In the Cage

Inside Kenyon Hall, Emporia, Kansas – On my first walk-through of the building, I trudged through endless expances of broken glass, piles of abandoned materials rotting in hallways, profanity-laced spray paint, then find an entrance to a caged-in area resembling a detention cell more than anything else. On the north end of the room old church pews are lined up against the fenced cage wall. The only entrance to the cell is through the back of an old utility truck, which was somehow carted to the 3rd floor and mounted in the wall. This place will spook you, when you’re all alone in the building – at least you think, you hope that you’re alone. Every sound echoes through the hallways long after it should. It takes a while to know what you’re looking at. On my second trip, in morning light, I’m over the initial shock of the place, and realize it’s simply an indoor basketball court. By my third walk-through I’m beginning the appreciate the creativity behind the plays of color, the playfulness, and imagination that went into these areas. This is one of the cleanest rooms in the building, although I did move a couple boards and a chair off of the floor for this photo.

The Cage

The Cage

The Cage - West Wall

The west Wall of the Cage

The Cage - Entrance

Entrance to the Cage




  1. Claus Petersen

    I love the way you have angled the shot here “Top” The way the light fills the room really adds the ones sense of scale and depth!

  2. Casandra

    The cage was a lot of fun. The intentional graffiti style decor, the time and energy, the things that are hidden that we notice (because we put them there). The room behind it, the one with the old pews in it was eventually going to be the “arcade” – a room with video games in it.
    That truck was a pain to get up the stairs, but it was one of our favorite things! Sometimes we'd just chill out in the truck and watch people play basketball, or hall hockey. =)

  3. Patrick Evenson

    It was an old Dolly Madison truck we had donated to the youth group. We brought it up in 2 pieces and welded it back together.

  4. Laura

    Ahh, the cage. I managed to get a concussion there playing a “friendly” game of indorr soccer.