becoming more and more prevalent; cracks int he foundation, crumbling sidewalks and stairs, a slowly rusting and failing fire escape, the school bell which once signaled the beginning and end of the school day dangles precariously by its wiring out of the brick masonry.

More info check out the Wayne county website: