Friday, February 19, 2016

Building 7

[Anaconda American Brass in Ansonia, box shop]

PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL: Follow the factory road north from the crossroad to beyond the high, north-facing windows of the machine shop, where cats slumber and feed, and you reach the building they called the Box Shop. 

The actual shop where, I presume, boxes were made to hold product, was in the bay on the right. The stripped Chrysler Coronado has parked there for as long as I’ve been visiting. Inside the box shop the former occupants could still be found hanging from hooks and nails, in drawers, on counters, and stashed into cubbies. Everything down to the aspirin had been left, while the building crumbled around and above, but among shadowy creaks and silence there might as well have been box-builders, a Coronado driver, perhaps.

Building 7 appears on maps of Ansonia for the first time in 1911 where it is identified as the, “Carpenter Shop," of "Coe Brass Mfg Co.” On previous maps this site was the Wallace & Sons Brass Co., and on future maps it will be part of American Brass Company, but in 1911, as consolidation of the brass industry is underway, it is Coe Brass. 

The bay on the left was open to the elements and empty. We trusted a crumbling stair once, long ago, to get to the second floor. There we found a beautiful long gallery lined with windows on both sides and completely empty. I was hesitant to trust the floor, knowing the condition of the shop below, and took no memorable pictures. I never dared the stair again before the building was leveled last summer.

The Coronado is still there - moved across the yard.