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UER Forum > UE Photography > Abandoned buildings in a national park (Viewed 2244 times)
Poll Question:
Which should I shoot more?
Total Votes:13
1. Black & White17.69 %
2. Color1292.31 %

branwoabando 


Location: Chicagoland Suburbs
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 7 likes


Itchy Shutter Finger

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Abandoned buildings in a national park
< on 4/6/2017 1:28 AM >
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Formerly known as the Joliet Arsenal or Joliet Army Ammunition Plant, Midewin (pronounced mi-DAY-win) National Tallgrass Prairie is only an hour away from Chicago and has much to offer: Multiple sites and buildings to explore, many fields of empty bunkers, miles of walking/hiking/bicycling/horseback riding trails, and a maze of abandoned roads & railways. Here are some photos from my first two trips there this year, and I plan to go back many more times as the weather improves. Stay tuned!

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie (MNTP) is a tallgrass prairie reserve and United States National Grassland operated by the United States Forest Service. The first national tallgrass prairie ever designated in the U.S. and the largest conservation site in the Chicago Wilderness region, it is located on the site of the former Joliet Army Ammunition Plant between the towns of Elwood, Manhattan and Wilmington in northeastern Illinois.

https://en.wikiped..._Tallgrass_Prairie

From USDA Forest Service website:

For most of the last 60 years, the Midewin site has been under the control of the U. S. Army.

The Joliet Army Ammunition Plant (JOAAP) was originally known as the Elwood Ordnance Plant (EOP) and the Kankakee Ordnance Works (KOW) when they were authorized by the federal government in 1940. The federal government purchased 36,645 acres from local farmers at a cost of $8,175,815. Construction costs totaled over $81 million. Seventy-seven such plants were built during World War II to to produce ammunition and explosives for the U.S. military. At the time they were built, the Joliet plants were considered the largest, most sophisticated munitions plants in the world. Both the Elwood and Kankakee plants became a training base that supported the Allies' efforts. At peak production during WW II, over 10,425 people were employed at the two plants. The Elwood facility loaded over 926 million bombs, shells, mines, detonators, fuzes, and boosters, and the Kankakee facility set a national record producing over one billion pounds of TNT.

The Elwood and Kankakee Plants were combined and redesignated the Joliet Arsenal in 1945, when operations were placed on standby. The Arsenal was reactivated in 1952-1957 during the Korean War and again during the Vietnam War. TNT production stopped in 1976 and by the late 1970s, most operations had ceased. The total size of the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant at the time it was declared inactive in 1993 was 23,543 acres.

The JAAP Legacy

Contaminants from the TNT manufacturing process heavily disturbed Grant Creek, which runs through the site, while the plant was still active. The water in the creek at that time flowed red. Now that TNT production has ended, Grant Creek has recovered and exhibits the highest biological diversity on the property. The majority of its watershed is in grasslands, and thus receives very little runoff and silt from crop fields.

The chemicals involved in the manufacture of TNT still contaminate the top few meters of soil in the 4,000 acre area where the process took place. The U.S. Department of Defense is responsible for the clean-up of hazardous waste in this area. When cleanup is complete, the land will be transferred to the USDA Forest Service for inclusion in the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.

To complete construction of JOAAP, 45% of the landscape was modified to some degree. JOAAP's buildings are still standing, though most have been idle for 20 years. Over 1,000 of the total 1,462 buildings date back to WW II. Other remnants of the Arsenal's hey-day include 200 miles of roads, 166 miles of railroad, and 392 "igloos" which were used to store ammunition and explosives. The site is also enclosed by 37 miles of 8-foot chain-link fencing with 3 strands of barbed wire. During years of inactivity, the land was leased for agricultural purposes. There are currently 10,700 acres of row crops and 6,000 acres of pasture on the site. The superficial disturbance of land at JOAAP was great. However, subsurface disturbance was minimal.
What will happen to all of this now that the site has been designated for restoration and conservation?
The buildings and railroad lines are being dismantled and salvaged.
Some of the roads will be left and maintained as access roads or trails. Others will be removed.
Some of the fence will be left intact. If bison, elk, or other large animals are reintroduced in the area, the fence will help to keep them within the bounds of protected areas and out of surrounding farmlands. In some areas, the fence will be removed.
The igloos, which were designed to withstand and contain the explosion of their highly-volatile contents in case of accident, would be prohibitively expensive to dismantle. Fortunately, the storage requirements for TNT are very similar to those for storing prairie forbs and seeds. Coming up with other ideas for reusing the igloos has become a favorite past-time of Midewin staff, volunteers, and tour visitors intrigued by the unique challenge of integrating these structures into the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.
Existing agricultural uses of the land within the Midewin's boundaries will be phased out over the next 20 years. Thereafter, only those agricultural uses which are compatible with resource management will be allowed.

https://www.fs.usd...id=stelprdb5155180





"...there is some kind of satisfaction in ruins, in old books, in forgotten places, in the places where people haven't been poking around so long..." - Terence McKenna
blackhawk 

Not an expert.


Location: Mission Control
Total Likes: 3356 likes


UER newbie

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Re: Abandoned buildings in a national park
< Reply # 1 on 4/6/2017 2:44 AM >
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Posted on Forum: UER Forum
Looks like fun times.
Just remember what was made thing... there may still be surprises laying around or buried in the ground including unknown under ground pipes, tanks and ordinance. They lost track of things sometimes during wartime at these sites to spite good intentions.
Anything of that nature found should be considered viable and extremely dangerous.




Just when I thought I was out... they pulled me back in.
WIurbex 


Location: 1060 West Addison
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 62 likes


Viewer discretion is advised.

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Re: Abandoned buildings in a national park
< Reply # 2 on 4/6/2017 3:22 AM >
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Very cool! Thanks for the photos and info! May have to make a weekend exploration trip to the Chicagoland area!




dundertits 


Location: at the beginning
Gender: Male w/ Female Bits
Total Likes: 182 likes


Cave Cave Deus Videt

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Re: Abandoned buildings in a national park
< Reply # 3 on 4/7/2017 12:12 AM >
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I like the color and composition




Kabbalah is an undramatic tradition that requires great patience and stability. One of the reasons for this tempo is that everyone has to mature his potential gradually and thoroughly at his natural pace. In this way his life's work unfolds at the right moment in his own and the cosmos's time.
Z.B.S. Halevi -- Kabbalah
Ceilingtile 


Location: Michigan
Total Likes: 8 likes




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Re: Abandoned buildings in a national park
< Reply # 4 on 5/6/2017 2:05 AM >
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Really great photos. Are the bunkers all in the restricted area?




branwoabando 


Location: Chicagoland Suburbs
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 7 likes


Itchy Shutter Finger

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Re: Abandoned buildings in a national park
< Reply # 5 on 5/10/2017 8:24 AM >
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Posted by Ceilingtile
Really great photos. Are the bunkers all in the restricted area?


Thanks! No, the bunker fields are on hiking/bicycling/horseback trails that are open to the public. There's even a handicap-accessible ramp and a descriptive waypoint sign out in front of one of them. You can see it in Frame 13 above. There are multiple trailheads around the tallgrass prairie where one may park their car, RV, or horse trailer and enter the grounds, and also a visitor's center for more information and education. The bison are in the fenced-off restricted habitat area (Frame 11), but I'm not interested in them much. There's a 24-hour "Bison Cam" live feed from their habitat online and an observation platform where one can view and photograph them, but I'm more interested in what's left of the abandoned factories and warehouses. Those are in "restricted" areas indicated by signs on the trails, but are accessible. It's just a lot of walking to get to most of anything aside from the plant clearance yard in Frames 16-21 & 31-35. I'd really like to go with a group out here, so if anyone's interested, please don't hesitate to PM me. We could even grab our bicycles and do a group ride!




"...there is some kind of satisfaction in ruins, in old books, in forgotten places, in the places where people haven't been poking around so long..." - Terence McKenna
branwoabando 


Location: Chicagoland Suburbs
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 7 likes


Itchy Shutter Finger

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Re: Abandoned buildings in a national park
< Reply # 6 on 8/3/2017 11:27 PM >
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Posted on Forum: UER Forum
Just posted new photos of this place here:

http://www.uer.ca/...id=1&msgid=1884575

I might as well add them here, too!

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For more, visit https://www.lomography.com/homes/b2377




"...there is some kind of satisfaction in ruins, in old books, in forgotten places, in the places where people haven't been poking around so long..." - Terence McKenna
UER Forum > UE Photography > Abandoned buildings in a national park (Viewed 2244 times)


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