Abandoned Pennsylvania – St. Nicholas Coal Breaker

SterlingPennsylvania, Travel Photography, Urbex2 Comments

Yup, it’s part three of my recent travels (holy cow Sterling, how many parts are there?)  This journal post exclusively regards the St. Nicholas Coal Breaker in northeastern Pennsylvania.  To check out the previous legs of my journey check out:

Part 1: NVF Factory in Yorklyn, Delaware
Part 2: I Finally Went to Prison for Photography

Funny thing about this trip.  The weather was much more agreeable while I was on vacation than the times I’ve shot professionally this year.  I need more of these great days on the job!

St. Nicholas Coal Breaker (2013)

Quite a structure, it makes an impressive emergence from the roadside.

It’s a total mess once you’re inside, your feet sink a good 2-3 inches as you’re immediately wallowing in wet coal.  By the time I finished exploring, the clothes I wore were good for nothing but the trash.  The coal eventually dried and flaked off my shoes.

Massive, massive, equipment.

The first room I ventured into has turned into a bird sanctuary and they’ve kindly left their marks claiming their territory.


St. Nicholas Coal Breaker II (2013)

Not sure what these are, they reminded me of seeing stacks of mufflers in a junkyard.

What would exploration be without slain chairs?


Split (2013)

I very rarely move things around but recognize other photographers do when they go to these places. I’ll admit some of these spaces really lend themselves to theatrics.


Out of the Office II (2013)

As I hinted earlier, I’m not a huge fan of photogs going into abandoned places to only stage scenes, but everyone’s got their taste. Well before the breaker was overrun with explorers, someone captured an image of this locker room in which the benches were stock full of boots neatly placed side-by-side.  I’m sure you can Google it.  Like many industrial places, it was shut down with no notice, so the boots just sat there waiting for workers that would never return. Explorers have taken these boots, used them as props throughout the building and maybe lifted them outright. From what I understand someone tried grabbing as many they could find to return them.  The room is still somewhat haunting, but it’s just not the same.


Boots (2013)

Again, love seeing this huge equipment.  You probably had to dip yourself in a bath of bleach to clean yourself after a day’s work.

Trip ain’t over yet, stay tuned. 🙂

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2 Comments on “Abandoned Pennsylvania – St. Nicholas Coal Breaker”

  1. Sadly, the St. Nicholas Coal Breaker is no more. On March 15th 2018 they did a controlled demolition of what remained after having been chipping away at it with dozers and cranes for the last couple of years with limited success. There is a video on YouTube of the implosion. Great page. Thanks for taking the time to explore our state.

    1. Sterling

      Thanks for the update! Knew they’d been slowly dismantling it but didn’t know about the recent demo. Saw Matt Christopher of Abandoned America recently re-post his images, must’ve been because of that.

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