At one time Dixmoor, Illinois was one of the manufacturing centers of the United States, with factories churning out everything from chicken feed to aerospace parts. However in the 1970's things started to change. Between overseas competition, decreased demand and other economic changes, every major manufacturer either closed their doors or moved elsewhere.
Wyman-Gordon was one of the single largest employers in the area, with a massive manufacturing capacity and gargantuan floorspace. In 1986 the Dixmoor (also called the Harvey division) was closed. Almost 400 people lost their jobs, and close to a million square feet of manufacturing, warehouse, office and even power generating space was suddenly vacant.
Many manufacturing centers have their own power plants - only these older plants were coal powered. Today things are more green, using natural gasses and solar. This power plant supplied energy for the entire facility. About 90% of the space is dedicated to coal storage, coal furnaces, ash disposal and the like. Only this relatively small room housed the actual generators.
The power plant was in good shape - for an abandoned building - until around the year 2010. This is when scrappers "discovered" it. On my last couple of visits I was shocked to see how much was gone. Hundreds of gigantic grates used on the walkways, entire staircases, tanks, pipes - you name it. It's obvious trucks were brought in, and a combination of tools used to gut the place, including cutting torches.
I visited there again a few weeks ago - at least three separate arson fires were set and obviously left to burn themselves out. Even more steel was missing. Even parts of the generators visible in this panoramic were gone.