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Report - Gates Rubber Factory - Denver Colorado, USA

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by mangoman, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. mangoman

    mangoman 28DL Member
    28DL Member

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    Hey explorers.

    This is a trip I did a year or so ago at one of my all time favorite buildings near my family in the US. The pics below are shot on 35mm Ilford film stock (made here in the UK) so the image quality is beautiful, capturing the true atmosphere and colours of the place. I highly recommend trying film instead of digital if you havent given it a go. The building is the old Gates Rubber Factory in Denver. Funny story about when we entered:

    It was the first time I'd gone in, having admired the building from a distance for years - my friend Dave came along. You have to be careful because the building gets a lot of traffic and so has a full time cop patrolling the outside (though he's usually sleeping in his car). Nevertheless, cant be too careful with these American cops (theyve got guns...).

    So we find a way through the metal fence at the back, and walk the perimeter until we find a cracked window on the ground floor. I force the window open just enough, and peak inside into a very dark and dingy ground floor. I do a quick scan about, adrenaline pumping, and decide the coast looks clear for entry. So, I sling off my camera bag, with my camera, 3 lenses, and my car keys inside, and drop it inside ahead of me.........but I dont hear it hit the floor..............until about 3 seconds later. The eventual thud sounds worryingly distant.

    SHIT!!!

    This building is far away from where I live! I was driving my mums car! They keys are in the bag! My camera and lenses too!

    FUCK!!!

    But I look inside and the factory floor is in tact! I jump inside through the window. Where the fuck did my bag go?! I scan the floor and see that right by the wall under the window there is a bastard hole, just big enough to fit my bastard bag, which I dropped at the perfect bastard angle to fall straight through into god knows where....Sub basement anyone?

    So, no choice. Must get the bag. We find a stairwell leading 'down', where I never like going in these type of buildings...'up' always seems like a much better idea. And let me tell you, there is no darkness like the darkness of the Gates Rubber Factory sub basement....AND MY TORCH WAS IN THE BAG!!!!!!

    DOUBLE FUCK!!!

    So we make a quick exit from the GRF to find a torch at the gas station, only to find this is the one gas station in America that doesnt have torches. Oh, and neither do any of the other shops. And neither do the restaurants. If Denver were to have a power outage at night, Im telling you it would be fucked. So we get desperate and ask at this car garage near the building, which fortunately for us employs some nice blokes who lent us a torch. Bad news was it was a shite torch that works about as well as a lighter.

    Anyway, we get back into the building, and head down into the darkest place in the world armed only with the kind of torch you find in a christmas cracker. Was kind of like trying to find a tic tac in a blizzard (which, by the way, it was starting to blizzard outside (see pics)). So, we decided Dave would have to go up to the ground floor to yell through the hole the bag had fallen through, so I could follow my ears. This was not an easy decision to make, as it required me to be left alone in the darkest place in the world............

    For that brief minute of silence and darkness, my brain decided to start remembering the scene in Silence of the Lambs where Jody Foster is in the house with the serial killer................Finally Daves voice came in a distant echo, and I stuggled through the sub basement with my candle-torch....and found the bag!

    SWEET!!!

    We then went around the place with a new found respect for keys and their ability to get one home. My lenses and camera were also all in tact (another benefit of using old manual film equipment - it can take a beating!). Please enjoy the pics below, and if you want to see history on the Gates Rubber Factory, please follow this link (I think I've taken up enough space with this story):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gates_Corporation

    PHOTOS:

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