I was driving around and noticed a large vacant warehouse/factory that was striking. I visited the location, and did not do so with the intention of causing harm, or violating any privacy. The place was wide open. As a photographer, my favorite subject is urban decay, so this visit was one to document some decaying Toledo History.
*The building is unlocked - there are no security measures in place. The front door is wide open, literally.
*There are no signs posted against trespassing, or that it is private property.
*Anyone can just walk in.
*This place is dangerous, with some structural damage from a fire / exposure to the elements. There are some holes in the floors. I do not suggest exploring it.
*As an artist, urban and industrial decay are my favorite themes. I do not make money from my photos, so much as enjoy the art and sharing the photos to better document Toledo History.
Anyone have history with this place? What is its story?
First up, photos of outside this location.
Photos from inside...
Interesting. I'm not an expert per se, but have a slight artist eye. I like "rust belt" art. The one photo of the weed/vine with the decay in the background was unique.
The buildings remind me of back home in Cincinnati.
OK, interesting photos!
A couple of questions: Did it smell as bad as the photos showing mold would indicate? And aren't you worried about falling through a floorboard?
You know I think if I were interested in taking photos of places like this one I'd get my concealed carry license and I'd pack my gat where I could draw it in a hurry.
These are great photos, but the buildings are not the safest in the world, and not because you might fall through the floor.
Mad - Im working on just that, you are spot on. It's something Im always wiry of - criminals running drug labs, hobos, and more are all a very real danger.
Anni - no smell, just nice fresh air blowing through. The floors were meant for heavy car factory work, and were mostly thick VERY stable cement. All the same I always tread carefully and worry about falling through. Ive been doing this for over a decade.
After putting my super sleuth abilities to use, I'm gonna say this was the L&L Packaging & Plating, Inc building. This used to be the south side of the Jeep plant.
Great set of shots. I love looking at thse abandoned warehouses and wondering how many people passed through those dorrs during its heyday.
Found two different addresses for L & L:
L & L Packaging & Plating Inc
960 W Central Ave
Toledo, OH 43610
Contact: Arthur L Smith
# of Employees: 20 to 49
Annual Est. Revenue: $2.5 - 5 Million
Phone: (419) 255-2810
Fax: (419) 255-4653
L & L PACKAGING & PLATING IC
300 MADISON AVE
TOLEDO, OH 43604-1561
Not sure when this company went out of business though.
Phone: (419) 255-2810 - disconnected
Hrmmm. Also there was a fire there fairly recently, you could pick up the smell of the smoke in the office where the fire started pretty clearly.
OhioKimono: As an 11 year Army Vet (non-combat Vet, hororablly discharged before the crap hit the fan) please understand that what I am about to say comes from understanding that sometimes stuff just happens even when an abundance of caution has been used, and also understanding that you have a strong desire for urban decay photos. At the very least, please let someone know where you are BEFORE you go in, how long you intend on being there, and call them when you are done. That way IF something happens, someone has your back. I'm not a pshycic, but when I see these photos, I feel a local news late breaking news story being played over and over.
I don't know ya, but I love your spunk and guts! I wouldn't mind shooting with ya one day :-)
GTVT - I never go in solo, I let a 3rd party know where I am, and when I get out. I'm two steps ahead of you.
Once winter hits I am going to go try and find some rustic barns and such out in snowy fields at dusk and such. Know of any?
OK- There is a run down barn in Sylvania on Brint and Mitchaw. It's really amazing especially at dusk any time of the year. I'm a huge Toledo history buff so I find your pictures amazing! So much history!! Thanks!
MrsA - I can see that barn from my house! Every time there's a storm, I can't help but peek out the window to see if its still standing.
If you had told me when we first moved in that the barn would still be standing 6 years later, I'd have never believed it!
OhioKimono: Awesome! I have to admit, now I can really enjoy your work without those concerns in the back of my mind (more like in between my eyes and your pictures)! Sorry, but it comes from my own close call which I wasn't proud of especially when I take great pride in identifying worse case scenarios. I won't bring it up again! I do like your safety statements before the pics!!!!
While we're making suggestions to OK...there is a boarded up brick house at the corner of 19th and Jefferson near downtown. You can see a picture of it here:
I have always wondered what it looked like before it fell into its current condition. Looks like it must have been a nice house back in its heyday.
Would also be interesting to see what kind of shape its in now. I've always wondered if it was in any condition to be renovated.
(Yeah, I can't imagine anyone would want to put in the renovation work to actually live at Jefferson and 19th, but it might be a good spot to house some type of business or nonprofit. Maybe a shelter?)
Dangit - I posted the map link to just Jefferson Ave in general.
The building I was talking about is featured in the preview photo of the Google map for the intersection of Jefferson and 19th.
Let's try the link again: click here
If it wasn't already dark out, I'd take a quick picture of the barn MrsA mentioned.
I don't have fancy cameras, but at least it would give the real photographers a preview to see if its worth their time to drive out here.
It really is quite beautiful, in an odd way.
I tried looking at the intersection on Google maps street view. Unfortunately, there is a tree blocking the view of the barn.
(Side note: You can tell the street view photos are at least a few years old, because the intersection of Brint and Mitchaw has a roundabout now.)
Ya know...tomorrow I only have house to clean...maybe I should reward myself for a job well done and go visit the barn...
Have you guys seen the unfinished vacant mansion along 475 when you are driving up to Ann Arbor? I keep meaning to visit it in the snow.
Mom2 that brick building is very cool - does anyone know who owns it? I can contact them and ask to go in. It looks very secure, so I would need to be let in by the owner. I also need the contact for a building downtown that I can tell is stunning inside but have never been able to legally enter.
GTV - My husband is a combat vet, he looks over my shoulder and makes certain I respect safety and precautions.
I'm originally from Dundee, so yes. I even remember when it first started being built! (Its US-23, just so not to confuse anyone.) ;)
I have the backstory on it somewhere...let me poke around a little...
Maybe I sould just go visit that vacant mansion tomorrow. I swear there is another vacant mansion on some back road outside Waterville. Anyone know what Im talking about?
OK - I can find out for sure who currently owns the property in Dundee. Have a connection in the assessor's office.
It has been standing there for ages - started being built when I was still a schoolkid. (I'm in my 30s.)
The gist of the story is that a couple from New York moved here and started building the house. They ran out of money mid-construction, and I believe moved back to New York.
Thought I had a link to more specifics somewhere - it was discussed recently in the "You know you're from Dundee when..." FB group. But I'm having trouble finding the specific discussion about that house.
OK - I found the address and owner for the brick building on Jefferson in AREIS.
Its 1902 Jefferson Ave, owned since 12/31/09 by "1902 Jefferson LTD, An Ohio LLC" The prior owner was Gleason Finey.
I'm reviewing the old transfer card just to see what the history was - looks like back in the 1940s it was part of a group of properties called "The Louvre" which appears to have stretched from 1902 to 1908 Jefferson.
The AREIS photo of it is very clear:
Honestly, I'm excited to be able to share some of these buildings I've noticed with people who might be able to do something with the info.
I often notice older buildings that appear to have been beautiful once and wonder the history behind them. (I'm sort of a geek that way. LOL) But I'm not a photographer, so I wouldn't even begin to know what to do with the info.
Mom2 - Rock on! Regarding the Dundee place, the main thing is that I can walk out there with being shot by a hostile land owner.
I always wondered about the house on 23. To me it always seemed like some sort of commentary on the blight of the McMansion style of building that has taken over so much of this country - size over substance. (personally I'd much rather have a smaller place with interesting architectural detail than the latest in siding and pre-constructed brick facade).
I'd definitely be careful on that site - like mom2 says, it's been there for a long time - I can't imagine the builder grade plywood would actually support any weight. I was always surprised nobody bothered to dismantle it for building material.
OK - I doubt the current land owners are even local.
I'm going to have to check out this barn. I live in Sylvania and drive to Fort Wayne for work a couple times a month and I can't remember seeing it. I always take a different route through the backroads to make it interesting - the turnpike is incredibly boring. I love dilapidated barns - there's a really great one on rt.20 about a hour or so west. The front half collapsed onto itself but the rest is still standing, including a ladder that ran up the middle.
idinspired - the barn is right near the new roundabout at Brint and Mitchaw. Its on the northeast corner of the intersection.
Its quite visible from Pacesetter Park too, if you're over at the soccer fields on the Mitchaw side of the park.
Here's an artist you may enjoy and draw inspiration from:
I saw him display at a couple art shows in Toledo last decade. We bought a print from him. He photographs different places, such as Alleys & Ruins, mainly at night. He also takes interesting photos of dead insects.
I just saw this on his website
His work is in numerous public, corporate and private collections, including those of ... the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo ...
Re: the Dundee property
Found a photo or two of it on flickr. One of the commenters had this to say:
A couple was trying to make their dream home, but the wife backed out of the driveway and got hit by a car after taking a look at how everything was going. The husband just stopped the building, and moved.
I don't remember it happening that way at all - seems like if that was true, it would have come up in the "You know you're from Dundee..." FB group discussion about the house where everyone in the group agreed that the couple ran out of money.
The flickr commenter appears to be fairly young, so I'm thinking she was just repeating a rumor?
Anyhow, the flickr poster disabled linking to his pictures, but here's the photo link
Found several other sources that corroborate my recollection (that the owner went broke while building the house).
One website stated that the owner had been on the run due to being part of some sort of business scam. I don't specifically remember that part, but it could be true.
(And I have a few sources I could verify that with...)
FYI, OhioKimono, I just heard that the Dundee house might not be standing anymore? Or at least that part of it has fallen down?
(This was according to some FB comments I apparently missed in September - haven't seen it myself, sorry.)
Also, the guy who started to build the Dundee mansion was named Saul Williams. He and his brother Henry ran paving companies under a few different business names - they ran into some legal troubles in multiple states.
Google Saul Williams paving and you'll get a whole crap ton of news articles about his multistate scams.
And now you know the rest of the story. :)
What's the address for the building in the pics?
It's the 2nd L&L address listed. It was the back side of the old Jeep plant, and one of the only parts of it still standing.
Oops, 1st L&L address. The Central Avenue one, just past Jeep Parkway after you go over I-75. Or after you go over the rail road tracks if you're coming from the east, passed the Detroit Ave intersection.
Heh...another danger of exploring places like this...
I now have ringworm on the back of my hand. This is the second time Ive gotten it from such places. Please, these places are not safe - do not tread lightly where I have gone.
The factory in the photos was the original Pope automobile factory built in the late 1800's early 1900's in Toledo. The back side was added when Willys Overland took over and built the first Overlands in that building. If you go to toledo images in time section of the lucas county library you can search for photos of the building from the early 1900's. It was massive and took up several city blocks. The remaining portion is just a fourth of what it was in it's heyday.
The factory (I believe), by the Central Avenue address is what was once Romanoff Electric. It was just west of the New York Central north/South viaduct that crosses Central Avenue.
This page has pic with an artist's depiction of the Pope Toledo plant. If you click on the pic, you can see the sheer size of the place as it used to be.
I got this in my email and wanted to share it.
"I saw your photos of the vacant factory on Central Ave. The building was
originally the Pope bicycle and automotive factory from the late 1800's /early
1900's It then became the original building where Willys Overland automobiles were
built in the 30's. It is being torn down. To date it is the oldest standing
automotive factory in the US"