Tag Archives: cement

Return to Southwestern Portland Cement

For a few months I’ve been exploring an abandoned industrial plant located at the corner of Executive and the Border Highway, the Southwestern Portland Cement Plant.

View Southwestern Portland Cement in a larger map

In this trip I concentrated on the back portion of the complex. There is a cluster of buildings that are interconnected and appear to be in better condition than the front sections of the plant:

Wear Goggles
Wear Goggles!

The walls were painted and boxes of equipment were scattered around. One portion had the remains of an office complete with a 2006 calender on the wall.

Warehouse Office
Warehouse Office

This area was quite striking in comparison to the older portions.  Sure, it was still a mess but it had some cool items of late 90’s vintage:

Click death anyone?
Click death anyone?

Continuing on through the warehouse to the outside, there was a small yard diesel parked out back.

Yard Train
Salty’s had better days

As I began to make my way back into the warehouse, I heard a truck coming around the corner.  Since I’m not sure if the owners would like me wandering around their abandoned factory, I darted behind a shed.  The truck parked out of my view by the warehouse and soon I could hear somebody whistling a tune.  I figured I wasn’t in much danger and continued to take pictures outside while the pied piper was inside.  After a few minutes, he appeared in a doorway nearby.  As he turned to me I greeted him, “Hi”.  Startled, he let out an “Aye cabrón!”. Luckily he wasn’t security, just a Cemex worker.

We chatted for a bit and he told me that Cemex rents this portion of the plant for storage explaining the somewhat refurbished condition. Seeing that I was taking pictures, he asked if I was interested in buying the place. I told him “No” and he said that was good because it would take a lot of money to clean up the asbestos.  I now had my answer to this plants demise.

I still have one area left I would like to visit, the old front office. I may try to get to it soon because I’m not sure how much longer ill have access through the front.  The road has been recently torn up by the ever advancing El Paso Water Utilities purple pipe project:

Road Closed
Road Closed

The full Flickr set can be viewed here: Portland Cement (pt.4)

The previous Flickr sets can be viewed here:
Set Three 6/21/2011
Set Two  5/16/2011
Set One 5/10/2011

Southwestern Portland Cement Plant

I went back to the Southwestern Portland Cement Plant today and shot some more pics using a wide angle lens.  For reference here is what the plant looked like in the 1900’s:

Southwestern Portland Cement 1900’s

Here it is from across the Rio Grande today:

Southwestern Portland Cement present day

I have shot a bunch of photos here, the place is really cool.  This section of the plant has been out of use for quite some time and the elements have really done a number on it.  Pigeons, bats and vagrants have been the only residents over the past 30 years and it shows.

Anybody need some bat guano?

There are a ton of places to explore and its fairly safe as long as you watch out for the holes in the floor and the huge killer wasps.  I’ve been here a few times and so far haven’t crossed paths with any wanderers or aliens. When it was easier to cross the river in this area, I’d be willing to wager this was a major stopping ground to stop and rest or change clothes.

The green room

I’m going to come back one more time and go into the main office area but for that one I think i’ll bring somebody with me.  It’s in an upstairs portion and there’s to many dark places for somebody to be hiding out.

All punched out

The previous Flickr sets can be viewed here:

Set One 5/10/2011
Set Two  5/16/2011