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Watch vintage vacation spots decay before your eyes in these stunning postcard photos

One photographer captures the abandoned resorts of yesteryear.

Photograph: PABLO IGLESIAS MAURER / DCIST; postcard: Bill Bard Associates

Hawaii, Miami Beach, Niagara Falls, Las Vegas, Disneyland… and Northeastern Pennsylvania. These were the hottest American vacation spots of the 20th century. When families loaded up their wood-paneled station wagons or when newlyweds picked a Honeymoon locale, these were the most dreamed about destinations. For the most part, they still are. Except for Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The Pocono Mountains once housed the hippest and most chic resorts on the Eastern seaboard. Residents of New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia and New England flocked to the Poconos for the buffets, bowling and the swimming pools. In the winter, these mod midcentury chalets hosted comics and lounge singers. 

Establishments like the Mount Airy Lodge, the Paradise Valley Lodge, the Strickland's Mountain Inn, the Homowack Lodge — their once colorful suites and capacious dining halls now sit abandoned.

Inspired by a 1960s matchbook from the Penn Hills Lodge and Cottages, Pablo Iglesias Maurer set out to chronicle the current state of these former pleasure palaces. The photographer studied vintage postcards, took his camera, and shot current pictures of the same exact scenes today. Through the magic of GIFs, you can watch history fade away into decay.

Maurer shared his story and his impressive work on DCist.com. The results are stunning. 

Take a look at the matchbook that started it all.


Here, you can watch an indoor tennis center rot into layers of filth and graffiti.

Image: Pablo Iglesias Maurer


There are many more to see on his DCist post, "Abandoned States: Places In Idyllic 1960s Postcards Have Transformed Into Scenes Of Abandonment." Maurer did an incredible job of matching up his snapshots with the originals. They're as breathtaking as they are sad.

Did you ever vacation in the Poconos?

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