I’ve been to these grounds several times and have never been let down by what I’ve explored, as there are multiple abandoned buildings and each one is different. But this building in particular we had dubbed the “unicorn” because entry always seemed to elude us. Most common causes were due to constant security patrol, car traffic-either driving around the building or right in front of it, as well as random people walking around. But on this particular day, it was like butter 😉 everything worked out perfectly and we gained entry-which was no easy task, but on this day it all just worked out. The timing was perfect both going in and coming out! One minute too early or too late and we for sure would have been seen.
Once inside it was like OOOOOO EMMMMM GEEEEEEE!! This is the building we had been looking for, for quite some time and we never knew that this place we’d passed a million times, was it lol. Go figure… Anywho, back to the explore! As is pretty typical when I explore with friends, once we’re inside we all just kind of fan out and scatter in different directions. I don’t know if it’s just an instinctive “I don’t want to be standing right next to somoene (hovering) waiting to get the exact same shot that their trying to get and I definitely don’t want to be in anyone’s way, so uhmmm I think I’ll go over here first” mentality or what, but it always happens lol. (Side Note It’s always fun to meet up or talk afterward and see the shots you got from the same room or same location. Everyone has a different style and a different approach to their photography. I love it!)
After being on the 1st floor for a while, peeking in and out of offices I looked around and realized that I was alone. My 2 urbex buddy’s were nowhere to be seen. I guess I took too long trying to get a “down the hallway” shot of the main corridor haha. A few seconds later I heard one of the guys call my name so I looked toward the area where it came from. They had already made their way up the stairs to the second floor and didn’t want to leave me on the 1st floor all by myself. Awwww, sweet huh? 🙂
So I snap one last pic and scurry to the corner where the stairs were located, only to get side tracked by how awesome the stairwell (sans hand rail) was. Peely paint galore and graffiti everywhere!! So I snapped a few pics on my way up and got side tracked yet again as I reached the top, because I spotted the coolest bathroom I have ever seen – complete with mummy murals YASSSSSSSSS!! We spent much more time on the 2nd floor because every room and every corner was more cool than the next! I can’t even tell you how many pictures I took. Oddly enough, being that this building is supposedly a paint manufacturing facility there were desks all throughout the 2nd floor. Rooms and rooms of desks! So at first (before I got back home and researched the location history) I assumed this building was some sort of training school. I’m still unsure… Either way, it was a very cool explore and I’m so happy that we finally got in 🙂
Below is the location history according to the US Navy and a few of my favorite pics from this location (photographed in late 2013).
The Paint Manufacturing Facility located on MINS, was established by the U.S. Navy in 1854 until it was closed in April of 1996. The building was historically part of marshlands located along the shoreline between 1911 and 1938, the land was created when dredge spoils material (primarily clay and silt) was placed in an area bounded by a network of levees constructed to the northeast, south, and southwest of the site in 1914.
The paint manufacturing facility included several buildings in addition to two former above ground storage tank (AST) farms and associated pipelines and a former 4,000 gallon heating oil AST adjacent to the building. Paints and varnishes were manufactured at the paint manufacturing facility from the 1940s to the mid-1950s in support of ship construction and maintenance. Materials used in the paint manufacturing process, which included oils, solvents and resins were stored at two former tank farms.
The northern tank farm, consisting of 21 above ground storage tanks. Railroad cars were used to transport raw materials and manufactured paints and varnishes on and off site. The southern tank farm, consisting of six above ground storage tanks. Both tank farms were removed in the 1960s. When the paint manufacturing facility was active, two common anti-corrosive paints were applied to Navy vessels; a zinc chromate formulation and a lead-based formulation. Antifoulant paints were also used, and consisted of a film-forming material (matrix, binder, resin, and medium), a pigment, and a biocide that kills or repels fouling organisms. Former shipyard workers stated that poly chlorinated biphenyls (PCB), organotins and other biocide agents were added to paints only on an experimental basis. They specifically recalled a 400-gallon batch of PCB-containing paint and a 100-gallon batch of organotin containing paint.
Facility-wide and site-specific investigations were conducted between 1983 and 2000. Results of previous investigations indicated the presence of metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and poly chlorinated biphenyls in surface soil as well as solvents and oil in soil and groundwater. The Navy conducted a removal action in 1998 & 1999 to remove soil with elevated concentrations of metals and site features such as an oil-water separator and transfer piping used between the two former tank farms.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from this pretty amazing location ツ