Fluid Dynamics 201

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Concrete, Industrial, Niagara

After the furniture factory, a few of us split off from the UR group at Nate’s suggestion to check out this place in Niagara Falls he found. Once the power plant for the massive (and demolished) Union Carbide plant, at the time Niagara’s biggest employer, this was the largest Tesla AC (54 volt) facility ever constructed. Union Carbide eventually failed massively, in part due to bad public relations after the Bhopal incident, and most of the compound met its demise. This part still remains, surrounded by active machine shops, but completely open for the past few decades. Other than the enormous machines inside, the most notable part of it is the pervasive black dust on every surface and in the air. Which, come to think of it, is probably what carbide is.

In the Hall of Machines

One rusty, crusty machine. Any idea what it did?

The top (about 4 stories above the machines). These conveyor belts dump into hoppers full of the black dust

A few more machines!

See the rest here

Air Force 763

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Concrete, Military, Niagara

A relic from the age of missiles, AFRS (Air Force Radio Station) Cambria was the command center for the Niagara region’s rocket program. While not a launch site itself, Cambria was still the largest of the bases, with barracks for the entire 763rd who served around Niagara county, a school, a gym and drill building, a computer center, and a (very) hardened bunker, the only building on base we couldn’t get in. Inexplicably, the main road through the base is a Unicorn Drive; this probably had some military significance at the time, but now it’s a weird aside.

The Fightin’ 763d

The gym; I wonder why the apartment complex that sprung up from the barracks didn’t make use of it?

Military precision required every specification to be spelled out specifically and thoroughly and precisely.

There is a sign on EVERYTHING. Even when it is absolutely wrong.

The closest thing we could find to a bunker

I’m glad I didn’t work in IT here

The bunker building as it must have looked at one time. This mural is hiding in the dark in the server room…


Written by Concrete on . Posted in Buffalo, Industrial, Institutional, Niagara

Back at Flintkote with the UR UrbEx. I’m still amazed we made this one happen, with Andrew on it and all!

More giant machinery here

The destructed ruins of what was once a relatively grand train station on the way to Niagara Falls. It was already closed for decades by the time it burned in 1974, and now only the brick and stonework somewhat remain.

More fire damage… we probably could have brought this steel mill down with our hands.

Some deranged protest… Lockport was left out of the Interstate highways, and someone wasn’t happy? I guess?

So many rusting bikes. It’s incredible these are still here!

The iconic Buffalo Central again. We picked a very bad day to go here, with today being Easter Sunday, everyone, including the politicians and dignitaries, was on hand yesterday for the final preparations for Dyngus Day. Apparently when someone starts shouting “City property! You better get out, I’m the mayor!” sometimes it actually is the Mayor. Go figure.

Anyone have any idea what these glass things are about?

While we were on the roof of the Malt taking advantage of the birds’ eye view of our last location, this happened:

Yes, it’s a real live sandstorm. No idea where the sand came from, it’s not even blowing in off the lake. After another minute or two it completely swallowed up the rest of the view. We didn’t stay long enough to see if it stung, taking shelter until the dust died down… What a mess! Is this normal for Buffalo?

Video of the storm from Chris Seward:

More of my photos. I took far too many.

…and Steel

Written by Concrete on . Posted in Industrial, Niagara

After leaving Flintkote, we went downtown to one of a few abandoned steel plants in Lockport. Parking wasn’t so easy to find, with the one garage abandoned, the streets were parked up.

This particular steel mill had sections of Quonset hut and prefab building, clearly newer than the rest of the complex. Interestingly, their business was sheet metal, so maybe they used their own product to create their factory.

If you seal a building with 12 foot fences, close the gate so people can’t do what we just did!

Now that’s a dirty window!

The rest of the photos here.


Written by Concrete on . Posted in Industrial, Niagara

A return to Lockport, without the snow this time, to see the place we saw the first time, with the water tower. After doing some research on it, we discovered that it is the FlintKote factory, which at one time made asbestos roofing and tiles. Which mostly explains why it’s abandoned now, and thoroughly surrounded on (only) three sides by a barbed wire fence and big orange hazmat signs. After making a poison ivy-infested path through the unfenced woods, we climb through a stone window onto the assembly line

Reinforced floors for giant, missing machinery

The heating or power plant for the factory

That water tower that led us here

Hole in the wall…

…to be continued