AAF Board of Directors

Michael Schwarz

President

Starting from a young age, I’ve always loved exploring. I can remember venturing off and scoping out the houses being built in the developing neighborhood right behind my house. As I got older, I found myself appreciating the work and love that went into architecture and just being excited to pass by the beautifully designed places in downtown. That’s why when I found out there were historic properties all over Oklahoma that were just sitting abandoned, I couldn’t help but wanting to do something about it. In high school, I discovered the website AbandonedOK.com and started exploring these places and taking pictures to contribute to their large online database.

Upon graduating, I moved to Arkansas to attend college and started my own version, AbandonedAR.com. It wasn’t until I came across the Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs, AR that I started to fight for the preservation of buildings. Unfortunately, we lost the Majestic and in honor of what could have been, I am committed to continuing that fight to try and save these forgotten places before it is too late. If we can’t physically save them, I hope that their history and the memories created within their walls can live forever on the internet. Find out how you can help us fight, donate and/or volunteer here: AbandonedAtlas.com/support

AAF Board of Directors

Emily Cowan

Vice President

In my lifetime I can’t remember frequently seeing abandoned buildings, let alone know their history. I think this observation is what has led me to become so passionate about educating others on our disappearing history and making sure it’s documented thoroughly. One day in high school I stumbled across a then almost defunct website that is today Abandoned Oklahoma. Immediately I was fascinated, I scrolled for hours and hours finding post after post of a seemingly endless list of abandoned places that I had never known existed. My first abandoned building was the Skedee High School, I was shocked with the amount of stuff left in the building even though it had been abandoned for over 50 years. After seeing paper and books that had past students’ names written on them I was on a mission to find out more. Why and when did it close? Could I find anyone who used to go there? Were there any plans for the school?” That jump-started the hobby for me and instead of just going to cool places it became a sort of a historical conquest.  

I was brought onto the Abandoned OK Division of Abandoned Atlas in December of 2019 with big dreams for the website. Helping redesign the website entirely and now becoming the most published author on the website with over 150+ articles written for the website. In addition to volunteering my time to Abandoned Oklahoma, I founded our third state in the Abandoned Atlas Foundation, Abandoned Kansas. Working with the Abandoned Atlas Foundation has been a dream come true and has given me many opportunities including being a two-time published author by the age of 21 with my two books Abandoned Topeka: Psychiatric Capital of the World and Abandoned Oklahoma: Vanishing History of the Sooner State.

AAF Board of Directors

David Bulit – Southeastern Regional Communications 

David Bulit is an established photographer, author, and historian from Miami, Florida. He has published a number of books on abandoned and forgotten locations throughout the United States with a focus in the SouthEastern region. He has joined forces with the Abandoned Atlas Foundation bringing two new states/websites AbandonedFL.com and AbandonedAlabama.com where he has continued to advocate for the preservation of these historic landmarks. His work has been featured throughout the world in news outlets such as the Miami New Times, the Florida Times-Union, the Tampa Bay Times, the Orlando Sentinel, NPR, Yahoo News, MSN, the Daily Mail, UK Sun, and many others.

David Linde – Treasurer

Born and raised in Tulsa, David has developed a strong appreciation for neglected buildings over the years, especially around in the Creek County area. He has been researching and photographing abandoned buildings since 2007 and was quickly recruited to the Abandoned Oklahoma Division after it was created in 2009. His first experience with an abandoned building was a movie theater off in Tulsa that has since been demolished and the property turned into a Walmart. He considered the experience to be life-changing and knew documenting these forgotten places would quickly become his favorite hobby.

At the Abandoned Atlas Foundation (AAF) our main goals are preservation and education. Through historical research articles, endangered nominations, call-to-action videos, and public outreach we pool together resources.