Descent into Rust
Of the three Watchung Mountains in Northern New Jersey, there was just something quite spectacular about Second Watchung Mountain. This elevated spit of land simply became a place for the unwanted; the penitentiary built in 1872, an asylum for the insane established in 1896, and a tubercular sanatorium erected on the peak in 1907. We could almost feel the oppressive history in the earth as we scrambled over an ancient stone wall that once surrounded the prison.
When we visited, the place was in limbo, somewhere between demolition and illegal scrapping; hills of rubble dotted the bleak landscape while inmate paperwork tumbled over the cracked pavement and collected in the corners of the buildings. We found our way into the crumbling concrete fortress, and entered a world of rusted steel bars that receded into darkness.