Saturday, April 2, 2011


I love scratchbuilding structures for a number of reasons. One reason would be the research element - when you build something you need to find photos, drawings, sketches,,...etc.., but also you need to learn the basic hows and whys of the structure - processes, procedures,....etc. This to me is a lot of fun and at times like a treasure hunt. Another reason - no limitations - once you master the basic techniques and tools there is nothing that is beyond reach - of course money and time can be a limiter and a drawback too.

As I travel I frequently see buildings or factories and think - that would be a neat structure to scratchbuild. So I end up building this never ending list of future projects. If I have time I shoot some pictures when I see these buildings, but most of the time I just drive by with the intention of going back sometime to photo document the structure - something that is virtually costless thanks to the digital image age. As I continue with my slide scanning project I have begun to realize that factories that I photographed in the 1980s are mostly gone now and many of the pre-1950s industries that have survived are in jeopardy of being demolished in the near future. I would venture to guess that by the end of this decade, only 10% of the industrial structures that pre-date 1950 will still be standing and the majority built in the 60's will probably be gone too. So now, I am more fearful of missing a chance to photograph a building.

One of these future to do projects is a small Municipal power plant in Vineland, NJ - I noticed that in the past few years they have switched from coal to oil - while not so worried about the plant itself, I was worried that the coal handling equipment would soon be demoed so - ROAD TRIP. Typical of the day trips that I have began to enjoy since our daughter went off to college and my son is close to finishing high school (think empty nesters - fly children and be free - maybe?) we try to mix things up a bit some industrial archeology, maybe some trains, some shopping, some visiting,,..etc. Well we did plenty of all of these today and managed to take some photos of the Vineland Power Plant. This nifty little power plant is perfect for a future project - it sits within a city block so it is small compared to most NJ power plants - you can photograph it from all sides thanks to sidewalks right alongside the plant - and it has a cool retro-neon sign to boot. Enjoy the photos.

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