Monday, November 5, 2012

Milacron Ruins



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Some not so good photos and a not too interesting story that came from the exploration of an abandoned, half demolished factory.



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- Looking out at the demolition progress

Over this past weekend, Dr. Venkman and I gave a talk at The Betts House about the photographs we had on display and our adventures in urban exploration. In the 6+ years we've been photographing and exploring abandoned buildings together, we've accumulated a lot of interesting stories.

This isn't one of them.

We've taken photographs that have been considered good enough to hang on gallery walls.

These aren't.

This is a tale of procrastination, one I'm only sharing because for the past year I have been writing post it notes, email reminders or scribbling in my notebook about it. After I took these photographs, I dumped them on the hard drive and kept forgetting to write an update. In my head I figured it'd be a new update - an abandoned location never seen before on this site - a vast and huge location with an incredible history: The abandonment and demolition of Cincinnati Milacron.

Over time though, as I wrote these reminders and then kept forgetting to edit these photos, do research or write, I forgot what really happened and how much these photographs suck. So, without further ado, here's the story of Milacron.

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It was the end of the summer. I met Dr. Venkman at a downtown bar where we sat on the patio and looked at an aerial map of the facility. The place was huge, incredibly massive. If we could find a way in - surely there'd be hours of exploring and photographing ahead of us. We were excited to document a new location, something people hadn't seen before. We finished our beers and headed north, hiding our vehicle in a nearby lot. The factory was already half demolished, so finding a way in wouldn't be too hard.

Most of the windows on the side of the building were wide open, literally just a step over some brick and into the abyss. Ducking in some weeds to hied from a passing car, we laid low until we could make our move. We climbed in and made for the top floor.

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- The top floor.
When we reached the top, the only available light for photographs was from the nearby streetlights and our flashlights. There wasn't much to see, the floors had been completely cleared out.

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Eventually we found the other side of the building, a wide gaping hole into the destruction of the demolition.

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On the lower floors we found a few abandoned office cubicles. The only remains of the workers were discarded floppy disks, christmas decorations and Gold Star Chili styrofoam containers.

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The night was incredibly hot and we were sweating profusely. With nothing interesting to see, we gazed out into the wreckage where I made the only photo I found interesting that night:

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Eventually a new mixed use development called Oakley Station will emerge here, complete with a new movie theatre and all.

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