LIMERICK PA – Two Limerick area locations have been recommended by an out-of-town blogger as “pretty cool places to visit if you’re into Urban Exploration.” They certainly aren’t on a regular tourist’s list, though, and visitors risk charges of trespassing to go there.

The photograph illustrating Hack Nation's urban exploration article.

The Central Pennsylvania-oriented blog Hack Nation last week (July 28, 2010) published an article titled “8 Abandoned Places in Pennsylvania to visit” that included the Exelon Nuclear-owned properties at Fricks Lock PA and the vacant hospital buildings on the grounds at Pennhurst in Spring City PA.

Neither of the recommendations are new; plenty of websites over the years have announced the same choices. And, like the folks at Hack Nation, anyone who attempts to wander into either location is subject to being caught and arrested for, at a minimum, trespassing on private property. Both are regularly patrolled by police and security teams.

Fricks Lock is a small village along the former Schuylkill Canal that was purchased decades ago by Exelon’s corporate predecessors as part of the construction of the nearby Limerick Generating Facility. Its attraction over the years has been the notion that sellers suddenly “abandoned” their homes and left them as they were, taking only personal belongings they could carry.

Whether true or not – and there’s been substantial debate on the topic – the buildings today have fallen into significant disrepair and also have been the targets of vandals. There’s little worth seeing, according to local historians who have attended the site with Exelon’s permission.

Pennhurst is the site of the former Eastern State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic, closed by Pennsylvania in 1986. Its attraction are the design of buildings created in the early 1900s by architect Phillip H. Johnson.

Photo from Hack Nation

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