Zachary Byron Helm (pyrotech_c3h8) wrote,
Zachary Byron Helm

Journey into Gates Rubber Company, or "I hope you guys have Hobo Stab Insurance"

First, my story…

Basically I am a somewhat active urban explorer, I find places that have been decommissioned, go inside, look around and take as many pictures as I can. Some of my highlights have been Cinderella City, Lakeside Mall, as well as old government installations.

In some cases I have gotten caught, in almost all of them I have been able to talk my way out of it. I do NOT recommend trying Gates. We did get pinched by the 5-0 and a few weeks later the property management started posting 24 hour guards as well as sealing the security breach that allowed us inside (which is to say they fixed the giant hole in the side of the building) most of these changes were instituted after some unprepared explorers went in without flashlights and one of them fell to their death. If you are going to explore, have some common sense, bring flashlights, radios, cell phones, and let someone you know have a time frame in which you will be returning home and advise them to investigate if you do not return in that time frame.

You do NOT want to get thrown in the pokie for something as stupid as going into an abandoned building. Jail sucks worse than anything, it sucks worse than…well, I am just going to come out and say it, it sucks worse than Vegan beef jerky. If you have ever HAD vegan beef jerky, you know what I am talking about, it has the consistency of rat turds that have been stomped flat and it tastes like licorice flavored donkey cum that is expired. Jail is worse than that, if you can imagine it.

As for this set, this is the result of several trips to Gates. As of this time the Southern addition was still intact but on it’s way to demolition. The camera I used was some sort of poorly performing snap and shoot, so some pictures turned out astounding when I could get the camera to agree to take the pictures I wanted it to. Please excuse some of the noise, I did the best I could to straighten them out in Photoshop.

This is Gates from the I25 overpass near Broadway. Although there are no outward signs of them, there were tunnels that extended from the main building, due West, almost all the way to Santa Fe.

It's hard to really convey how big this building is. Our first excursion lasted 5 hours and we succeeded in exploring the main outbuilding, the primary central building and a small part of the basement. The roof, offices and full basement was another 3 hours to cover. This place is HUGE. If Nel Carter ate Orson Wells and turned into a cement structure, it would be this building.

From Santa Fe area...

I was pretty happy with how this one turned out...

Up close and personal...

Probably a bad place to be in broad daylight, but a good shot...

It’s really a shame that such a well built and distinctive structure is being destroyed to make way for more homogenized whitebread bullshit. As if Colorado really needs yet another high density, upscale living habitat for retarded white people with easy access to Panera Bread. Couldn’t we just save one thing that didn’t fit the horrible “Earth Toned” market tested bullshit?

The one thing that gives me a little satisfaction is that the demolition has been going slowly because this building was one well built badass. The high concentration of metal rebar and concrete design proved daunting and caused some significant delays and cost overruns. Awesome.

That being said, it's time to get inside, well after midnight...

Our first obstacle...finding the front door. If only there had been some easily accessible way into the building...

The trailing edge of the buildings get an idea of where we are the picture below would place the camera facing East with Downtown to your left. This is all gone now, replaced by horribly generic apartments.

You can't tell from this picture, but to get it I was standing on the tops of one of these nearly destroyed pillars on the edge. Good times with rebar lacerations!

Looking straight down.

Now to get inside of the main building...

Right here…see this? This is EXACTLY the type of place you wake up chained to a pipe next to a hacksaw and a
tape recorder in some sicko’s attempt to teach you a heartwarming lesson about the value of life via horrible self mutilation.

Sherwin Williams would be proud...

This is most likely the open elevator shaft that the other explorer fell into. If you are going exploring there is no reason, no reason at all, to fall prey to this sort of thing. If you are sober and have an ounce of preparation that everyone should have, you would never run into a problem like this.

Elevator motor

The bridge to the other side...

Finally on our way to the main complex. The bridge, at this point, was being demolished, so there were several places where we could see down onto traffic below.

I am told these were vulcanizing devices, if anyone knows any details that are different, let me know!

Welcome to Silent on to the basement.

Welcome to the 'ol Rapin' stair well!

Krueger Real Estate's most recent listing.

At least you'll know how much you weigh before you die.

Shelf of random bolts and whatnot. Then we found this...

It doesn't look like much, but this was deep in the basement on the far north side, the ONLY light still on at Gates Rubber Company. It was creepy as all get out because at this point we were so deep in the building that even if you were to run at full speed it would be 5 or 6 minutes to get topside to a location where you could exit. It was made even stranger that this sole light was so deep into the building and that it was nearly lands end for this place and WHY THE HELL would it be on in the middle of the night.
We listened for a few minutes and went to check it out, just one sole light bulb hanging from a wire for no reason.

Okay, enough of this madness, time to get some air on the roof...

Damned nice to see the moon again...

More than anything the roof really reminds you of a Borg ship...

Looking North out over the power plant, which we didn't enter, that part was pretty much locked tight and we didn't want to break in, we only went places that had open doors.

Probably the most fascinating part of the adventure was the water tower, which is the highest altitude portion of the entire structure...

That little ladder on the leg of the tower is a whole lot more "Unexpected emergency sphincter control disengaging" than it really looks from this photo.

Almost to the top!

Are you several hundred feet above the city...surrounded by jagged rusty metal on a decaying ladder with no safety supports? Then maybe it's time YOU considered taking a Myspace picture!

Well, it beats just snapping one in some crappy apartment bathroom, that's for sure...

If you enjoyed reading this, feel free to check out my journal where I recently posted about a failed expedition to a Titan 1 Missile Silo! Also, I do have prints available of these pictures if you are interested in purchasing any of them, help me pay off those trespassing tickets!

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