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Plant demolition


balthazar

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I have witnessed (in that I have seen the before & afters with my own eyes) the demolition of both the local GM Linden plant & the Ford Edison plant here in NJ.

GM-Linden is still a huge fenced lot of small piles of concrete rubble, Ford-Edison has the questionable 'improvement' of a Sam's Club and... weeds.

 

My '64 Catalina was built in Linden, so on occasions I would drive by the plant in it, I would yell out my open window '834L88280 STILL ON ACTIVE DUTY!'

I'm nuts like that.

 

Just this week I am likewise witness to the demolition of the New Brunswick Delco plant, built in 1946 for battery production to support the East Coast assembly plants. Had a neat, low appearance with a number of rounded exterior 'corners' in a orange-ish brick.

Plant-12-86w-1.jpg

 

My father-in-law worked there for a short while. Delco #12 was a steady producer, getting plant enlargements over the years to at least double it's initial size. Plant enlargements:

Plant-12-layoutl-96w-1.jpg

 

Plant-12-aerial-86w-1.jpg

 

It was sold off in the GM-Delco spin off, to Delphi, then Johnson Controls owned it. This site has been dormant since 2007. Now it's coming down.
I for one will miss it's silent symbolism of iron-backed manufacturing. I doubt anything will go in the hole to replace it- the immediate area will not support retail there. 

 

DSC03469_zps2fc7178f.jpg

 

DSC03470_zpsd28588b8.jpg

Edited by balthazar
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Not to get political, but here in Ohio during my electric career I disconnected the electric for a number of nice industrial buildings so they could be torn down.

We have become a nation that prizes Burger King, Justin Bieber and American Idol. We no longer for the most part give a flying eff about making things here. Other than GM, I honestly cannot think of a single American company that builds any kind of durable good I would want to buy.

Astonishing to say the least. Given the potential we had in the forties, the sixties, or even in the Reagan era...we should pretty much hang our heads in shame.

End of rant, and incredibly sad photographs.

Edited by A Horse With No Name
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And BTW, my old Mustang fastback was built on or about November 17 1965 in Metuchen N.J. The Mustang guys say that the best cars came from there, vs. Michigan or San Jose.

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Metuchen/Edison did have a good rep, unlike nearby Mahwah (which actually got the axe because of quality & environmental issues.) 

 

Wish I knew what plant my '40 Ford was built in. It wasn't Metuchen/Edison- that opened in '48.

 

This is the Metuchen/Edison plant site as of when it was demolished circa 2008/9 (it closed in 2007):

109411550.png

 

That patch of 'grass' to the far left is home to a Sams' club now, the rest of the property is still empty. How many F'ing Starbucks, Targets & pizza places does NJ really need??

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Wonder if it will eventually become retail first floor with apartments above and parking with a park for the apartment dwellers. I could see that going in here.

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I miss Linden... with the bifurcated truck on the outside.  Used to enjoy watching the comings and goings from the Checker's parking lot across the street.  Tried to broker the purchase of the company I cofounded and left by the company I had just joined while watching the car haulers come and go.

Most people eating at that Checkers watch the planes taking off and landing at the airport on the other side... but not me.  ;-)
 

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The plant in Pontiac the home plant t many models of Pontiac over the years including the Fiero went down earlier this year. I was able to save two bricks from it.

 

Sad but it was a very large plant in an area that could use the work.

 

At least it will be an automotive park for clubs and storage of collections.

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  • 7 months later...

Happy to report that although 200,000sf of the 300,000sf building was demolished the best parts 100,000sf (including the architecturally significant facade) were kept. The interior has been cleaned up and rehabilitated and looks great. New roof, etc. Occidental Chemical Corp (a division of Occidental Petroleum) is going to be running their east coast calcium chloride (ice melter) packaging facility out of this location. Oxy is the world's largest supplier of calcium chloride. All new rail track has been brought into the sight. Calcium chloride is railed in from Michigan in bulk and then packaged at the site. Trucks will pick up the packaged calcium chloride from the site for wholesale distribution throughout the east coast. Although the operation will not be as large as the battery plant, it is good to see industrial jobs coming back to New Brunswick.

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I did see the other week that they sectioned it off about 2/3rds of the way thru the 'vestibule' of the original building.

 

IMO 'architecturally pleasant' is more applicable than "significant"; for if it was the latter, they would have kept the whole front section rather than cutting it as they did. 

The dead flat side is a bit unsettling, aesthetically… will see if I can get a pic soon. 

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Oh, this might be my favorite thread, yet.  Sad thread, but favorite thread.  This is what resonates with me about cars the most.  The people that built them in all these old plants and we keep seeing them keep get torn down.

 

My first love is actually genealogy, Got  a lot of family lines that go through the car industry in Detroit.  Spent a lot of time looking at the old plans for plants and then seeing them go one by one - not good.  Got a little collection myself of images saved in a PowerPoint for my future generations.  I want them to be able to see what once was and where their roots came from, so enjoyed seeing the N.J area.  Look forward to more.

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Balthazar- responding to your comment that "IMO 'architecturally pleasant' is more applicable than "significant"; for if it was the latter, they would have kept the whole front section rather than cutting it as they did."

 

I think they kept what they could, but couldn't keep the whole front as it probably wouldn't have worked for the new use.  Looks much better than some precast tilt-up building if you ask me and keeps some of the history there.  

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I might have been possible to save the entire front and do whatever on the backside, keeping the same basic new square footage & all of the charm of the original facade. There is a HUGE swath of empty land (at this point anyway) to the right where that scenario could've still been standing.

 

I'm not bitter or angry, just saying. It's kinda Frankenstein-esque.

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Seattle was loosing way to many old brick buildings to new 21st century looking sky scrapers, so a couple years back they passed a law that if it is an old building and they have a age scale you have to keep so much of it and now in the oldest section of Seattle, they have put up temp steel bracing to hold onto the brick walls and dug out deep to build a 21st century skyscraper with the old 1 to 3 story brick front. They have done a pretty good job of blending the old building with the new.

 

Here is one of the old buildings being rebuilt new from the inside protecting the old outside walls but giving a rise to a stronger better modern building.

post-12-0-00771800-1429328265_thumb.jpg

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Fisher Body Plant 21 back in the news.  From the Detroit Free Press !6 APR 2015, a continuation from an article going back to 14 OCT 2014, Dimitri Hegemann, described as cultural activist, community organizer and a German nightclub owner (specifically, what was known as East Germany) has had his eye on Plant 21 for awhile.

 

Whether it pans out, is anyone's guess.  I would say, he sounds like a good candidate to get it done.  When the walls went down in Germany, he made his move from (West) Germany into Berlin.  I believe, he has the insight, fortitude, and experience to revitalize this abandoned building.  I hope his concept moves from speculation into a purchase in the near futures.

 

Got to say, I was in Germany for a year, right about the time the walls came down.  When I crossed over into East Germany, the experience is one that I will never forget.  There was an abundance of old buildings crumbling.  It was like I had stepped into another dimension, where time stood still.

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