“It seems like with abandoned buildings – they sort of take on a life of their own – a different life – a different type of community takes over when a building is left behind. An unseen community – the homeless – the artist – the explorers – bondage photographers.” — Decayed Richmond
Last week, I sat down with Decayed Richmond to talk about their amazing urban exploration project. Decayed Richmond has been killing RVA’s art-culture scene since they launched their website last spring. Documenting urban exploration has really skyrocketed in popularity with the growth of affordable cameras and the rise of the internet. Richmond, with all of its history, and unique appreciation for historic relevance, makes it a perfect backdrop for a state-of-the-art urban exploration project. Decayed Richmond is that project – but they need your help. Support them at: decayedrichmond.com
Below is only a snapshot of THE INTERVIEW. Click HERE (or the main menu tab) to read the full interview with Decayed Richmond.
Cheats Movement: Decayed Richmond really jumped on the scene last year. Tell me a little about the creation of Decayed Richmond?
Decayed Richmond: It started around the spring of last year. We basically started the site because we saw other sites about exploring abandoned buildings and wanted to start something of our own. We had a stock of pictures that have been collected over the years. We knew the photos would fit well on a website. So we went up with Decayed Richmond and it really blew up. Over the course of two or three days the site got like 200 to 300 followers. And that’s when we decided we wanted to shoot a movie about it.
Cheats Movement: There is defiantly an element of surprise every time that you explore a new building. What are some of the most unique things that have happened on site?
Decayed Richmond: The most unique, and the most recent, is the last time we went out – we ran into some other people doing bondage photography (fetish photography). We kind of spooked each other out. They ended up being very helpful. They showed us some different ways to get in and out of the building – but it was weird.
Cheats Movement: So when you go into a new building – what is the goal?
Decayed Richmond: It really varies. Going into a new building, we shoot photos and video. We try to explore all the ends and outs of the building. We try to learn a little bit of the history of the building before we go in so we have a better understanding of what a room could have been used for. One of the main goals is to always reach the roof of the building – seeing the rooftop.
Cheats Movement: What is the most interesting building that you’ve been in so far?
Decayed Richmond: It’s hard to pick one but the 25th street theater in Church Hill is really cool. Another would be Innerbake, the old cookie factory on Belvidere and Broad. Every time in that building is a new experience.
Cheats Movement: This seems like way more than just a website and movie to the Decayed Richmond team.
Decayed Richmond: It is. It’s something that we will do forever. Whenever we travel, any city, any town, we try to find something (to explore). You would be surprised how many places are just completely neglected. I feel like so many of these places would be great to give back to the community.
Cheats Movement: I feel like Richmond is one of the worst offenders of that – we have so many great opportunities to restore history here. Even the laws in Richmond, in regards to restoring abandoned properties are very tough.
Decayed Richmond: Yeah. That’s fortunate for us and what we are doing but tough for the city. There are so many places that can be turned into cool venues, artspaces, etc.