Gary’s sad story is written on the payrolls of US Steel. When the mill modernized there were massive layoffs, as a result this grand gothic church’s congregation fell from 1,700 to 100. It closed in 1975.
From 1910 to 1986, Gary Bolt & Screw manufactured an incredible amount of fasteners and steadily employed about 1,000 people. Then, something went wrong–today its walls are not filled with rusty equipment or even dust. Instead, hundreds of piles of rotting donated clothes fill in the space under the old gantry cranes…
This is War City, a 10,000-acre bomb that leveled a swath of Indiana to sow the seed of a World War Two powder plant. Now it sits as, arguably, the largest abandonment in North America, with thousands of structures and miles of abandoned roads and sidewalks connecting them all. This place was so huge that I had to spend two days there, squatting overnight, just to see a fraction of its ruins.
When the gasmen left Indianapolis with defunct natural gas lines, the people went heavy industrial. They built a coke plant, one that outlasted the rest, and one with an interesting life.
In 1940, 250 families in rural Indiana were told by the U.S. War Department to move out–something was coming. KOP was one of the largest ammunition factories through World War II, and a few buildings still stand today.
I couldn’t have guessed, standing in stall one of two, that Singer Sewing Machines had built this semi-rural roundhouse on the edge of South Bend.
Builder of drill presses for Studebaker, South Bend Lathe, Oliver Plow and even Notre Dame. This century-old foundry and factory was recently demolished, without so much as a blip on the internet. I’m here to fix that.
Construction of this plant, which would become the largest of its kind in the world, began in 1903. It processed byproducts of US Steel’s blast furnaces into Portland cement for nearly a century. Donald Trump and a partner bought half of the complex and demolished it for a hotel in 1995 and the city bought the other half in 1999. What wasn’t demolished is still abandoned.
When their husbands clocked-in at Studebaker across the street, the women of Wilson Brothers lined up behind sewing machines to earn a paycheck themselves.