Thursday, March 26, 2009

Abandoned Brewery, MD

On Sunday, I went with a friend Emily, to explore an abandoned brewery in Maryland. Neither of us has ever explored alone before and it's not something we'd do as there's always a risk of danger in some of these old buildings, but it felt strange with just two of us instead of the usual bigger group.

Once we were inside the building, we quickly got down to business and set up our cameras and tripods, the only sound coming from us being the clicking of shutters, and mutters as we got our positions just so.

The building seemed solid but the paint was peeling off in layers and we had to be careful to not disturb asbestos dust on the floor.

At some point there must have been giant tanks sitting in these circular holes, but the empty rims reminded me of an empty watch or clock face.

I took a lot of close up shots this time and loved the colors in the brewery; plenty of reds, blues, oranges and yellows.

We went from level to level which looked similar busy capturing the peeling paint on panel doors and the stairs. Some of the walls had disappeared and we looked out onto the city from a vantage point not many others had seen.
We headed down cold dark stairwells with flashlights and came to a level which we weren't familiar with. Thinking we could take a short cut through to exit the building, we entered into a room marked 'Laboratory'. As we entered, the door slammed behind us locking us in. We looked at the flooring we needed to cross and it welled in the middle, obvious signs of rot. After trying the door again, we realized we would have to cross the room. Keeping to the walls we tentatively padded over sheets of plywood and past holes we could see in the floor.

If you click on the above image, you can see the condition of the floor and the wall we kept to on the left. As we turned the corner, the floor started to give and we both rushed to get to the smaller rooms on the other side. I 'borrowed' the above photo from one of our group members who said the floor was as thin as cardboard on Flickr. We weren't actually too interested in taking photos at this point so have none to document the moment. Once we were on more solid ground, we carefully investigated the other rooms but found no way out. A dark stairwell had a door at the bottom which was also locked. Being level headed and darker haired females, we carefully considered our options as by now, dusk was approaching, and we were hungry. While we were scratching our heads, we noticed a Jacobs ladder from a flat roof leading up to another roof with an open door leading back into the building. It was our only choice, so climbing out the window, we were dismayed to find the flat roof was just as dodgy as the room's floor inside and we were very conscious of the sponginess underfoot as we tiptoed to the ladder. 25ft up and we walked across a rusty metal platform to the open door and were ecstatic to find we recognized the nearby stairwell.
We were very pleased to be on solid ground as we left the bottom stair.

But..... there was another black cold corridor just beckoning us inside. Deep into the cold dark depths we went, and found these fermenting tanks. It was pitch black without flashlights so once we had our photos we hurried out to the warm sunset and a nearby pub.

This was a photo from up on the brewery roof...

...and this is one from inside the building that I manipulated later. Click to enlarge and read the message on the wall.
We found a fabulous pub near by and I had the best chicken sandwich and cold beer I'd had in ages. We chatted to a local guy who had a humungous bowl of mussels, clams and crabs legs plopped in front of him and he begged us to help him eat some. The mussels were bigger than my computer mouse and wonderfully fresh. After an hour or so of munching and learning the best varieties of seafood, we headed back towards home. What an exhilarating day!

1 comment:

kemp-y-QUA!! said...

WOW! this one was really an adventure. glad you both made it out safely- I'd hate to think what I would have done at work this week if you were still trapped in that labratory! :)