A Beautifully Broken Virginia

John Plashal’s book captures more than 80 abandoned buildings throughout the Commonwealth.

When John Plashal, who has made a living selling medical equipment in Richmond for 17 years, turned 40, he decided he needed a hobby. He picked up photography, and while driving down a back road in central Virginia one day, came across an abandoned school. Intrigued by the area’s aura of blight and decay, he started taking pictures. More than 1,100 buildings later he had enough material for his first book, A Beautifully Broken Virginia, which was published last year. The book’s more than 80 images show deserted houses, crumbling insane asylums and decaying churches, often with strangely beautiful furniture and fixtures that provide a window into the past. Plashal scouted locations by hanging around small towns and knocking on doors: “Virginians are extremely accommodating and want to help. Ninety-nine times out of 100, when I approached these people, I was invited into their homes,” he says. $39.95. JohnPlashalPhoto.com


Upcoming Storytelling Presentations and Book Signings

Nov. 3 — Stories of an Abandoned Virginia, Caravati’s Architectural Salvage, Richmond

Nov. 27 — A Beautifully Broken Virginia Storytelling Session, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Fredericksburg

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum