Armour Meat Packing Plant

Update: Demolished in the spring and summer of 2016.

The Armour Meat Packing Plant is certainly a sight to behold. Rising out of the thick underbrush of the northern edge of East St. Louis, it is hard to believe that such a centrally located site could have remained abandoned for the last fifty years. The smokestacks punctuate the northern reached of the old National Stockyards, which are now completely closed.

The ruins of Armour are massive, decrepit and treacherous, with holes in the floor scattered throughout the site. The steam plant, anchored by the two massive smokestacks, is still outfitted with much of its machinery. Looking up, there are large skylights which have lost their glass perhaps decades ago.

Here is the base of one of the smokestacks, still in remarkably good shape despite some evidence of spalling high up on the stack.

The exterior is likewise in various stages of repair, ranging from completely collapsed to well preserved. Read here about the guy who climbed the smokestack, with hilarious results.

The machine room is amazing; the various implements, some over one hundred years old, are mostly lying in the same place as the day the complex was abandoned.

These tanks are stunning, showing how massive the operation was at Armour.

And finally, the killing floor, where if you look very carefully, you can see the metal apparatus that carried the carcasses from room to room.

It normally is shrouded in vegetation and largely obscured from view.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Bea Elliott says:

    A meat packing plant shrouded in vegetation… Music to my vegan ears 🙂

  2. yes.. except it’s one less industry St. Louis has. Fewer jobs, fewer renovated houses. More decay. I suppose an ideal solution would be if it had been renovated and converted to the manufacture of say tofu or processing goji berries?

  3. Bea Elliott says:

    Well… Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse methane gasses… And a slaughterhouse is one biz St. Louis could stand to loose. They are notorious for bringing down property values and increasing crime rates in whatever area they exist… Workers are often illegals, suffer the highest suicide, alcoholism and depression rates. And most have been in trouble with the law for violent offenses or domestic abuse. Slaughterhouses are also responsible for rat/insect and varmit infestations (of the 4 legged variety)… Oh – and they kill innocent animals by the tens of thousands too. You’re right – a tofu processing plant would definately be a better alternative.

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  5. Robert says:

    Now worries, I pledge to increase my meat intake to offset your veganism. In fact, I bet with some effort I could negate it.

  6. I’m from Minneapolis, but I have been traveling to the St. Louis area for over ten years now and photographing the decay there. The Armour plant is one of my favorite sites to photograph. I need to plan a trip there soon and photo this place before it is gone. I made a video of the Armour plant too…check it out


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