The Wyman-Gordon Power Plant

“Keep your eyes peeled for tall red brick smokestacks, as there’s often something quite wonderful at the bottom. . .”
-Jeff Chapman

The Wyman-Gordon Power Plant once powered the massive Ingalls-Shepard Forging Company, which started out manufacturing parts for the auto and railroad industries. Built in 1910, the massive factory was sold to the Wyman-Gordon Company in 1920. During World War One and World War Two, what they now called the Ingalls-Shepard Division Factory  turned its industrial might to the war effort, and was in turn given dismantled German technology. The company claims to have produced more parts for the war than any of its competitors. In 1986, economic hardship forced the Wyman-Gordon Company to shut the factory down. Only two buildings of the once sprawling factory remain, the power plant and an occupied building across the street.

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It would be an overstatement to call what surrounds the Wyman-Gordon Power Plant a “fence”. The tattered, rusty, chain link is filled with holes and embarrassingly easy to walk right through. The building is mostly void of windows, but there were a few leading to the offices, and after a short climb, i was in.

DSC_0150  After climbing up the ledge, it wasn’t all that hard finding a way in

The offices were still in decent condition, with paperwork, binders, and ledgers rotting away on the crumbling desks. Reading a few of these papers helped me see what it was like back when this was still a hub of industry. One detailed a deal between a loading crane manufacturer and the Wyman-Gordon company, and a binder in the center of the room held inventory of replacement parts.

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The offices had seen better days, but there were still legible records all around.

Leaving the offices, i entered the heart of the Wyman-Gordon Power Plant .The main rooms were wet from a recent storm, and well ventilated, but the floors of some of the side rooms and hallways had a dry asbestos insulation piled a foot deep in some places. After pointing my camera into the dark, taking a photo with flash on, and examining it, i found out the stuff i was walking on wasn’t the normal abandoned building mud and grime. Yuck!

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Still water in one of the main rooms of the power plant

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Machinery rusts away in the dark

I could have explored the Wyman-Gordon Power Plant all day if given the chance. However, a man on a bike circling the building made me cautious, and i decided to beat a hasty retreat in case he decided to call up some friends and score himself a new (and free!) camera.
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The inside of the power plant is a mess of rusted machinery

The Wyman-Gordon Power Plant is a EPA Brownfields site. Although the main rooms are ventilated, open, and probably safe, anyone going to the Wyman-Gordon Power Plant without a respirator should be careful and avoid areas with clear signs of asbestos. The metal walkways have been taken for scrap, and I fear that it is only a matter of time before the last remnants of the once proud Ingalls-Shepard Division Factory are gone forever. 

Thanks for the read!

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