Oh how I love massive industrial ruins. I visited one recently that turned out to be quite spectacular. Unfortunately, I am unable to find very much information about its history. My dad actually tipped me off to this place. He told me that one summer growing up, a he and a buddy worked at a factory where they manufactured soap. That was all I needed, and I set off to see how much of this place was still there. Much to my delight, the buildings themselves are all still there, however most of the equipment has been removed. As you can see, this place is a gigantic monument of cement and steel, ascending anywhere from eight to ten stories in some areas.
The interior of the buildings are large, cavernous open areas that once acted as warehouses or space for large industrial soap machines. While pretty much empty, I could not help but be amazed by how far these rooms seemed to stretch. My dad had remarked to me how, during one of his workdays there, could easily disappear for hours at a time and find a nice spot for a nap. It is easy to see how this would be possible.
In most places, the buildings are in pretty good shape structurally. However, if one weren't paying attention, he might find himself falling through a hole in the floor where large pipes once carried soap in different stages of the process between floors. Some of these holes go down several stories. At one point, I was near the top of the main building on a catwalk that used to run next to where one of the large towers used to be. I hardly ever get afraid of how high up I am, but standing on a catwalk where you can see the ground nine stories below you is enough to make anyone a little uneasy. There are a few areas near the top of the building that have been damaged extensively, mainly the parts that used to house the large towers that are part of the soap making process. I find it hard to believe that the elements could have damaged the building that much, so I assume that this damage occured when the towers were being removed.
The soap plant is located in an area of the city that is mostly residentail, so it is strange to see such a large complex jutting out above all the nearby homes, cemetary, and park. The roof of the plant offers some amazing views of the entire metro area. I could easily pick out landmarks from all the different areas of St. Louis, and used this as an oppertunity to utillize the camera's super cool panoramic function (sorry, but this site doesn't support 360 degree panoramics).
I believe the plant has been closed down for about ten years. Interestingly enough, it still smells like soap, which is a nice change after visiting numerous buildings that smell like mildew and ass.
Comments are closed for this post.
|<< <||> >>|