Taking a drive along the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway during the late autumn season can be a truly breathtaking experience. Located on the edge of the Catskill Mountains in New York, this two-lane parkway stretches for a total of 70 miles and winds its way through some of the most stunning natural scenery in the area. The tarmac serpentines through towering granite cliffs, offering a series of picturesque views that are sure to take your breath away. Along the way, you’ll also come across a number of historical sites that serve as reminders of times gone by, adding to the sense of wanderlust that this scenic drive is sure to inspire. As if all of this wasn’t enough, the added touch of fog and stormy weather only serves to enhance the sense of adventure and mystery that surrounds this beautiful byway.
As you travel down the peaceful highway, you feel disconnected from the busyness of everyday life. However, abandoned cottages hidden among desolate pine forests serve as reminders of the area’s past vibrancy.
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Further down in the village of Sparrow Bush, there is an abandoned Alexander Motel that used to be a popular destination for tourists who needed a place to rest. However, when you approach the building, you will find that all the rooms are padlocked and empty. The Alexander Motel was put up for sale in 2013 and eventually closed its doors in 2014. As you walk through a patch of browning ferns to get to the building, it is clear that it has been abandoned for quite some time. Despite its former popularity, the Alexander Motel now stands as a forgotten reminder of the past.
The scenic journey along the byway came to a close at the highest point of Skyline Drive in the sprawling Elk-Charles Brox Memorial Park in Port Jarvis. This park was created during the Gilded Age when people were seeking more open space and is located on Point Peter and Mount William, offering breathtaking views of the upper Delaware River valley and the surrounding village.
In 1942, the company Kolmar, which specializes in producing custom cosmetics and was founded by Lessing Kole and Dr. Frederick Marsek, acquired an old lodge located within a park and transformed it into a laboratory and factory hybrid. However, in 1995, Kolmar decided to consolidate its operations onto King Street and therefore left the complex it had previously occupied within the park.
The old Kolmar plant stands abandoned and silent, a blight on the landscape of the surrounding park. It has been stripped of any useful purpose and now serves as an eyesore. There have been suggestions to repurpose the site as a recycling center, but these plans have stalled. I propose that the best course of action would be to dismantle the plant and restore the polluted land to its natural state. This would not only improve the appearance of the area, but also benefit the environment by allowing nature to reclaim the poisoned ground.