my hidden abandoned greenhouse adventure

I had the most intriguing adventure I've had in a very long time. I loved it so much that I could not fall asleep that evening because of all the different things I saw flashing through my memory. I heard about a few abandoned greenhouses in my neighborhood, Summit, NJ, and was shocked that they were so very close to where I lived for 5 years. Just the words old and greenhouse struck my fancy and I had to get there asap! My good friend Abby, who grew up across the street from the hidden greenhouses, was my tour guide and we were standing inside the massive structure a few hours after I found out about it.

a football field sized greenhouse almost completely hidden from sight:
my cute tour guide abby :) ps- a shot out to amazing abby who is leaving in 10 days to become a missionary for our church for a year and a half in Brazil !!
Massive. The main greenhouse was the size of a football field. It was rather windy out and all kinds of freaky noises and groans surrounded us. We quickly got used to the loud random bangs and odd sounds. Broken glass crunched under our every step from the original greenhouse window panes that have since fallen and litter the grounds.
I found a brick on the wall that dated 1926. After only being able to find a tiny bit of information about it, via old wooden boards we found around with the logo 'Carl Greenhouses, Summit, NJ' I believe that the greenhouses were used in growing houseplants, poinsettias, spring bulbs and other plants for distribution into New York City from 1930 through the 70's when it was abandoned.
Such a strange feeling I had while I was there. It felt like I was in the tv show LOST. Like there should have been DARMA logos around. I was waiting to hear the black smoke appear. Old 70's soda can's, 70's coffee cans and plastic plant pots were about all that has weathered the years without much change.
a large turkey vulture watched our every move. It was quite freaky, until I looked in the corner of the living quarters and saw her two huge unhatched eggs.we quickly left that area.
greenhouse after greenhouse, how expansive this place is!
I enjoyed peaking in the large decayed and musty walk-in coolers used for "wintering" bulbs and also seeing plastic drip irrigation still up in a few areas.
I picture it how it was... almost 85 years ago. Full of color, foliage, humidity and the smell of dirt. The hum of large fans and the warmth of the sun shining through the glass in the spring. This time of year there would have been potted hydrangeas, Easter lilies, arrays of potted tulips and hyacinth being shipped off to shops for Easter and Mother's Day. My these greenhouses must have smelled delightful.

I am going to go back. I have to.
It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. All this time it was right in my own stomping ground.
Some residents who live near these greenhouses are trying to take initiative to have them all torn down. What a shame that would be.

for more greenhouse love, check out my ever growing greenhouse board on pinterest


  1. These pictures are SO GOOD. Really love them. I want to go here! Bravo!

  2. This is fantastic! Really gorgeous and haunting photos.

  3. Beautiful! What an adventure.

  4. reminds me of my childhood and growing up spending time in our family greenhouse...the photos brought back tons of memories. thanks for sharing!

  5. Absolutely gorgeous! Found you through pinterest then stumbled upon you in a random search on etsy! Love your work!!

  6. oh my... I love all those photographs! I felt like a kid again and I was exploring! Isn't it amazing that they are just sitting there? It seems unbelievable...

  7. im glad you all felt something from these photos! I really wanted to share my love for the place :)

  8. was very impressed with your blog and the photographs. Its really reveals the hidden artist in you.

  9. So amazing. If I had unlimited resources, I would move there and restore them. Beautiful!

  10. How cool is that! And how cool are you! So I secretly really want to come with you if you ever go back. Can anyone go there, or do you have to go exploring on the sly? Again, cool all around.


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