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Photos Of Abandoned Chicago Buildings May Leave You Speechless

By Justin Breen | April 17, 2017 5:19am | Updated on April 17, 2017 2:22pm
 Photos of abandoned Chicago buildings from Darris Lee Harris
Darris Lee Harris
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CHICAGO — Darris Lee Harris describes Chicago's abandoned buildings as "a natural extension of cityscapes and architecture."

The Columbia College Chicago graduate and Rogers Park resident occasionally takes a break from his full-time gig as a professional photographer to explore the city's abandoned places.

"The spaces portrayed are amazingly beautiful, in part because of the decay, and to be there and visually explore without the burden of oversight is intoxicating," Harris said.

Harris started photographing abandoned spots in 2006 when he was an artist at the now-closed ArchiTech Gallery, which featured architectural-based art. He was invited to photograph the Homan Square Sears Power House, which eventually became a school, and that led to Harris reaching out to Preservation Chicago, for which he sometimes made images.

Harris, who's lived in Chicago since 1992 — residing in Andersonville, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square and North Center — goes about once a year to Chicago abandoned spots. Those include the now-torn-down St. Laurence Church and still-abandoned Damen silos.

He won't unveil his next adventure publicly but said he would like to photograph Uptown Theater, but only with permission first.

Of his abandoned building photographs, Harris said viewers often are "left speechless."

"Often viewers are left speechless as they think about where this must be or what it is," he said.

Check out some of Harris' photos of abandoned Chicago buildings below and in the slideshow above.

Sears Power House (now Henry Ford Academy Power House High), 931 S Homan Ave. [Darris Lee Harris]

Sears Power House (now Henry Ford Academy Power House High), 931 S Homan Ave. [Darris Lee Harris]

Sears Power House (now Henry Ford Academy Power House High), 931 S Homan Ave. [Darris Lee Harris]

Sears Power House (now Henry Ford Academy Power House High), 931 S Homan Ave. [Darris Lee Harris]

St. Laurence Church (now demolished), 7148 S. Dorchester Ave. [Darris Lee Harris]

St. Laurence Church (now demolished), once stood at 7148 S. Dorchester Ave. [Darris Lee Harris]

Damen grain silo (still vacant), 2860 S Damen Ave. [Darris Lee Harris]

Damen Grain Silo (still vacant), 2860 S Damen Ave. [Darris Lee Harris]

Damen grain silo (still vacant), 2860 S Damen Ave. [Darris Lee Harris]