Urban Exploration as defined by Wikipedia
Urban exploration (often shortened as urbex or UE) is the examination of the normally unseen or off-limits parts of urban areas or industrial facilities. Urban exploration is also commonly referred to as "creeping" or infiltration, although some people consider infiltration to be more closely associated with the exploration of active or inhabited sites. In the USA, it may also be referred to as "draining" (when exploring drains) "urban spelunking", and "urban caving", "vadding", "trolling", "building hacking", "reality hacking" or "roof and tunnel hacking".
For us it all started in 2004. As a group of kids who loved spending time together, taking pictures, climbing onto rooftops, and crawling through drain tunnels; urban exploration was the only logical next step. We don't all explore consistently but every member of our team has worked hard to find locations, get new photos, research history, or manage this site.
People ask us all the time if they can join our group, and we have to decline. We're not that kind of group. For the most part we have all been friends for the past ten years or so. We're a strange mix but one thing is for certain, we love what we do.
To us urban exploration is about three things; history, photography, and exploring your surroundings. These locations exist in our everyday lives wether we choose to notice them or not. Driving to work, most people don't ever think about that abandoned factory they pass, or the tunnels under the road. But these forgotten or ignored places are a part of who we are. It's basic human nature to explore your surroundings. It is a primal need that we all share. Back in time explorers were treated like celebrities. Exploring the uncharted oceans, dense forests, caves, ect. Well when you grow up in the city where there aren't any forests or caves, you do the next best thing, the forgotten buildings become your forests, the drain tunnels your caves, and the stretches of city streets your oceans.
This site is about sharing what we love with others. We don't want to see scrappers, or vandals destroying the locations on our site, and some elitist explorers would have you believe that a site like this only helps those types of people find these locations. However in our opinion, those types will find these places just like we did, regardless if its on the internet or not. We only ask that if you want to check out one of these locations for yourself, have fun, but be careful and most importantly, be respectful.
-Great Lakes Urban-Ex