The old factory buildings of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in New Haven, Connecticut had stood abandoned empty since 2006. Weapons had been manufactured on the site, less than two kilometers from Yale University’s main campus, since 1870. At its heyday, up to 19,000 people worked in shifts and produced “The Gun that won the West” here.
Abandoned, crumbling industrial sites have a unique aura. Inevitably, one wonders what once was here. What it may have looked like. What probably happened here. At the same time you can enjoy reariness and silence, the crunch of the fallen plaster and the shards under the boots. On walks through the ruins, in search of clues. Here an old sign, there an empty shelf, an abandoned hammer, disappointed graffiti of perhaps the last employees of the factory. In between puddles, moss and sometimes even trees. Nature always reclaims, even in the middle of the city.
In the meantime, the adventure playground for grown-ups has been renovated. Some biotech companies have settled, other buildings have been gutted and converted into overpriced studio apartments.