By Rebecca Drew
EERIE pictures reveal the rusting remains of a twentieth-century power plant filled with potentially deadly asbestos before it undergoes a planned £187 million renovation.
The atmospheric shots show the desolate metal stairways, rusting infrastructure and waterfilled passages.
Exterior images show missing windows and crumbling brick of the fenced off five storey-plant. The spooky pictures were taken at Riverside Power Plant, in Savannah, Georgia by an urban explorer known only as Abandoned Southeast. To take his pictures he used a Canon DSLR and Tamron lens.
“An unknown number of power plant workers and engineers were exposed to high levels of asbestos while working at Riverside,” said Abandoned Southeast.
“Due to fire and heat danger, asbestos-containing materials were used extensively in construction of power plants prior to 1980.
“Asbestos insulation was used in fire doors, around conduits, and inside the machinery itself.”
Riverside Power Plant began operation on October 31, 1912 and was fully completed by April 1913. For much of the 20th Century, as demand for electricity increased, the plant successfully provided power to the city.
However, skyrocketing oil prices and political instability in the Middle East put a strain on the electric industry during the 1970s. Riverside Power Plant workers went on strike in 1975 for higher wages.
Utility companies were challenged to find alternative energy that was less costly and more reliable. Riverside Power Plant was slowly taken offline beginning in early 2000.
“In 2012, Savannah native and hotel entrepreneur Richard Kessler, purchased the former power plant,” said Abandoned Southeast.
“He planned to spend $235 million converting the Riverside plant and surrounding land into shops, restaurants, luxury hotels, and an entertainment venue.
“The project would consist of building four new buildings including 422 hotel rooms and renovating the power plant.
“Kessler stated the revitalization would create 800 permanent jobs.”
Abandoned Southeast explained why he takes images of lost places.
“My goal is to showcase the places I visit as well as the things I see,” he said.
“I try to incorporate the past history if it is available.”