Saturday, September 12, 2020

August 29, 2020 The Decay Devil's Historic Preservation Bike Tour of Gary

The Decay Devils, like everyone else, have had to cancel all our events for this year. So we were very happy that over 30 people showed up for our Preservation Bike Tour on August 29th. We started out in the parking lot of the Hudson-Campbell Sports Center. Tyrell is leading the tour and is pictured above explaining the route we plan to ride. My job is to be the trailer of the group so we don't lose anyone. 

We rode east on 5th Avenue. This is the entrance to the Steel Yard where the RailCats play baseball when there isn't a pandemic. 

This is ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen. I believe that artists (musical, culinary, paint, photography, spoken word or written word) are the ones that begin to turn neighborhoods around. ArtHouse is a great example of that idea.

On our ride, we passed this long-closed Amoco gas station. It wasn't part of our tour. I took the picture because I've been repairing gas pumps for the past 35 years. I was also impressed that it was in a neighborhood and not on a main street. You rarely see that nowadays.

We rode south on Rhode Island to E.A. Spaulding Elementary School.

We stopped here for photo opportunities while Tyrell talked about the history of the school.

The next stop was Emerson High School. This building was abandoned in 2008.

This was a groundbreaking school when it opened in 1909. It had a gymnasium, a pool, an auditorium, and a zoo.

Faith Farms is across the street from the Emerson High School building. It is run by the Progressive Community Church which is located next to the farm.

Locally grown produce is available at this location.

I believe you can also pick up fresh eggs here.

The abandoned Gary Post Office.

The Memorial Auditorium, a former National Historic site was being torn down as we rode past it.

Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson played here.

The impressive Parry-Shaw building on Washington Street was our next stop.
There is so much architectural detail on the exterior of this building. 

The Gary Poetry Project boards from several years ago are still up on this building.

New artwork is also being done on this building.

The Gary Water Tower was torn down earlier this year at this location. According to reports, they spent the same amount of money to tear it down as it would have cost to restore it.

The beautiful Cathedral of the Holy Angels is still in use...

...and looking good on a perfect weather day for a bike ride.

Our bike tour continued west on 7th Avenue.

Someone on the tour had an issue with their bike here. So we left the tour here and walked back to the Hudson - Campbell parking lot.
Then we drove here to rejoin the bike tour.

These abandoned row houses have murals on both ends of the block.

This set of row houses on Monroe Street between 4th and 5th Ave have two of my favorite murals on each end.

Our next to last stop is probably Gary's most well-known building, City Methodist Church. 

This is the building where I began my UrbEx adventures.

The same picture in B&W, couldn't decide which one I liked better.

The last stop was at Union Station. Where we toured the grounds and talked about the Decay Devils' plans and ideas for our future.

On behalf of the Decay Devils, I would like to thank everyone who joined our Gary Preservation Bike tour today. We appreciate all the support we receive from the community. We hope to see everyone at the next ride on Sept 26th.

Photo by Tyrell Anderson

We have another bike ride on September 26, 2020, in the Miller Beach section of Gary. There is no cost to join the ride but please RSVP on the link below so we know how many people to expect.

Join us on Sept 26, 2020, from 9am-11am for our Ride to Preservation Nature & Murals Ride. Come learn about our landmarks, art, and future. Please RSVP at