After batting a thousand the weekend before, we decided to go check out a spot I’ve driven past for years and never bothered to check out. The attraction was a stately old factory left to rot at the intersection of two state highways that ran through town. This old mill had once been part of the thriving jewellery industry that helped build the town. The business closed sometime during the 90s, and the factory was shuttered soon afterwards. The site eventually saw a bit of life again after being updated, subdivided, and converted for reuse as shopping and studio units. Apparently the site was host to a Hapkido dojo, a ballet studio, and someone who painted those awful, weird, creepy oil portraits from those equally abysmal photographs of your kids from Sears. Fortunately for everyone, that place went out of business.
The location itself was a mixed bag of “seen-it” and totally weird, unique stuff. More than anything, I was struck by just how mangled the place was. Before long, it felt like there was nothing left to photograph on the inside (other than the typical long hallways and macros of peeling paint) and I kept having that urge to climb out onto the roof and take pictures of the building itself. But the ground floor was hard cement, and the gravel roof was more holes than roof.
But there were definitely some interesting things to shoot here. First, the place was host to a diesel-looking old elevator. That was neat, I guess. One room had full-wall mirror, and the stairwell looked pretty majestic, like something out of an old 1950s movie. Just, covered in pigeon shit, ya know? There was also one of those circular trough sinks that 8-year-olds sometimes mistake for weird urinals and pee in. (I’m sorry, ok? I had never seen one before.)
We did our bit there for a few hours and then hit the road as the sun went down. I definitely feel like this old factory lacked the charm of a place like, Tourtellot’s, and it definitely wasn’t über-photogenic. One visit was enough for now, maybe a second one if I’m ever in the area again. Who knows, maybe if I lived closer this place would be on that my list of “Casual Spots To Hang out and Relax Because Fuck The Mall.”
Seriously, fuck the mall.