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UER Forum > Journal Index > Points of Interest > Columbus Coated Fabrics (Viewed 1801 times)
Columbus Coated Fabrics
entry by wing_nut 
3/14/2006 9:30 AM

Just finished up (or mostly finished, anyway) a two day exploration of the Columbus Coated Fabrics plant in good old Columbus, OH. The place is enormous with over a dozen interconnected buildings and support structures. Each has multiple floors and basements. Steam tunnels crisscross the place and the roof and gantries offer much to see. The structures are on 5th Ave. near a cluster of abandoned porperties.

The place is not so much an abandonment as a ruin. It brings back memories of the Inland Products Plant in its state of decay. It is no problem at all to enter, simply go in through one of the many open outer doors or just walk through a hole in the wall. After the plant shut down in 2001, the building was about to be demolished when it suffered a massive chemical fire. Damage was apparently extensive. In many places, the walls are missing and the roof is caved in. There are few intact windows. This would not be surprising ordinarily, but the place was shut down less than five years ago.

I explored the place with Wratchet, night runs both times, and what struck us both was the resemblance of the place to a war zone. I have seen plenty of buildings in a state of demolition or that have suffered fire. It had none of the characteristic heavy machinery of demolition or the scorching of fire. Walking through a demolished courtyard there gave me the eerie feeling of being in WWII scouting some enemy encampment. Rubble strewn as far as I could see... quite odd.

Combine this with the fact that we chose to explore on a windy night full of intermittent rainstorms and lightening and the whole experience was a bit creepy. The rain made the interior subject to flooding and water covered floors as well. Made for some interesting reflections.

Anyhow, the structure consists mainly of huge rooms connected with large garage doors. Most of these have been emptied of equipment, although several large presses and stirring tanks still inhabit some areas. Also of interest was the ever present paperwork that littered all of the offices. It gave a pretty good idea of what they did there; make vinyl coating products. In some places, it felt like they just didn't come back to work one day, everything was so intact. Eerie. Other notable features include a small boiler room, strange holding tanks in the basement, stairways covered in computer printouts, abandoned forklifts and a railroad station.

The steam plant at the back of the site is easily recognizable due to its large smokestack. It is a huge 70 ft tall building. Inside, the space is taken up by two large coal fired boilers with all the trimmings and trappings still intact. This was especially fun to explore. Many catwalks and ladders.

Perhaps the best experience of the night for me was simply getting to the roof of the powerhouse and looking out across the length of the jumble of buildings toward the glowing city skyline. Standing there with the cold wind whipping around me, I pulled out a small telescope I was carrying and scanned the buildings in the distance. Wratchet said I looked heroic. I just felt peaceful.

Overall, a stunning place to explore. Many breathtaking views and fun nooks and crannies. The immensity of the complex was daunting at first, but it feels like a real accomplishment having finished it up.

[last edit 3/16/2006 7:24 AM by wing_nut - edited 1 times]
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UER Forum > Journal Index > Points of Interest > Columbus Coated Fabrics (Viewed 1801 times)

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