Photographer Matthew Christopher has spent nearly 10 years traveling the country, documenting the buildings, places, and ideas we've either forgotten or left behind for his book, “Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences”. From small homes, to massive churches, sometimes buildings are simply abandoned. The original Hershey Chocolate plant was one such structure. To Christopher it was more than that, however. This particular subject proved more meaningful than many others; he grew up in Hershey, Pennsylvania and his father worked at the plant before it shuttered its doors.
Built in 1903, the Hershey Chocolate factory was the primary source for America's favorite chocolate treats for the next 109 years. That all changed with a shift to a newer, larger facility in West Hershey.
The original plant closed its doors and was about to be demolished when this intrepid photographer gained entry to document what remained.
The age of the building is apparent in the photos, but there’s an undeniable beauty in these worn details.
The vast factory spaces put a new perspective on just how much chocolate Hershey produces.
Some details like this natural stone wall, probably won't ever be repeated in a new factory construction.
Some aspects look pretty familiar, though.
The workers here made this place their own for over 100 years. Little details like this were everywhere.
One day, it was open, the next, it was closed. Nothing makes this more obvious than the last bits of chocolate left on the machines.
An unusual skywalk connected two of the buildings. Imagine trudging up those stairs many times a day. Sometimes modernity is a good thing.
It's hard to believe that only a year before these photos, this place was buzzing with women and men, producing box after box of chocolate.
Eventually, the crews came in and begin the demolition.
Wall after wall came down.
Hopefully, the people demolishing this plant took this message to heart and saved what they could for reuse.
Credit: Abandoned America l ViralNova