December 29, 2013

The Laboratory - Abandoned Pharmaceutical Company (Part 3)

Do you remember my post about the abandoned distillery? The building in that post actually belonged to the original company that started the chemical business in the area as a company for the rectification of alcohol.
They then expanded their product line to include alcoholic preparations for laboratory use.
As I've said in my last post, in 1927, the company started with the pharmaceutical research, and later in the 20th century rose to be one of the three largest pharmaceutical companies in the GDR (German Democratic Republic).
A nice little anecdote:
Since 1919, the company tried to buy the area on which during the war more than 24.000 grenades per day had been filled with mustard gas.
In January of 1919, estimations about the remaining amount of combat agents were available. Almost 3.000 metric tons were still there and had to be destroyed. This was finished around August 1919.
But what worried more, were the 12.000 grenades with production faults that were leaking gas and had been buried on the premises.
The "graves" for the grenades had been fenced in and marked by signs after the war, but the markings and part of the fencings were gone by 1921.
The company was concerned that the buried grenades could harm the compnay - not so much by exploding, but by way of the leaking gas that could react with air and water in the ground to build sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid. These acids could cause massive damage to metal pipings and pumps and the company would have to hold the war ministry liable for any damages, possibly over many decades.
The ministry however referred to a report that counter-checked the company's reports and said that the chlorine gas leaking from chlorine grenades that had been buried there as well would be neutralizing the threat.
End of the story: The company and its successors have had trouble with the remains of the poison gas until today.

Here are some more pictures from inside the buildings.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

December 27, 2013

The Laboratory - Abandoned Pharmaceutical Company (Part 2)

The origins of the company which had their production facilities on these premises date back to a company for laboratory chemicals in 1890.
During World War I, a lot of the company's production resources were required for war production, and presumably until today, parts of the area are contaminated with the remains of mustard gas grenades.
In 1927, this company merged with another company and began conducting pharmaceutical research.
The company was renamed in 1950 and after the German reunification, the production facilities were relocated, so the entire complex has been abandoned since the 1990s.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

December 25, 2013

The Laboratory - Abandoned Pharmaceutical Company

This one really was a surprise.
I expected the labs and the complex in general to be as vandalized as almost everything else in the area. Far from it!
Of course, there was some vandalism, but I didn't expect the labs and some of the distillation columns to be almost untouched.
A lot of natural decay, moss on the lab tables and the paint chipping off the walls...a great location!

For starters, here are some HDR shots. I will write about the history of the facility in the next post.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

December 22, 2013

Clean and Colorful - The Abandoned Laundry and Dyeworks

The company that built this huge complex was founded in Berlin in 1832.
In 1873, the main site was relocated to the outskirts of the town directly by the river. There it operated as a Plant for Dry Cleaning, Laundry and Dyeing. At the time, it was the largest laundry company in Germany and pioneered the dry cleaning process.
By the year 1896, the factory employed almost 1.900 workers.
For the operation of the plant 32 boilers, 22 steam plants and ten steam pumps were available.
The company also operated its own gas works and nine dynamo generators. The gas works also supplied the surrounding households.
After the German reunification, the company was taken over by a company from Cologne, but this company only continued operating this site until the middle of the 1990s.
Since the beginning of the new millennium, only an industrial ruin remains.
Some of the buildings on the 123 acre area have been demolished already, others were placed under monument protection.
At the main site, the main building still stands as well as the building at the main gate and the kindergarten.
Right now, there are construction workers all over the site preparing the buildings for the conversion into living apartments and new businesses. The first day we went there, there was no getting in, so we tried again on the weekend when the workers were gone.
Still, there was no entrance into the large building, so we settled for the building by the main gate.

December 21, 2013

"Wunderland" - Abandoned Amusement Park (Part 2)

Over the euphoria of our last tour with some really great excursions I totally forgot to finish the post about the abandoned amusement park.
Well, I am going to catch up on that right now :)
So the walk in the park or two weeks before our visit, a massive storm had destroyed a lot of the remaining things that remind us of a once colorful and happy place.

Part 1 | Part 2
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