Old Fort Bliss Barracks

Heading up Fred Wilson Boulevard, there’s an entrance into Fort Bliss for William Beaumont Army Medical Center.  What’s interesting is a large collection of largely unused old barracks and a lone empty chapel, baking in the west Texas sun.

The first 3 easily accessible buildings are right across from a parking lot, making it easy to check out.  Given that this is an active part of base, I heeded all trespass warnings and didn’t check to see if any of the buildings were open.  Plus who knows why these aren’t in use, there’s probably all sorts of contaminants like lead or asbestos inside.  At the very least there were large piles of nasty pigeon poop all over the place, so I stuck to the dirt.

The 3 barrack buildings were all the same construction in various states of disrepair.  It’s too bad they can’t be used for some more interesting purpose.  Donald Judd’s Chinati comes to mind. Down the way was a small boarded up chapel.

Upon closer inspection, the front door that was boarded up had been kicked in, exposing the interior:

Looking in, you could tell it was completely empty so I didn’t venture any farther than my lens would go.  A curious feature was the bridge to the entrance which I guess in the past would have had water.   There were probably lots of past marriages here with lots of photo opportunities.

I didn’t want to get stopped and asked  a bunch of questions, so it was time to bug out.  After grabbing a few more shots, I headed out.  The full set can be seen on flickr here: Old Barracks on Fort Bliss

The Old Lodge

On the way back from the White Sands EPMINIS rally, I stopped to take a few pics of some old buildings in Old Organ on the outskirts of Las Cruces, along Highway 70:

The first set of buildings look to be part of some old motor lodge.  It had an attached restaurant that invited visitors with its selection of Sandwiches, Lunches, Beer and Dinners.

The old sign is still visible from the highway though I had a hard time making out what it said:

It most likely was Organ Mountain Lodge, with the O and R having fallen off long ago.  It was pretty overgrown and thick with weeds, locusts and large grasshoppers.

Every building has been broken into and has been subject to the elements for quite some time.  After walking around the property I headed over to a old gas station across the street.  It had pretty much the same story going on as the lodge, boarded up long ago and currently being used as storage.

 We were pretty burnt from the full day at whitesands so we hit the road.

More pics are here: Old Organ

Abandoned Farmhouses 3

Empty Farmhouse and Packing Plant

I think I have saved the best for last.  This was the last stop on a quick tour of three, easily accessible, derelict farmhouses in and around the Upper Valley in El Paso.  This last property is not far from the Gato Road House.  It’s along Highway 28, on the way to La Union New Mexico.

View Empty House and Packing Plant in a larger map

I hesitate to call this property abandoned.  There is a house on the plot that while it’s empty at the moment, has been maintained and even has a security system visible from the front porch window.  All of its doors and windows are intact with no signs of vandalism or forced entry.

White House
White House

To the left of the house is a storage shed. It contains a lot of old supplies and stuff you would expect to see on a farm. There was a pile of old Glidden paint cans and a cool old oil lantern that was missing its glass.

Lights out
Lights out

The next building on the property is the largest.  It looks like it was some sort warehouse or packing facility. Old refrigerators, stacks of flat cardboard boxes and other assorted junk are scattered all around.  The roof looks to have been removed save for a few pieces of corrugated metal left in a few spots.


This building could have started life as some sort of feeding place for livestock.  On each side of the building a concrete trough ran the length of the building.  There was one neat find in here, some old hubcaps.


Outside on a large concrete slab a old tracker trailer sits.  It won’t be going anywhere fast, all of the tires are rotted to the hub.

Not Truckin'
Not Truckin’

The last building on the property is the oldest.  Its an adobe structure that has lost it roof and all the wall plaster.  Slowly its returning back to the earth.

long gone
Long gone

This collection of buildings was the most interesting and really shows the range of how long it had been in use. It could have easily spanned two or three generations and been an important player in the areas farming past.  I took a bunch of pictures that I could not include in this post so if you want to browse the full set on Flickr click below:

Abandoned in the Upper Valley

The previous two abandoned properties I vistited are here:
Abandoned Farmhouses (pt. 2)
Abandoned Farmhouses (pt. 1)

Abandoned Farmhouses 2

The Gato House

After moving on from the shell of a house, I traveled down Westside drive turning left on Gato road to the next structure.  This one is a bit more traditional, It even looks like somebody at some point was trying to revive it but for some reason their plans had been cut short.

View House on Gato in a larger map

The adobe construction looks to have stood the test of time and it may have been a comfortable home in its heyday.  Its a single story dwelling with a storage shed in the back.

Gato House
The Gato House

Inside the house is gutted and what remains leaves little to be desired.  The original construction looks pretty rough and the fix up attempts don’t get past the basic stage.

Outside in
Outside in

I’m not real sure how salvageable the structure is.  The condition of the house may have been what derailed the reconstruction. Not much is left save for a few doors and some old cabinetry. The fireplace is a real wood-burning one complete with an old school chimney.

Brick Hearth
Brick Hearth

Out back in a gated area is a storage shed.  Whats interesting is how this area is fenced in with the house on the outside. There is a clothes line and in the shed is either a hot water heater or well storage tank.

Storage Shed
Storage Shed

Not much else is on the property so I packed it in and headed on down the road to the final abandoned property.  If you missed part 1 you can find it here:
Abandoned Farmhouses (pt. 1)


Abandoned Farmhouses 1

The forever advancing suburban sprawl has snaked its way through the upper valley, turning farmland into shiny new homes.  Most of the time when a field gets bought, it’s quickly subdivided with ease. Occasionally a relic to the areas agricultural past gets left behind.  Many of the older established farms had very big houses that were well maintained and will continue to live on well past their previous life.  Often the less successful ones wind up forgotten and left to the elements.  There are 3 good examples of this not far from where I live.  I went and and captured them because at some point their land will be bought and they will most likely get razed.

Topless in the Valley

The closest one to me is in the worst shape.  It is not far from the intersection at Borderland and Westside drive, a short drive down a dirt road gets you there.

View Topless in the Valley in a larger map

The first building on the property is the farmhouse.  It has no roof and has been exposed to nature for some time.

The Farmhouse
The Farmhouse

Given it’s close proximity to the new neighborhoods, It has it share of graffiti from local kids. The graffiti isn’t that remarkable most likely because its easy to be seen with all the windows and roof opened up.  A couple of the interior rooms have some more detailed pieces but again its just a grade above regular tagging.

Graffiti ???
ZOAG ???

The structure also houses a large assortment of shipping pallets. Most were wood, but there were a few plastic ones.  The other odd thing is there is no sign of any part of the roof in the structure or on the grounds nearby. It may have been a simple flat roof that has long been scavenged for something else.  Nearby is a small pump house, storage shed and large metal awning.

rest of the property
The rest of the property

The storage shed had been opened but nothing interesting remained.  The pump house has been left alone with no obvious attempts at forced entry.

The Pump House
The Pump House

The size of the property and collection of buildings is pretty interesting. It would appear that it did OK at some point in the past, maybe some sort of onion or cotton processing. However in its current state it won’t be returning to its farming roots anytime soon.  Next I stopped at a more traditional structure not far away. Stay tuned.