Photo Essay

Paradise Lost - An Abandoned Pocono Resort

No Swimmers

I recently met up with an old friend and we roamed the grounds of the long-closed resort where we'd worked together as lifeguards twenty years ago. I took the camera to record my one last look at the place since I'd heard that it might be owned by developers and slated for demolition. When I looked at the shots I'd taken, I realized I wasn't finished. The work here is small part of this photo project.

Unity House Resort was a popular family resort from the early 1900s until it closed in 1989. It was owned by the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union and operated as a retreat for its members. Families would visit for a week at a time, enjoying three meals a day in the gourmet dining room, planned activities, a day camp for the children. The pristine lake offered swimming, boating and fishing. After dark, there was dancing in the ballroom and nightly shows in the Broadway-style theatre.

The extensive staff lived on the grounds of the resort for the summer, making for a very enjoyable (and yes, "Dirty Dancin" like) working environment.

Sadly, the resort closed in 1989, and has sat empty and dormant ever since. Part of the property was converted to the Mountain Laurel Center for the Performing Arts. It sits where the majority of the staff buildings were located.

The rest of the buildings are still standing, decayed and moldy. The roofs have holes, the docks are rotted and sag into the lake and weeds grow tall through concrete walkways and stairs. The once polished ballroom floors are now warped into wooden waves.

If you look past the peeling paint, sagging foundations and broken windows, you can almost see the resort teeming with happy vacationers relaxing on chairs on a grassy lawn or the sandy beach, boating on a sparkling lake, or just enjoying their time away from the city in the woods of the beautiful Pocono mountains.

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http://jpgmag.com/stories/12024

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1 response

  • Martin E. Morris

    Martin E. Morris (Deleted) gave props (17 Jun 2009):

    Such a shame to see a once thriving resort in such decay.A very well written story with equally well presented images.Voted!!!

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