BG

Thursday, December 12, 2019

A Recently Abandoned Power Plant

Power Plant #3 began operations in the 1950s. By the time it closed a few years ago, it was running two coal-fired units generating nearly 500-megawatts of power and employed close to 100 people. Demolition began in 2019.

I had driven past this glorious industrial monstrosity on several occasions and gazed longingly every time. It always seemed like the kind of place that would forever be out of reach and I assumed it would chug along for decades to come.

When I heard about the imminent closure of this facility, I had one singular purpose. I was a vulture circling and obsessively cataloging the final days of this dying behemoth. Big ol' round boys in overalls camped out at the guard shack in the NE corner of the lot. They took various trips to the back side of the building in their trucks to check gauges near the equipment shed. Surprise 1:30 perimeter patrol by female security guard in a white truck, circled around the narrow section in the back of the building, then disappeared towards NW corner. I returned frequently to observe the end and I was prepared to feast on this corpse as soon as all observable life ceased. There was a tall fence around the property and everything was totally exposed to a busy highway on almost all sides. I worked out where security lived and I found where the perimeter obstructions were the least inconvenient. Eventually the rotund fellows and their overalls stopped coming around. Eventually, too, the security truck stopped making rounds. Some trucks on the property occasionally seemed to be in different spots. I recorded their exact location and compared on my next visit. That truck definitely didn't move since last time. Later, 3 cameras were placed at various locations on the perimeter. But the knowledge gained from observations made in the months prior easily provided the best route to avoid them.

My blood pressure rose steadily as the time drew near. One last visit to confirm: still quiet on the eastern front. We'll head out tomorrow. Charge the batteries, pile the gear in one spot and try to get a decent night's sleep (I didn't). As I brushed my teeth I knew the face in the mirror might soon become immortalized in some unfortunate and probably expensive public records. My blood was too hot to realize just how cold it was that morning but it was below freezing. This wasn't going to be a walk in the park and I was not at all confident of a successful day of adventuring.

Game on. We head in. First order of business is straight towards the main security building. I'm pretty confident nobody's home, but if someone is here I want to meet them out in the open on my terms, not theirs. I don't want it to be a surprise for either of us. Knock knock. "Hello? I'm terribly lost. Can you help?". Nobody answers. The office is empty. No sounds. Doesn't even look like the power's on in the office. This is reassuring but it doesn't really tone down the stress levels. We quickly locate the door. Going inside we were careful not to slam any behind us. The lights were on. There was even a Christmas tree all lit up on one of the control panels. We were not inside long before I hear what I thought were footsteps. We crouched and stood silent listening. Eventually the sound of dripping water identified itself. We'd end up finding that one of the water pipes had burst way up towards the top of the boilers and it was leaking all the way down and even pooling in the basement where there was a deafening hum being generated by very large and very electrified equipment now surrounded by water. We didn't hang around near the pool of death for very long. The tension which built up over months of preparation and terrified excitement only began to wear off once we were driving quickly in the opposite direction. We had been greatly rewarded for all the effort that lead up to this expedition.

These events may or may not have ever occurred and I may or may not actually exist. These are just words and pictures on a computer therefore they could be digitally manipulated to seem real.

I decided to sit on this post until I saw this site actively being demolished/gutted on a recent visit. RIP.

Click here for the video.

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Power Plant #3 © 2019 sublunar

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Factory #8

Factory #8 was founded in 1901 and quickly became an indispensable manufacturer of railroad and train products. By the 1920's, its two largest customers merged and acquired Factory #8 in the process. At this point nearly all trains in the United States were built using products from this very manufacturing plant.

This plant was run by the same owners until the 1970's when it was sold to a local competitor and closed down not long thereafter. It was then sold to a smaller local company who demolished much of the disused manufacturing space and continues to operate out of the remaining buildings to this day.

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar

Factory #8 © 2019 sublunar