These resorts used to host people’s dream vacations — but now they’re the stuff of nightmares.
In the new photo book “Abandoned Resorts of the Northeast” by Rusty Tagliareni and Christina Mathews (Arcadia Publishing, out November 9), former bustling vacation hot spots such as Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel, the Summit honeymoon resort in the Poconos, the Empire Hotel and more are shown in their current dilapidated state replete with overgrown pools, ghostly lobbies and discarded furniture.
“Sometimes places will go to auction, and they’ll sell off items, but often, there’s a lot left behind . . . seemingly mundane items like couches and tables and lamps,” said Tagliareni, who started the website AntiquityEchoes.com with Mathews in 2009. “They’re trapped in time. Items that weren’t paid attention to when they were being used. There’s a strange type of beauty to that decay.”
The duo has been documenting old sites since 2008; their previous book, “Abandoned Asylums of the Northeast,” showed similarly haunting ruins of sprawling mental-health facilities.
“When you’re documenting a resort or asylum, you’re talking about a lot of transient lives that went through those buildings,” said Tagliareni. “[Christina and I] grew up in a time after the downfall of these major resorts, so we don’t have first-hand experience with these places. But through visiting them, we’ve gained a lot of respect for them.”
Heart of Old
At the Summit couples resort in the Poconos, which opened in 1968, honeymooners basked in a heart-shaped tub, which fell into disrepair when the resort shuttered for good in 2002.
Lapse of Luxury
By 1972, Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel — set on 1,000 acres in Liberty, NY — was visited by more than 150,000 guests each year. The gigantic indoor pool, once dappled with light, is now home to overgrown vegetation that’s thriving perhaps due to the terrarium-like windowed setting.
The 10-story Nevele Grand Hotel stood on a wooded perch in Wawarsing, NY, deep in the Catskills. The sprawling Stardust Room, where guests gathered for live music and entertainment, has been ghostly empty since the resort closed in 2009.
Borscht Belt mainstay the Homowack Lodge was considered a delightful destination spot in Mamakating, NY, where visitors could eat, drink and topple pins in the basement bowling alley. Abandoned since 2009, the decaying building has been condemned, and the only sign of sightseers is the graffiti that covers the vast indoor spaces.