Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Solvay Coke Plant

Sandwiched inbetween the rail lines east of Kinnickinnik and the Milwaukee and KK rivers is a long-abandoned industrial site, with the remains of a number of buildings crumbling away among weeds and broken concrete. A bit of online searching reveals that this is the remains of the Solvay Coke Plant, which operated on the site from around the turn of the century until 1983 when it was abandoned. The coke manufacturing process is intensely toxic and left the site a contaminated brownfield.

Solvay Coke ruins

Solvay Coke buildings

Several intrepid explorers have published photos of this fascinating complex of buildings, including an especially good one here. Most of the site has been demolished in the last couple of years, a massive blank slate awaiting cleanup and redevelopment.

Other pages:
Photos from when the plant was in operation.
Development plans, from the Journal-Sentinel.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was down there the other day. The neighborhood is really growing and I believe as soon as the land has been cleaned development will begin. The waterfront access is key to this development. I would really like to see a cool little townhouse community get built on the site

Anonymous said...

This is a cool site, I took many photos here a year ago. I like it as it is. We already have way to much development here in Milwaukee. This site is "perfect" as it stands.

Rhoda21 said...

Nice shots!!

Where is this located?

C Giles said...

My Father started working there in 1951 as a oven worker , he worked his way up to foreman and was one of the last people to leave and help shut it down. The (Coke Plant was one of the Hardest , Toughest and Hottest(and I an talking about HEAT)places to work (Especially on the ovens), I stared working there in July 1973 and left that January. But as the years past I am more and more Proud that I worked there and hung on through one of the hottest summers on record and I will never forget the array of unique characters that I met there.