Willimantic River, Views from ATCO Building #2

Well it’s been almost a year since I have last added to this project, and to my amazement this page is still receiving traffic and there are new likes almost on a weekly basis on Facebook. I’m glad to still see interest in my project, despite my lack of producing new content. I started this project because I wanted a means to explore the medium of photography and to build a portfolio of meaningful images. Work and life are often distractions to the things we’d like to spend our time doing and over the past two years, it has been tough to make the time for writing and taking pictures. Despite how time consuming this type of work is, I miss creating the images, meeting new interesting people and telling the awesome stories of Willimantic. My original plan was to produce a multidimensional, multimedia project, and that is something that I would still like to see happen. Truth is, I owe all you fine folks some more content, a more complete website regarding Willimantic and myself a little more than a dormant wordpress page.

I took these two images this past October, from the Windham Mills complex (the old American Thread Mill #2 and attached buildings). Yes, this past fall was less than stellar in regards to wonderful fall colors and no, I did not get the perfect day I wanted to photograph, but I had been bugging the manager of this property for over a year to photograph from the building’s roof. I was able to secure an appointment (on a rather chilly Sunday morning) and these were the photos I took, despite the weather being overcast. Looking West (as in the picture above), it’s amazing to think that just two decades ago, the area that is now parking would have had multiple buildings, the remnants of boilers, dye shops and even narrow gauge rail. The majority of this complex, at least from this view, has yet to be renovated and occupied by new tenants. The pier that the heralded smokestack once stood, still remains almost as to remind us of the industrial power that once drove the heart of Willimantic. Yet, this property is growing and changing at an almost constant pace, with the Eastern wing completely renovated and almost at full occupancy.

It’s amazing to think that a mere fourteen foot damn would have powered this entire building full of machines at one time. The constant flow of the Willimantic River over natural falls, it was almost preordained that human’s would build industry here; the damn and powerhouse below looking almost like extensions of nature. This site represents a lot of progress and production, yet the lineage of a story that has seen neglect and abandon and with the ending still to be completed. As I look forward to adding to this project, please support me by sharing the work I have already produced with anybody who might be interested. I have seen a few people post links to this site around facebook and I’m really happy that people appreciate all of the work I have done to produce this site.

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