Last year my friends and I traveled into the decayed skeleton of the REA Terminal. The desire to complete our exploration of the Buffalo Central Terminal grounds would not allow any less. Since the site was, at the time, thought to be occupied by transients we formed a small group before hunting out its particular mysteries. The lower levels were a structural feast of decay and industrial concrete construction. Traces of activity such a location bears were obvious: paintball, tags, forties, random bedding, but as a whole the structure was, for such an openly accessible location, pleasantly untouched.
We climbed to the upper levels and began a room by room tour of a building slowly being reclaimed by the elements. Then we got to the main hall and were alarmed to see a significant pathway created by debris, broken doors, and the purposeful separation of areas overgrown with moss, mold and trees. Then we turned around and discovered that this carefully cultivated interior landscaping was present in all of the rooms we had already ventured through unnoticed. Mounds protecting the garden areas were erected of the debris swept off of the clean pathways and the utter deliberation of these designs was overwhelming.
My friends began to grow worried, while I was intrigued. What kind of warped creative mind bent with shadows of obsessive compulsion and love for nature could have created this place? I all but lost myself in a strange world of those rooms and even added a few design ideas of my own. I have tried, in vain to capture the overwhelming grandeur and escapism available within that building, and I find very few pictures that adequately capture the fantasy created by that place. After hearing some noises we quickly vacated the place; I was genuinely depressed to be pulled from my decaying playground.
A few return trips later and traces of the masterpiece within the masterpiece still remain. Others have added their own variations on the theme, but much of the artistry has returned to the decay it was born of. I highly recommend this place to urban explorers and industrial artists. Late summer is probably the optimal time to view the elaborate garden rooms, but much of the art is not lost to other seasons. I will continue to track the place, and perhaps the original visionary will return to subdue the building to his madness and present a rare gift to the curious.
I wouldn't recommend a solo exploration though. There is a fairly common transient element and the site is highly visible to a neighborhood that might not be friendly to explorers.