Scranton, located in the heart of the Pennsylvania iron and coal mining industrial area was home to the world famous Scranton Lace Factory for over a century until its doors closed in 2002.
At its peak, the Scranton Lace Factory employed in excess of 1,400 workers. But this was no ordinary place of work. Advanced management techniques and employee programs combined with traditional blue collar working practices made this more of a community. Although its huge clock tower stood well above the city skyline providing its inhabitants a constant reminder of its presence, the Scranton Lace Factory also had less authoritative features such as an entire floor dedicated to sports and recreation that included a movie theater, a stage for theatrical productions, a games room and a two lane bowling alley. Even back then they had started to realize that happy workers meant good productivity.
However, like many other large, industrial facilities impacted by changing economies and technologies the Scranton Lace Factory finally succumbed and closed its doors. For almost a decade the factory has been left to decay. But, rather than collapsing under the weight of neglect or attracting the attention of a developers wrecking ball, the buildings that were the Scranton Lace Factory are being given a new lease of life and readied for a new generation of industry. Equipment is being removed, revealing the sheer extent of the place and football field size rooms that once occupied colossal machines await their new occupants.
I had an opportunity to photograph the Scranton Lace Factory a few weeks ago and I am preparing a small folio of my images. The following are some that I have worked on so far.