Post details: heers and mfa mill

07/28/05

Permalink 08:42:32 pm, Categories: Urban Exploration, 1081 words   English (US)

heers and mfa mill

The same weekend we explored the abandoned mine in Springfield, we also managed to explore the legendary Heer's building and climb the MFA mill yet again.

Sertile, Anne, Willard, DeeDee, Underdog, Hiccup and myself all met up at our usual place that afternoon. Willard and Underdog had managed to find a way into Heer's, and we were all dying to get the grand tour. We had originally intended to wait for the cover of darkness to enter the building, but we were all eager to check it out. So, we slipped inside as stealthily as we could in broad daylight.

Inside, we started out in a few sections that weren't all that spectacular. We quickly moved to the basement, which was pretty cool. It was mostly gutted, but it was enormous and there were still plenty of evidence of the department store that it had once been. When we stumbled upon a conveyor belt that went from the basement up to the ground floor, a few of us decided to walk up it while the rest took the stairs around to meet us.

The ground floor was amazing, and bright enough from the windows that we didn't need our flashlights. There were mirrored columns set throughout the room, along with a non-working escalator that went from the basement to the ground floor up to a large mezzanine that overlooked the ground floor. According to Willard, there used to be a pretty ritzy restaurant up there.

From that point on, we kept going up floor to floor. Hiccup and I went off by ourselves at some point, since we were moving a little faster than the others. We were just anxious to see the roof and the tower. However, we still made sure to explore every floor thoroughly and to get plenty of pictures in case we didn't get a chance to come back.

Eventually, we did reach the roof, or at least the lower one. This section of it was large and covered with gravel, and it was where one of the Heer's signs had sat overlooking the city, although the H had fallen off. A tower-like building also stretched up from that roof a few more stories.

Hiccup and I, still by ourselves, went on up the tower building. At the top floor, there was a giant tank with a ladder laying nearby that was apparently for climbing on top of it. I wrestled the ladder in place and went up on the tank, and there was another ladder leading down inside it, although I didn't use it.

After that, I moved the ladder up to a square hatch in the ceiling, but the ladder ended up being about six feet too short. There were some pipes mounted to the wall near it that looked sturdy enough to hold me, so I decided to try it anyway.

Somehow I managed to wiggle my way up through the hatch and flop out onto the roof, with Hiccup watching nervously below me. The view was, of course, amazing up there. But something that stood out even more was the flagpole. The rope for the flag had several pairs of underwear tied into it at the bottom. But this makeshift flag apparently hadn't been flown for sometime, as the underwear were rotting and falling apart.

After that, I climbed back down, and Hiccup and I went down to the lower roof to wait on the others. When everyone found their way to us, we wandered around there a bit before heading up the tower again. Everyone pretty much decided against trying to haul themself up through the hatch like I had, although Anne did give it a shot before deciding it was a little too insane.

But when Anne decided to try it, I went up through the hatch again to try and help her. While I was up there again, I decided, with a little urging from below, that the underwear flag needed to fly again. So, I spent a few minutes screwing with the rat's nest of rope, and I was able to get the flag raised to about half mast. Looking back, I really should've put my own underwear on there as well.

We decided to head out after that, and we made our way back down the floors. We really didn't get in any hurry about getting out of there, because we kept seeing more things to check out on the way. But as we were leaving the building for real, we looked up and saw that the underwear flag was gone. Apparently it had been so rotten that it had just broken apart and blown away.

We milled around in the parking lot for a bit, figuring out what to explore next. Sertile decided he couldn't resist seeing Land of the Dead any longer, so he bailed to go see that with his roommate. The rest of us decided to go climb the MFA mill, since Sertile and I were the only ones that had climbed it. But since it wasn't dark enough to enter the mill yet, we headed over to Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich Shop to get a bite to eat.

When it was nearer to dark, we walked on over to the mill and snuck inside. Because there were no stairs, the only way to the roof was a ladder about fifteen stories tall. DeeDee and Willard decided to hang out at the bottom while Underdog, Hiccup, Anne and I started climbing.

It turned out to take a lot longer to climb to the roof than we thought it would. We stopped at almost every floor to rest and to check out the stuff that was there since no one had seen it all but me. Plus, everyone was having fun battling the mass of spiderwebs that were all over the ladder shaft.

Eventually, we made it to the roof, and we stayed up there for probably an hour just hanging out. Willard and DeeDee were heading out at this point, and we couldn't help but try and nail them with a few loogies, which they greatly appreciated. We also took some of the best night shots of the city yet, most of which included us sitting with our legs dangling over the edge of the roof.

When everyone was ready, we made the long climb back down the ladder and headed home. It was a pretty good end to a full weekend of exploring.

Comments, Pingbacks:

Comment from: Jen [Visitor] · http://www.divablog.net
Thanks for the journey through the Heers tower. I have sentimental memories of DT 'field'. One of the best dates of my life occurred on the top of the parking garage behind Heers.

Good writing.
Permalink 07/30/05 @ 16:24
Comment from: Ron Heers [Visitor]
I'm interested to know more about this Heers building. There are other Heers buildings you may not know about.
Permalink 10/04/05 @ 01:22
Comment from: Matt [Visitor]
I went into the Heer's back in October (with permission) and took a bunch of pictures inside. It was before they started most of the demolition and remodeling. I went as far as the second level of the tower, but I could only see out of one of the window on the south side. I was wondering if you had any more pics, because I would love to see them!
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