Part I - The Exterior
Part II - Building 1
Part III - Building 2
Part IV - Building 3
hen I arrived on the premises of the meat packing plant in Chester, I didn't immediately take all of the exterior photos which I showed you in Part I. I snapped a few then made a beeline to the rear of Building 1, where I had seen an open doorway from the road. I was under the impression that it was one big building that would be interconnected, which I later found not to be the case. Before I go any further with the narration and photos, I want to apologize in advance for the quality of most of these photos. Except for same areas of Buildings 2 and 3, the entire complex is windowless. I was armed with only a small flashlight with dying batteries and the flash on the camera. For all intents and purposes, I was shooting these in the dark, sometimes not even seeing what I was shooting until I saw it on the camera's viewing screen.
Building 1 obviously served as some sort of shipping facility for the plant. My guess is that it was the original shipping dock before the modern dock was built as part of Building 3. As mentioned previously, I entered Building 1 from the rear where I had found an open door.
As you can see, the roof has collapsed in the corner and there is a good deal of general refuse about as well. There is some of the industrial variety such as wood pallets as well as some more curious things like furniture. You can also see that the doorway enters onto a platform but there were no stairs apparent; it may have been buried in the roof collapse. I had to make-do with jumping down to the floor. This photo is a rough representation of the width of the room. You may also notice the interior doorway beside the entrance. It was empty, except for the wooden flooring.
The room opened-up and was largely empty except for some stacks of pallets. Enough light was coming in through the collapsed roof that I could see across the entire building to the dock doors on the other side. This next photo is terribly blurry, but it's the only one that gives you a sense of the size of the place in conjunction with the previous photo. This represents one-half of the dock area, separated by an interior wall
Here's a closer shot of the dock doors. You'll notice the differently colored patch in the floor, roughly in the shape of a square. There used to be a platform scale buried in the concrete which has been removed and filled-in.
How do I know this? Because I know what's in the little room to the left of the dock doors.
That's right, it's a miniature scale house. Why the platform was removed and the display face left intact I'm not sure.
There were some other remnants inside the scale house, too, as you can see. There's a chair and a fire extinguisher. On the table were the remains of a phone book and a stack of blank shipping papers.
I was beginning to get the indication that this building may have served as the main center of operation in one of its earlier incarnations and the evidence continued to support that theory. On the other side of the dock doors was a small room with some sort of collection tanks inside.
They were filled with water and covered with snow and ice
While I didn't get any photos of them, there were drainage ditches formed into the concrete floor throughout the building, much like those you see in commercial livestock facilities such as dairy barns and slaughterhouses. They facilitate the cleaning of the floors of excrement and/or blood, allowing you to simply hose it down and flow out of the building. There was another interior building similar to the scale house with windows overlooking another set of dock doors and filled with shelving and a desk.
Along the wall, a collection of steel drums were stacked two-high.
I began to work my way further back into the building. Large concrete columns gave support to the roof. This next photo I severely amped-up the brightness and lowered the contrast, so it looks awful, but it allows you to "see" the size of the place.
Everywhere was all manner of refuse. Some of it was neatly organized like the pallets and the neatly lined wooden crates...
...some of it was hanging about, like piping and wiring, a result of the building's deterioration....
..and some of it was just strewn all over the floor.
The most dominant features of this area of the building however were the various tanks, pipes, valves, and electrical junctions.
Building 1 also had to other rooms attached to its exterior and only accessible from the outside. One of these served as a maintenance/tool shed. In contained a workbench...
..and storage shelves.
I encountered my second fire extinguisher on the premises, the first having been seen in the scale house.
Actually, the second a third fire extinguishers.
This mist and powder on the floor in the above photo, you ask? Yeah, I couldn't help myself. There were both fully-charged. The only other thing of interest in the room was the hot water heater, which served the bath house directly behind the shed, the other of the attached buildings and where we'll end conclude our tour of Building 1.
From the doorway of the bath facilities, you immediately notice the large picnic table at the rear of the main room...
....flanked by a row of lockers on one side...
...and a pair of sinks on the other side.
Between the table and sinks was a doorway which led to small hallway with the shower stalls down in one direction...
...and the toilets in the other direction.
But the best part about the bath house was the paint peeling from the ceiling.
As I was beginning to leave the bath house and to continue exploring the rest of the property, something caught my eye. Resting on the bench was evidence of another camera toting explorer such as myself.
In the next installment, we'll explore Building 2, the only true multi-level building on the property.