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  1. Hey, hello to all from Chicago. I've ended up poking around on this site more than a few times researching locations and sites to explore, so seems fair to contribute some of my finds :-) Live and work here in the Midwest, USA, but also live and work a month or two a year in Eastern Europe, so I'll have reports from both regions. My interest in Urbex started over 3 decades ago scavenging some refractory bricks out of the old Wisconsin Steel plant (South Chicago) and I have continued exploring ever since. Thanks to everyone who has already contributed and I look forward to participating. Staklo
  2. This is from a exploration on the 13th of May, 2013. These pictures are mostly the east buildings from the interior. Second set will be south end and my favorites, the roof. Brach’s Candy was a Chicago (and world) candy factory legend. This facility, one of the largest candy factories in the world, was mostly built in 1921-23 and then partially rebuilt in 1948 after a tragic fire and explosion killed 11 employees. At its peak, the facility was over 2,200,000 sq feet (670,560 meters) and had 2,400 workers. Typical vulture capitalism in the 1980’s into the 2000’s destroyed the company and this facility closed the doors to workers in 2003. One of the office buildings was blown up for the movie Dark Knight in 2007. Due to much of the west complex being gang occupied and the neighborhood sporadically violent, I chose the last cold day of that spring to visit, on Mother’s Day, a very big holiday in the USA, figuring even gangbangers might take an afternoon off to visit their mums ? So I got there mid-afternoon and only left as it was getting too dark to see much, let alone photograph. I tried to go back one more time, but it was not possible to access, and within weeks it was in the process of being wrecked. For the USA, it had more interior metal than many buildings I've been in, which usually have been picked clean by scrappers, which gave it a nice ambiance. Overall, it was a very dark location, due to most windows being bricked up and it was late in the day when I visited, but what light I had was beautiful. The last pic in this set shows downtown Chicago in the distance. I'll post set two in a week or two, then start digging through files for other past and recent explorations. Many thanks to everyone who welcomed me on the introduction board. Thanks to all who share, some really amazing reports here, and looking forward to looking around more, but figured I should share something for starters ? Staklo
  3. This church had been on my bucket list for a while and I finally got access, granted it happened last year. I don't know a lot of the history of the church, other than the congregation was founded by German immigrats in the 1800s. The origional church burned in the Chicago fire and a new one was constructed in 1904. In the 1910s Polish immigrants moved in and the German congregation declined in membership. It bounced back and years later in the 50s a large Puerto Rican population came in and spanish masses were offered for the first time. Membership throughout the 60s and 70s etc kept declining and in 1990 the church officially closed. The rectory, convent and school were all torn down. As for the chruch a development company owns it and want's to turn it into luxury condos and a music school.
  4. Dawn broke on my first full day in Chicago and the weather was absolutely biblical. Rain lashing down across most of the city in a torrent. Not good for exploring, or doing anything in really. A couple of my exploring friends had travelled across from Buffalo in upstate New York to meet me for the first weekend, and there is a running joke between me and them that whenever I meet up with them, the weather is absolutely awful. That day did nothing to dispel the joke, so we settled in for some breakfast near our first rooftop target. Luckily the weather cleared up, and the sun came out, so we cracked on. The first rooftop is a 38-storey mixed use tower, very much occupied and in use which creates the challenge of making your way past the security/receptionist stations without looking too suspect, carrying bags and tripods LOL. I don't normally do rooftops or high things, you can normally find me poking around factories and stuff so this was a pretty new experience for me. But an enjoyable one no less. Beneath the glass dome was the building's swimming pool, with one or two people in it at the time At the end of the day after our various misadventures elsewhere, we decided to take in the sunset on another rooftop. A much taller one this time, standing at 60 storeys tall. The view was incredible. After that, we went to get some well deserved food and made preparations for the next day Thanks for looking.
  5. I will preface this by saying this place is ruined, and normally I wouldn't go all the way over to America for something as ruined. However the one deciding factor for me was outside - perfectly framed between the two huge grain elevators/silos is a stunning view of the downtown Chicago skyline. As for the rest of the site, it's actually quite photogenic in a ruined way. There used to be a linking bridge between the silos but this was blown up for a stunt in, I believe, the last Transformers film. The bases of the silos were also painted black for that, but of course it has now been covered in graffiti. Lots, and lots, of graffiti. You can get to the tops of the silos but it requires some very sketchy rope climbs which I wanted no part in. It was here I also had my first run-in with the American police whilst exploring. Our group of seven were just about to finish up and we were aiming to get a group shot of us with the view of the skyline in the background. This site is so easy to get into you can literally drive your car into it, and as we were getting the shot ready who should turn up but a police SUV. They were unamused by our presence and the officer said that they had already arrested a couple of people on site for trespassing just then (we weren't alone there were a few groups on site). So we made our apologies and went to leave. The officers followed us back to the non-existant gate in their SUV and that would have been that. However, remember how I said you could literally drive into the site? Well....we did. We had parked our two cars inside an old warehouse at the edge of the site, so the two drivers had to then explain to the officers why they were heading off a different way. We could see the officer visibly shake his head and we imagined he was thinking 'what a load of morons' and tutting to himself. Anyway they went to get their cars, and we waited outside the gate for them, and all was good. Moral of the story, when in America, try not to park inside the site you are exploring, however easy it is to do so. I'm the one sat down. Because I didn't want to fall out of a second floor window on my first day LOL. More here https://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/albums/72157659173256470