Philadelphia November 29, 2017
These 10 Places in Philadelphia Are Being Reclaimed By Mother Nature
Philadelphia was once a booming industrial city, and there’s evidence of our city’s factory history everywhere you look. Though the days of enormous factories with their steam stacks in the middle of the city are over, there are still plenty of places that haven’t been torn down by developers to make way for loft apartments. These places are not quite preserved, but they’re still standing, becoming part of the earth that they stand on. Check out these places, and their haunting beauty, below.
1. Freihofer's Factory
Friehofer's Baking Company was founded in 1900 and built this gigantic factory in 1913. Long ago abandoned, you no longer smell fresh baked cookies as you once did. The vines that are creeping up the sides and the plants growing from cracks in the concrete made this factory a perfect choice for its movie debut — a torture scene was filmed here for the movie
Law Abiding Citizen.
2. Locktender's House, Manayunk Canal
All along the Manayunk Canal you'll find interesting, abandoned structures. This one, in particular, was a locktender's house.
3. Shawmont Waterworks
The gorgeous Shawmont Waterworks building was once the location of the pump that brought water from the Schuylkill River up to the Roxborough reservoir. Nowadays, it sits abandoned at the end of the Manayunk Towpath. The gorgeous windows and doorways provide perfect framing to the trees, weeds, flowers, and plants that have made the Waterworks their home.
4. Abandoned homes and barns near Oreland
Oreland, PA still has quite a few abandoned homes and barns. They can be hard to spot, though, among all of the vines that have wrapped their way around the stone.
5. Richmond Power Station
Richmond Power Station is a beautiful site nowadays, with its large windows and gorgeous architecture bringing you back to its heyday. Though it's been abandoned since the 1980s, you might recognize it from
Transformers 2, where it was one of Optimus Prime's lairs.
6. The SS United States
The SS United States, frequently referred to as the "Ikea Ship" because it's across the parking lot, was the biggest ocean liner to ever launched from an American yard. On top of that, it was the fastest ocean liner to make regular trans-Atlantic crossings. And now it sits in the Delaware River, being reclaimed by the water that made it a part of history.
7. PECO's Delaware Power Station
PECO's Delaware Power Station is one of Philadelphia's abandoned landmarks. You can see that it hasn't been touched in years by the overgrown yard, weeds thriving through cracks in the foundation, and rust contributing to the deteriorating structure.
8. Willow Street Steam Generation Plant
It seems like the Willow Street Steam Plant will always stand on 9th and Willow because no developers want to touch this landmark that is full of asbestos. I can't say I blame them, or that I'm sad to stare at this gorgeous, abandoned building when I'm in the neighborhood.
9. Reading Viaduct
The Reading Viaduct was once one of the most popular rail lines into Philadelphia, and now it's been renovated to create a sort of High Line rail park. Beyond the park, though, there's plenty of abandoned railroad, some structures, and a station that have been reclaimed by nature.
It's easy to imagine this platform filled with travelers heading into Philadelphia in the early 20th century.
10. Graffiti Pier
Graffiti Pier is Philadelphia's worst kept secret, and one of the greatest works of art. There's always a chance it will become a city park, but until then, this privately owned former Conrail pier is
technically off limits. Maybe that's why the weeds, roots, and vines have such an easy time making it their home.
One of the things I really love about Philadelphia is that you can really see our city’s history everywhere you look. If you like looking at the remnants of our Industrial past, you’ll probably enjoy walking through Old City and taking a step back in time as you stroll Elfreth’s Alley,
The Oldest Street In America.