Turning 30 feels much the same (so far) as being 29. Or 28. Or 27. Or 26. Maybe even 25. Earlier this past fall when my 30th birthday was on the horizon, I wasn't quite sure how to celebrate it. I was drained from a tough summer and much of me just wanted to recoil and be away. So the only way I knew how was to get away to a place I knew the odds of running into somebody would be slim. Hello Philadelphia.
This is the former Budd Railcar Factory. It's a giant piece of real estate located along some freight rails between Germantown and North Philly. Next to the Packard Auto Plant in Detroit, I think this is one of the largest single abandoned structures I've ever been inside. It was awesome and exactly what I needed. Just some peace and quiet in a place to contemplate the decade of life that just ended.
In some ways, much of this trip (see part 1 here) was a repeat of my very first trip to Detroit in my early 20s. Both were done on a whim (I decided to do both the night before) and both were exciting because of the pure joy of exploring a place that I wasn't quite 100% sure I'd even get into. Luck was on my side. God was making sure I wasn't going to fall into a hole and die.
I won't go into the history of this place since I'm quite certain I'll get some part of it wrong, but I think I finally know why I do these trips by myself. It's sort of a long, drawn-out 2-part trip. The first part is just me, scoping the place out, going in alone, and making sure it'd be ok to bring somebody else along. Detroit was like that. And I thought Philly would be like that too. And maybe it will be. I just don't know with who.
According to Streetsdept, the Budd Factory is a former industrial plant located in Hunting Park, Philadelphia. It is currently abandoned and includes a network of 20 buildings covering over 75 acres. At its peak, it held approximately 2.1 million square feet of space. That's one hell of a space.
The next time I go to Philly, I'm visiting this place for sure. And eating Federal Doughnuts. Here's a video from inside.