• Amelia Desertsong

    Imperial Baths is part of the Adler Hotel Complex in Sharon Springs, NY. The village is famous for its white sulphur springs and its spas, and the rotten egg smell of sulphur is still very much a feature of the valley town. In particular, Imperial Baths was abandoned in 2002, the last of the Sharon Springs spas to shutter its doors. It’s become quite the attraction for urban exploration photographers over the years.

    There’s still hope that one day the current owner of the complex will restore the complex to some sort of functionality. In fact, that was the plan, with Imperial Baths supposed to reopen in 2019. Millions of dollars were spent in renovation costs. Sadly, the Pandemic clearly put an end to those plans, so that day hasn’t yet come, and it may never at this point.

    This is one of Thomas’s favorite photos from that complex, taken around 2013. Mildew and mold abound, and like so many of these old resorts, things were left exactly where and how they were. The elements, especially in the humid sulfur-rich environment of Sharon Springs, haven’t been kind to either the porcelain tub or the wooden chair sitting by it.

    In this room’s current state, these objects certainly can’t be saved; were this room to ever be functional again, it would have to be torn down to the studs to be revitalized. Thus is the importance of photos like these, to stand as stark reminders of just what happens when human creations are left to decay for interminable periods.

    While there’s always the hope that a spa will return to these grounds, at least we will always have these reminders that sometimes the best times will never return to the places people once remembered.

Please Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Thomas Slatin

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading