Sep 4, 2012

Brick & Tile Factory Interior: Part 1

I introduced my photo set of the Medicine Hat Brick and Tile Plant last week, sharing some of the history and background of the now abandoned site.  While the exterior shots hinted at the scale of the operation, it's the interior that tells the story of some of the final working moments of the factory.  

Flood waters in June 2010 ended up destroying the bulk of the electrics and machinery within the I-XL brick plant, and despite the clean up, the signs of destruction are still evident. Large portions of the facility are frozen in a not so distant past.  Tools still hang at work stations, scatterings of personal belongings can be found in lockers, and pieces of uniform machinery sit rusting.  It's easy to be captivated in these surroundings.  You find yourself wanting to believe that there are more hidden stories or mysteries in these ruins than there probably are.

At the entrance of one of the tunnel kilns a logbook still hangs showing the last time it was turned off. The bricks that were in the kilns at the time were all ruined by the rising water and at the back of the plant, racks and racks of malformed clay show just how much product was destroyed.

It's an eerie setting because so much is intact. Water lines are visible throughout the factory, cracks in the roof bathe the plant in bizarre streams of natural light, and entire rooms of ominous equipment sit silent. Conveyors, chains, gears, pipes, and wires are now nothing but decoration in this industrial wasteland.

While still off limits to the general public, the Friends of Medalta have recognized the value in preserving the history here. The future of the site may be unclear at this point, but with so much character it's undeniably a diamond in the rough.  View part 2 of this photo set here.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Great photos of a once proud plant and industry.