I think I know why my first trip to Ambassador was so, well, unrewarding. It has been a while since I’ve photographed a derelict apartment building, and something like that you have to approach very differently from a large industrial derelict like Grief Brothers.
Apartment buildings tend to be pretty empty and the same on every floor; you may get a coat hanger here and there, perhaps the odd couch or armchair, but nothing to make a focal point. With Ambassador you run the risk of making your focal point the great outdoors, especially when you’re shooting HDR. This obviously runs counter to the idea of photographing the building itself. This time around I thought things out a little better.
This is the Ambassador Arms Apartment building, seventh floor.
One of the most striking things about Ambassador is, of course, the large gaping holes on the exterior of the building. The fact that part of the west face and all of the south face of the building wears no facade and sheds terra cotta in even the most gentle breezes is hard to convey in an interior shot.
This time I think I managed to take the shot I had wanted the first time around. There are no walls in this apartment, only the doors remain.
I also managed to quell my fear of tiny yet mostly open staircases and climb up to the penthouse.
I even wandered out onto the rooftop to check out the little garden there. This was once the dream apartment, huge with a private rooftop garden looking out from the tallest building in the area. Now it could easily double as a set for a post-apocalyptic horror drama.