Exploring Concrete City in Luzerne County

The 4 duplexes on the northern edge of Concrete City.
The 4 duplexes on the northern edge of Concrete City.

Concrete City lies tucked away in an overgrown, wooded plot of land on the outskirts of Nanticoke, in Luzerne County.

Aerial view of the western side of Concrete City, looking towards Nanticoke.
Aerial view of the western side of Concrete City, looking towards Nanticoke.

At the time of its construction Concrete City was considered to be a “community of the future”, but it was abandoned a mere 11 years after the first residents moved in, for reasons we’ll discuss a bit later.

Concrete City as it appeared after opening in 1913.
Concrete City as it appeared after opening in 1913 (public domain image).

Brief History of Concrete City

Concrete City was built in the early 1900s as company housing for high-ranking employees of the Truesdale Colliery, a coal mine operated by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company’s Coal Division.

Concrete City during construction in the early 1900s (public domain image).
Concrete City during construction in the early 1900s (public domain image).

Constructed entirely of poured concrete, these 2-story duplexes (20 in all) were considered durable, sanitary, and fire-resistant.

Each half of the duplex had a living room, dining room, and kitchen on the first floor, 4 bedrooms on the upper floor, and a cellar and pantry area as well.

Kitchen of a home in Concrete City (public domain image).
Kitchen of a home in Concrete City (public domain image).

The construction materials were hauled in by train, and a portable concrete mixing plant, also mounted on a train car and running on tracks laid around the rectangular community (see image below), would then pour the concrete into molds.

Public domain image showing Concrete City being constructed.
Public domain image showing Concrete City being constructed (public domain image).

Concrete City included outdoor amenities such as a pool for the children of the mine employees fortunate enough to live there.

The swimming pool in Concrete City.
The swimming pool in Concrete City (public domain image).

The homes were well maintained, and the company sponsored annual garden contests to promote the community’s beautification. 

A woman tending a garden in Concrete City.
A woman tending a garden in Concrete City (public domain image).

Concrete City was not without problems, however.

Despite adding coal cinders, lime, and even crude oil to the cement mixture, the walls and floors of the homes were constantly damp.

Children on the playground at Concrete City in the early 1900s (public domain photo).
Children on the playground at Concrete City in the early 1900s (public domain image).

An even bigger issue was the lack of a septic system – the homes had no indoor toilets and instead had a concrete outhouse behind each building.

When the local township demanded in 1924 that a septic system be installed, the $200,000 price tag was deemed cost prohibitive and Concrete City was abandoned.

Fast forward nearly 100 years, and Concrete City sits as a silent, slowly decaying memorial to early 1900s “model industrial housing”.

Aerial view of one of the 20 duplexes constructed in Concrete City in Luzerne County.
Aerial view of one of the 20 duplexes constructed in Concrete City in Luzerne County.

How to Find Concrete City

Today, Concrete City sits on a 60 acre parcel of land owned by the Nanticoke General Municipal Authority.


This property is not maintained or monitored for safety conditions, and therefore this is strictly a VISIT AT YOUR OWN RISK DESTINATION!

By voluntarily exploring this location, YOU assume the risk of any personal injury or damage to personal property, and shall not hold the author liable for any injuries, loss, or damages that may occur while visiting this location.


The northwest corner of Concrete City, looking towards Nanticoke.
The northwest corner of Concrete City, looking towards Nanticoke.

Concrete City is most easily accessed via a dirt road that turns off of Front Street, on the eastern edge of Nanticoke, at GPS coordinates 41.18694, -75.97400.

A map showing how to find Concrete City in Luzerne County Pennsylvania.
A map to Concrete City in Luzerne County Pennsylvania.

And while the dirt road may be be drivable in a high clearance vehicle, the sheer volume of broken glass and pieces of metal lying around make parking at the pull-off along Front Street, next to the dirt road, a safer bet.

Parking area along Front Street near Concrete City.
Parking area along Front Street near Concrete City.

From the parking area, the dirt road goes uphill for maybe 50 yards, and then levels out.

Dirt road leading from Front Street to Concrete City.
Dirt road leading from Front Street to Concrete City.

Follow the level portion of the dirt road another 250 yards, and then Concrete City will be visible through the trees on your left.

Trail leading into Concrete City near the southern end of the complex.
Trail leading into Concrete City near the southern end of the complex.

Exploring Concrete City

Concrete City is laid out in a rectangular fashion, 4 houses on each end, and 6 houses on each side.

4 of the 20 duplexes in Concrete City in Luzerne County.
4 of the 20 duplexes in Concrete City in Luzerne County.

All 20 houses are identical, and all are heavily graffitied.

Graffiti reflected off a pool of water in Concrete City.
Graffiti reflected off a pool of water in Concrete City.

The roads through Concrete City are deeply rutted, muddy, and appear to be used quite frequently by off-roading enthusiasts, judging from the sheer number of truck and ATV tracks in the mud.

The muddy remains of Concrete City near Nanticoke.
The muddy remains of Concrete City near Nanticoke.

Despite the fact that the buildings are 100 years old, the concrete walls are remarkably intact.

Back side of the homes on the eastern edge of Concrete City.
Back side of the homes on the eastern edge of Concrete City.

But there are the occasional holes in the walls, whether created by time, vandalism, or both, where you can see into adjacent buildings.

Hole in the wall of a home in Concrete City.
Hole in the wall of a home in Concrete City.

A first floor family room then.

Stairs leading to the second floor bedrooms in a Concrete City duplex (public domain image).
Stairs leading to the second floor bedrooms in a Concrete City duplex (public domain image).

A first floor family room now.

Living room of a duplex in Concrete City.
Living room of a duplex in Concrete City.

Two of the four upstairs bedrooms.

Two of the four upstairs bedrooms in a duplex in Concrete City.
Two of the four upstairs bedrooms in a duplex in Concrete City.

The basement of a duplex.

The basement of a home in Concrete City.
The basement of a home in Concrete City.

A once-beautiful courtyard.

Deep mud holes along the road through Concrete City.
Deep mud holes along the road through Concrete City.

A burned-out truck resting in what was once a courtyard garden in Concrete City.

A burned-out truck resting on a road in Concrete City.
A burned-out truck in Concrete City.

Final Thoughts on Concrete City

Whether you explore a handful of buildings, or all 20, Concrete City, the “Garden Village of the Anthracite Region”, is a fascinating historical site.

Looking towards the southern end of Concrete City in Luzerne County.
Looking towards the southern end of Concrete City in Luzerne County.

It reminds me, in many respects, of the tunnels along the Abandoned PA Turnpike in Bedford and Fulton counties.

Rays Hill Tunnel along the Abandoned PA Turnpike.
Rays Hill Tunnel along the Abandoned PA Turnpike.

The tunnels, not unlike Concrete City, were heralded as marvels of modern construction at their inception.

But like Concrete City, they rather quickly fell out of use due to unforeseen problems (the tunnels created unanticipated bottlenecks that ultimately led to them being bypassed and abandoned).

Water pooling inside the Sideling Hill Tunnel.
Water pooling inside the Sideling Hill Tunnel.

Despite occasional reports of efforts being made to preserve Concrete City for its historic merits, you’d be hard pressed to find any evidence of that when visiting today.

Houses along the eastern side of Concrete City.
Houses along the eastern side of Concrete City.

And due to the deteriorating condition of the buildings, it’s certainly possible that at some point the property will simply become off-limits for liability reasons.

Partially-collapsed roof on a house in Concrete City.
Partially-collapsed roof on a house in Concrete City.

Leaving only the memories of Concrete City, as the buildings themselves are swallowed up by the Earth.


As mentioned previously, the Abandoned PA Turnpike is quite possibly the largest “abandoned” site in Pennsylvania.

Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike Rail Trail at Rays Hill Tunnel.
Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike Rail Trail at Rays Hill Tunnel.

This 13 mile stretch of the PA Turnpike was bypassed and abandoned in 1968 due to traffic bottlenecks caused by two 2-lane tunnels along its length.

Bicycling the Sideling Hill Tunnel in September 2020.
Bicycling the Sideling Hill Tunnel in September 2020.

Now a non-maintained bike trail, the Abandoned PA Turnpike is one of the most interesting “highways” in Pennsylvania!


The Abandoned Alvira Munitions Bunkers are another eerie sight, these being located in rural Union County.

Doorway to Alvira bunker number 2.
Doorway to Alvira bunker number 2.

149 concrete domes were used to store explosives from a nearby munitions factory for the US military during WWII.

Inside one of the abandoned Alvira bunkers.
Inside one of the 149 concrete dome-shaped bunkers at Alvira.

In 1964 the land where the bunkers are located became State Game Lands 252, making this one of the most unique State Game Lands in all of Pennsylvania.


The Abandoned Nuclear Jet Engine Bunkers in the Quehanna Wild Area were built during the Cold War as part of a secretive plan to design and test nuclear powered jet engines, in hopes of giving United States long-range bombers an edge against the Soviets during this tense period of time between the 2 superpowers.

Abandoned nuclear jet engine testing bunker entrance.
One of the abandoned nuclear jet engine testing bunkers in the Quehanna Wild Area.

Today these bunkers sit empty in a remote corner of Cameron County.

Observation windows in the nuclear jet engine testing bunkers.
Observation windows in the nuclear jet engine testing bunkers.

Privately-owned rather than abandoned, the Windber Trolley Graveyard nevertheless gives off a profound post-apocalyptic vibe!

Scenes like this are why finding the Windber Trolley Graveyard are on the bucket list of so many urban explorers.
Scenes like this are why the Windber Trolley Graveyard is such a unique vehicle collection.

This privately-owned collection of vehicles is open to visitors on an invitation-only basis, making the Windber Trolley Graveyard one of the most mysterious and unique vehicle collections in Pennsylvania!

Touring the streetcars at the WIndber Trolley Graveyard is trip back through time.
Touring the streetcars at the Windber Trolley Graveyard.

17 Abandoned Places in PA You Can Legally Explore will give you even more options to satisfy your appetite for all things old and abandoned!

Holes in the floor and ceiling at the Bayless Paper Mill ruins in Potter County.
Holes in the floor and ceiling at the Bayless Paper Mill ruins in Potter County.

Did you enjoy this article?

If so, be sure to like and follow PA Bucket List on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest to stay up-to-date on my latest write-ups.

Click on any of the icons below to get connected to PA Bucket List on social media!


Pennsylvania’s Best Travel Blog!

Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

2 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here