One fine summer day in the late ’80s, my father took me for a long bike ride. We rounded a corner in the City of Watervliet revealing a sight, sounds, and smells that remained engraved in my memory to this day: metal clanging, repetitive clacking, and the odor of industrial waste.
I recall looking through the wire fence as we slowly began to make our way up the hill catching quick glimpses inside the enormous metal structures, seeing an occasional spark or two and thought to myself, “I wanna go IN there!”
Well it took a couple of decades but I finally made my way back. The sounds have long since stopped, and a few smells still remained.
The Al-Tech steel mill went quiet in the late ‘9os and is probably the most hazardous place I’ve visited over the years according to this EPA report.
Nature, however, is slowly beginning to disregard the heavy footprint and reclaim it.
I certainly watched every step I took
I continued to move along, but did not fail to stop around each corner to take in the scenes of time standing still:
I couldn’t help but to reflect on scenes from countless films that have been situated in intimidating industrial locations such as this (Nightmare on Elm Street, Cobra, etc.)
No…I didn’t go down there.
I’d obviously not been the first curious fella to wander on through there after it closed:
Some coverage of the location appears in an All Over Albany post containing links to some visitors with MUCH better cameras and images.