Like Dried Mud
The fourth and last time I visited the foundry I explored a seperate building on the same lot. A few exterior walls had fallen and the inside was in advanced stages of decay.
The main floor was filled with large wooden moldings that seemed to be parts of engines or large machines. Maybe for airplanes. Maybe for tanks. Each molding had a technology company written on it in fluorescent yellow marker. I saw the words “General Electric” on at least three moldings.
Upstairs the offices were completely gutted. Just one rotting desk remained and a few filing cabinets. Pieces of linoleum flooring curled up like dried mud in a desert and cracked loudly under my boots.
There was also a basement, but it was pitch black down there so I didn’t wander far from the stairs. Limits can be good sometimes.
I headed back to the main building and walked through the large corridors one last time. My exploration was complete. I felt a strange attachment to the place after spending so many hours there, freezing in the cold, recording every corner, contemplating each living arrangement.
Everything remained still inside.
Where I left it.
Now, as the temperatures rise, people will return to their beds in the foundry. Remember, it’s next door to a rehab center.
Still, I encourage others to explore the Philbrick Booth and Spencer Foundry. It presents many shades of modern society in one package: the loss of industry, the living conditions accepted as “drugs” and “poverty.”
More than anything, the foundry made me think of those who visit poor countries and come back with stories of disparity and injustice. What about the places they live? More tragedies occur in Albany, New York than in some nations.
This series, for example, was shot in the capitol of Connecticut - one of the richest states in one of the richest countries in the world.
America: Look at your cities.
Philbrick Booth and Spencer Metal Casting Building
© Diego Cupolo 2011