I remember the mirror-like stillness of the water on the floor at Scranton Lace stopped my in my tracks. It took me a few minutes to find a composition I liked, but the end image was worth the time spend to find it.
One of the things I find fascinating during the abandoned building workshop’s I’ve attended is chairs. Photographers move the chairs around the buildings to create scenes. Sometimes it’s an industrial chair sitting by a table suggesting the presence of a worker who stepped away for a minute. Other times it’s an arm chair (like the one above) that was originally part of an office suite placed in the middle of a warehouse or manufacturing area. You never know what you’ll find, but there’s usually an interesting vignette to be photographed.
Last fall, I attended Steamtown National Historic Site’s annual Railfest. The highlight of the event was a night photo session that included scenes at the Sand Tower, Mattes Street Tower and the Roundhouse. I arrived in time for the night session Saturday night and then stayed over to see the event Sunday. Special events included demonstrations in the machine shop, tours of the Office and Stores Building, and of course train rides pulled by Baldwin Locomotive Works #26.
As I mentioned Friday, I attended another Abandoned America workshop at the Klotz Throwing Company last fall. Having been to Klotz earlier in the year I had a better idea of what I wanted to shoot. I wanted to take my time and focus on some scenes that I wasn’t happy with my results or that I missed completely the previous trip.
A.F. Green Insurance:
Main Electrical Panel:
Gulf Petrolium February 1949:
Last but not least, I asked Herb, Klotz’s owner and caretaker, to stand for a portrait:
Last fall I had the opportunity to attend the last tour of Scranton Lace hosted by Abandoned America. Sadly due to the removal of the roof drain piping, water has created several unsafe conditions in the wooden portions of the complex. As a architect, I was sad to see such senseless and preventable damage. As a photographer, I was happy to have had the chance to photograph it, but wished I had known about it sooner.
Scranton Lace opened as the Scranton Lace Curtain Manufacturing Company in 1890, and eventually became the largest producer of Nottingham lace in the United States. Scranton lace continued operations until 2002 when it closed mid-shift. The complex was so large that it included a ballroom, gymnasium, theater, bowling alley, and infirmary, in addition to the vast production and storage facility. My understanding is that the current owners plan to redevelop the site, hopefully they aren’t too late.
I had the opportunity to attend the last workshop hosted by Abandoned America at the Scranton Lace Company back in November. The complex is in sad shape, but there were still some great photos to be made.
I finished editing the photos from that workshop, so look for a trip report on Tuesday.