How to get in: Drive two hours around looking at the chimney. Get a stiff neck. Finally, enter through the open door.
Operation started in 1900. The building has been abandoned since 1959. The buildings are still in good shape despite 50 years of abandon.
When I arrived in Saint Louis, everybody told me not to go to East Saint Louis. Of course, I went straight away. Over two years, I have been a lot of times but it was always a strange feeling to cross the Mississippi river, going deep into the industrial decay of USA.
I used to drive around in East Saint Louis downtown, looking at the destroyed cars, the burned houses, the collapsed buildings and the empty streets, occasionally crossed by a wandering black guy. Oh! I have not told you yet? East Saint Louis inhabitants are 98 % black and unemployment 75 %. From 1989 to 1994, the waste collection did not work and rats as big as puppies used to run in the gutters.
Armour packing plant is located in National City, part of East Saint Louis. It was hard to find the concrete building as the trees had overgrown it since 1959. I went twice, and it is one of the scariest places I have been so far. Surrounded by deserted streets, the concrete structure shakes in the wind. When you enter the first building, you go back in time. It looks like nothing has changed. The machines are in the same place 50 years ago, and the operating manuals are still there. Should I turn on the switcher? Run out to the street to hire some guys? The buildings have not been vandalized too much, but the last time I went (thanks to Carrie), two guys were dismantling the walls to recover bricks. How long is this building going to survive? It has been abandoned for such a long time, that it was almost a miracle to be able to visit it. Armour packing plant is characteristic of East Saint Louis. Collapsing but still standing.