Textile

Mar 10

 

 

Today we stopped at an abandoned textile plant in Windsor Nova Scotia. This fortress-like facility once produced enough Stanfield Underwear to satisfy an entire county’s needs. Now it stands derelict, exposed to the harsh Maritime elements and the devious whims of local delinquents.

As we approached, we saw that the front door was accessible. The wooden two-by-fours that once sealed the entrance had been pried off. The door was cracked open. We entered and were immediately confronted by a daunting, rusty safe. Someone had obviously tried – repeatedly – to pry the lock with a crowbar but the thing was still sealed. 

We explored the first floor, taking tentative steps over broken glass, wood and and bricks. We soon found a stairway leading up to the second story. The stairs were covered with graffiti, but were otherwise in sturdy condition. Up and up. Each floor featured a vast open main space with a few smaller, enclosed rooms that were filled with junk. The row upon row of support beams gave each large space a geometric order that was at odds with the damage and disarray: smashed windows, hanging doors and warping, water-damaged oak floorboards.  

It looked as though a partial renovation had been attempted in sections. Kim explained that, shortly after the plant closed in 2005, the place was purchased by condo developers. They replaced many windows and began on the interior spaces when the project had to be abandoned. Years of underwear production had, apparently, caused the surrounding property to become contaminated with arsenic and other carcinogenic delights. The Nova Scotia Textiles building, it seems, will remain what it is: a late-night destination for misguided youth; an afternoon tourist attraction for adventurous manchildren; a symbol of Maritime industrial decline.