A school has become a giant time capsule more than half a century after it was left abandoned. Silver Creek School in Silver Creek, Upstate New York, was left derelict at some point in the late 1970s but remains standing today, complete with textbooks from the 1950s. An urban explorer who described the building as “way too good to rush through” has captured the school’s decaying interior in a series of striking photographs.
Content creator Freaktography, who goes by the name Dave in real life, said he found the school in New York’s Chautauqua County during a road trip with his friend.
The 48-year-old said the two planned to explore the building quickly, as they had “lots of places to see” en route.
But, he said, as they arrived at the location, they found there would be “no rushing either one of us” as the find was “way too good”.
Photos taken by Dave show the building’s outer shell remains intact, with parts of the interior also preserved.
One snap shows stairs and floors strewn with dust and grime, piled high in some places.
Another photo captures a dimly lit hallway with peeling walls and a hollowed-out ceiling.
An old bike sits propped up in the foreground, with broken chairs and what seems to be a table scattered behind.
Many of the items photographed by the explorers showed the school’s age, with the building having stood for 200 years.
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Silver Creek School was first constructed as a one-room educational facility in 1823 and expanded over the nearly 150 years it was operational.
Dave said he couldn’t “provide an exact date” for when the building finally shut its doors but estimated it closed in the 1970s.
But it may have been shuttered several years earlier, one of the explorer’s photos revealed.
One picture shows old textbooks sitting on a desk in a disused classroom, caked in dust.
The books were editions of “More Than Words” by Harris and Clark, first published in 1965.
The school’s centuries of history proved tantalising to Dave and his companion, who spent some time combing through the location.
The content creator, who has more than 80,000 YouTube subscribers and 31,000 TikTok followers, said he took his time during the “great exploration”.
He added that he wanted to “take in every room, hallway and floor”, as he was fascinated by the advanced decay and ruins.
He said: “It seems that this is the kind of place where several generations of the same families attended the school, often having the same teachers through decades and generations.”
Silver Creek has tried to renovate the building in the years since its abandonment, with one development project launched by Region Nine Housing Corporation in 2022.
The corporation was granted $1 million (£809,000) in funds from the Restore New York Communities Initiative but walked away from the project in early 2022.
Mark Comroe, Region Nine’s Director of Development, said “dramatically increased renovation costs” prevented the company from converting the historic building into affordable homes for seniors.
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