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The Slice

Tue., Sept. 11, 2012, 5:12 p.m.

My idea of sightseeing: Industrial ruins

I certainly don't revel in the lost jobs they represent.

Nor do I think there's anything amusing about the decay and decline of, say, Rust Belt cities.

But I have long been fascinated by the sight of closed, abandoned manufacturing plants. It's as if they are sprawling historical exhibits.

Anyone who has known me for any length of time has probably heard me talk about seeing the virtually abandoned Studebaker complex in South Bend, Indiana, 30 years ago. Or some of the ghost buildings my sister-in-law has driven us past in Detroit.

Closed breweries. Shuttered factories. Long-silent assembly plants. Industrial ruins intrigue me.

How many people worked there when it was going full tilt? Was the demise gradual or sudden? Would this place have been going strong during the "Mad Men" era?

How about you? What stark reminders of the days when America actually built stuff have you seen up close?

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The Slice

The online home for Paul Turner's musings and interactions with disciples of The Slice.