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(September 19-29, 2013)

Carl von Einem

The Remains of the Höllentalanger Hut

Richard C. Drew

Where Steel, Clothes and Dreams Go to Die...

Gary, Indiana, USA

9/21/2013, 11:30am

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© 2013 Richard C. Drew, All Rights Reserved.

Dreams, places and things are all mortal. Man is mortal. But it's rare to find such a stunning representation of what happens when all are combined.

I love shooting abandoned and decaying structures. Most people just look at the buildings, then look at me, and ask "are you nuts?" Maybe, a little. It's fun, and interesting - and I enjoy researching the areas almost as much as shooting them.

This location is the old Screw and Bolt factory in Gary, IN. Once one of the largest suppliers of screws and bolts in the USA, and the largest supplier during WWII, the factory closed it's doors in 1986.

It had a long history as a manufacturing complex. The company opened in 1912, and continually added capacity and employees. The combination blows of the 1980's recession and cheap imports finally forced the factory to close. Since that day, the complex has been the site of a major scandal, arrests, illegal dumping and scrapping.

In 2002 the Gary Urban Enterprise Association (GUEA) hatched a scheme to take over the facility for storing donated clothes. This eventually proved to be a scam perpetrated by a mother and daughter - who both served prison time for this fraud. They collected thousands of pallets of clothes - clothes that are still there, molding and rotting, sprouting small trees and weeds.

Gary is home to dozens of abandoned factory complexes, hundreds of abandoned businesses and thousands of abandoned homes. Most TV specials and documentaries dealing with abandoned buildings, "life without man", crumbling infrastructure and the like shoot in Gary. Even the aerial destruction scenes from a WWII movie used a flyover of Gary.

In September of 2013, Gary began enforcing photography permits - $50 per person. Police have started checking the popular photography spots and kicking out anyone without a permit. Already happened to me and several friends.

I was actually kicked out of this location shortly after shooting this pano. Having five cops walk up and asking you to leave is not fun.



Canon 7D
Sigma 8mm fisheye
Bogen tripod
Nodal Ninja R1 head

PTGui Pro

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