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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Industry - Part I

Abandoned Rooftops
Derelict industrial buildings in Cincinnati, Ohio.

On occasion, the buildings explored and documented on this site are important for the larger concept they are examples of. For that reason, the location and identity of the buildings pictured here isn't necessary to disclose. Examples can be found in rust belt towns and urban areas around the country.

This particular exploration led to a series of abandoned and semi abandoned buildings in one of Cincinnati's most industrial neighborhoods. Fellow explorers/photographers Gordon Bombay and Seicer came along for a late night trip, shortly after photographing the abandoned Hudepohl Brewery (the subject of an upcoming post). We stumbled upon these buildings by accident, after deeming our original plan too difficult to try - thanks in part to some loud dogs. What we found was just as exciting, allowed for some great photos, and contributed to my ongoing study into the architectural aspects of abandonment.

Research Division
The original target of the late night exploration, the first visit had been cut extremely short, and this was the only image taken of the elusive building before Gordon Bombay and I exited the area rather hastily.

Abandoned Rooftops
Some buildings are used for junk storage, while others sit empty and fall apart, slowly.

These images depict an infrastructure that's purpose has been lost, and will likely never be revived. A number of economic, social, cultural, and environmental reasons have played into this situation. Whatever the cause, urban and architectural problems have arisen as an effect. While not exclusive to, these problems are most prevalent in the Midwestern United States.

Cincinnati has fared better than other cities (Detroit, Buffalo, and Youngstown for example) in maintaining some semblance of usage for antiquated industrial buildings. Most often they can be found to house junk storage or serve only a paper purpose for an out of state LLC. Needless to say, the inherent value of these structures is much greater, and suitable for more intensive programs.

Abandoned factory/lab office area
This abandoned office area was adjacent to an open lab/manufacturing floor in one of the abandoned buildings.

Each building must, eventually, be approached from a localized standpoint, but there are a few major elements that can be outlined in general:

  1. Vacant industrial ruins consist of large, open floor spaces.
  2. These buildings, even in decay, often have stable, strong structure.
  3. Buildings are located near numerous transportation options (road, rail, and/or waterways).

Abandoned industrial buildings

Abandoned industrial buildings
Abandoned industrial buildings and the adjacent rail lines.

The buildings pictured in this post are examples of this.  Within the direct vicinity of a major interstate and rail line, they are structurally stable and in relatively decent condition.  They are capable of supporting any number of potential uses, the limits of which are defined by the greater context: the current struggling economic situation that has crushed demand around the country.

For the complete photo gallery of the buildings in this post, click here.

(This post is part one of what will become an intermittent series on industrial ruin and the related design strategies/implications)

1 comment:

Ronny Salerno said...

Nicely done Zach. Your photos from that night turned out a lot better than mine!


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