Flintkote was a paper mill (later they made roofing shingles) in Lockport, NY that left behind an awful legacy. It was labelled as one of the most toxic locations in Western New York. It’s a large rotting blight inside of a small neighborhood and not a half-mile from an elementary school. Naturally, we wanted to go there.
As it was far enough away that we wouldn’t know anything about the neighborhood we decided to scout it out one day then make plans to return on another. When we got to the neighborhood we decided we would park in a quiet dead-end street we found. The only activity around being a small bar a block away from us.
We had parked perpendicular from the access road that led to the plant and set out trying to spot a way in. The access road had been blocked by a large piece of sheet metal attached to a chain link fence making it impossible to climb over. Below the fence was a creek with a raging current and, being winter, was probably cold. Since we were already there we gave up on the ‘just scouting’ idea and climbed around the side of the fence over the water and onto the ruins of Flintkote.
We approached a brick building with a loading bay on the front and found our way in through there. The loading bay itself was empty so we made our way up to the second floor. That’s where we discovered this place really was a disaster.
The second floor was covered in grime, ashes, and broken equipment. Sections looked like they had just rotted away and collapsed. There wasn’t a single intact window anywhere we could see.
We walked out onto a roof section that led to the upper floors of another building but there wasn’t much to see there.
There were two long sections that we found running along parts of the complex, one was an above ground loading bay and the other was a basement level series of platforms which may have once supported a conveyor belt. It was in this second, section that the ‘don’t fucking touch that’ rule was born.
This area was dark and we were on a dirt floor that ran next to the platforms and walkways. On the walkways and in some of the sections on the ground in-between them were these large unlabeled barrels. On one wall the barrel above had rusted away and the black goo inside was dripping down the wall. Now since Prometheus hadn’t been released yet, my friend didn’t realize you should never touch the black goo. I yelled out “stop!” before even thinking about it. He was grateful to still have his finger and we moved on.
At the end of this hallway was a room filled with more of these barrels and not much else. We returned again to the second floor ruins and went down a spiral staircase we had noticed earlier. Down here we found the largest boiler I have ever seen. I’m quite sure it was larger than the house I was living in at the time and because of the way the room was built around it I wasn’t really able to get a photo that did it justice.
Having guessed we’d seen everything we headed out back the way we came and back to the car. I almost jumped because parked behind us was a truck with police lights on the top. I was sure they had spotted us and were just waiting for us to get out to ticket or arrest us.
We cautiously approached on the other side of the road and then noticed that it wasn’t a police truck. It was a fire marshal. My friend noticed that they didn’t have driveways and figured he was probably just parked outside of his house.
Still, we left quickly.
Some readers might notice the white and blue dots on these photos, always in the same place. My trusty Powershot G2 had some bad sensor damage from all the abuse I put it through for years, so those are stuck pixels.