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6 Local Urban Explorers You Should Be Following On Instagram

Thumbnail image for patrick_devine_ymca_gym.jpg
Courtesy Patrick Devine
An abandoned YMCA gym somewhere in St. Louis.

There is an insatiable appetite in St. Louis to see forgotten, abandoned and hidden spaces. The greater metropolitan area is full of them (like this ballroom, or this mall, or this hospital). At its worst, these images are called "ruin porn," a voyeuristic way for people to shake their heads at urban destruction without doing anything to improve the situation. That may be fair criticism, but there's no denying that these spaces have an eerie beauty that is hard to forget.

The following locals have turned their Instagram eyes away from selfies and brunches, and focus in on these places. Not all of them can be, strictly speaking, termed "urban explorers," but they do explore urban areas and the results are by turns stunning and disturbing (especially an image we've included in the very last page -- be warned that it is graphic and may be upsetting to animal-lovers). In pursuit of this, they don't always shoot in St. Louis, but they're must-follows for anyone who wants to see a different side of American cities.

See also: Post-Apocalyptic Portraits of Abandoned YMCA Taken by St. Louis Pastry Chef (PHOTOS)

6. @jtbwphoto a.k.a. Jason Tuggle Photography

From his online bio: "Jason is an amateur fine art photographer from St. Louis, MO with a passion for creating black and white images of urban decay, architecture, agriculture, and landscapes. Each image is available for purchase." Visit his website here.


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22 comments
Melissa Schramm
Melissa Schramm

Rhonda Whelan that's the cool thing about instagram, its supposed to be shots from your phone

Rhonda Whelan
Rhonda Whelan

Cool places but I'm not that impressed with the photographs they shot. I could shoot those with my I-Phone.

Scotty Loyd
Scotty Loyd

this is sadly what is left of some lives.... God bless St Louis and America. We need to return to our faith in the Lord Almighty...

Lisa Pinz Catlin
Lisa Pinz Catlin

Great stuff! I really expected _comewalkwithme_ to be on the list. Go check out her work

Jon Jon
Jon Jon

and his photo of the mummified dog was taken in Mississippi, not St Louis

Jon Jon
Jon Jon

oh lol minner IS on there

Jon Jon
Jon Jon

congrats to those listed for this awesome feature, especially Melissa Schramm and Patrick Devine

Jon Jon
Jon Jon

Instagram.com/hedda_sfx Instagram.com/cityandcolourless Instagram.com/minnerphotography

Jon Jon
Jon Jon

Instagram.com/JONOFTHEDEAD for more - thx Justin

Frank May
Frank May

That first picture looks like to old YMCA on North Grand?

kamots08
kamots08

@brontchie I'm sure there were quite a few missed. I would love to have more St. Louisans to follow on Instagram.

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