It’s not very often that I get official access to a space. And, this opportunity was special because not only was I given access by my friend at the Port Authority one afternoon, but we photographed the space together. Being extremely knowledgeable of this space, he gave me a tour as we went, unlocking doors and explaining the history and potential future of this building. I was allowed 1.5 hours to shoot the space before he had to return to work. I was afraid this was not going to be enough time. In the end I had more than enough time to explore and photograph the whole space. Union Iron Works is a beautiful example of a space that has been allowed to naturally decay with very little graffiti inside. It was definitely a different experience for me to literally walk in through the “front door” rather than have to climb, crawl, or sneak my way in. In some ways gaining legal access loses some of the fun and challenge of figuring out an entry point. But in this case I accepted gate entry with a “yes.!”
And to give everyone a heads up, there is in fact an active alarm/motion detection system in the facility. It was installed when scrappers gained access and were pulling copper from live systems feeding neighboring active buildings.