Athens has its Acropolis. Rome has its Coliseum. And Akron has its Rubber Bowl. Ancient (and not so ancient) ruins pointing to earlier civilizations: haunted, yet imbued with beauty and intrigue, as well. Cor and I finally got to visit the Rubber Bowl Ruins today. And I’m really glad we did.
This site is only a twenty-minute drive from our house. And it was surprisingly recently in use as a venue for University of Akron (Division 1) sports: only decommissioned in 2008. But when you step into the Rubber Bowl, it feels like it’s been a hundred years since another human being set foot on that ground.
Dirt and AstroTurf are piled up in weird formations. Shrubs and trees are growing up in unusual places. The whole place has a veneer of gravel and dust.
I honestly expected that we would have to do a little bit of trespassing to access the site. But the place was not secured at all. There were no signs dissuading visitors. And, honestly, it seems like it wouldn’t be that big of a challenge to even drive one’s car right onto the surface of the old field.
It’s definitely a cool place for taking pictures. But I actually think the experience was even better than the photographs — if you’re into dystopian, post-industrial landscapes (as I am).
The place is probably worth a visit for the graffiti alone.
The sheer volume , or quantity, of the graffiti is impressive. But I’d say that the quality of the graffiti is pretty impressive, too.
Let me know if you’re ever interested in going to the Rubber Bowl ruins yourself, and maybe I’ll join you.
It’s a pretty unique experience.