Uranium, Venice and Madison, Illinois

Update: Due to reader feedback, this post has been modified to reflect that the majority of the plant and a portion of the neighborhood are in fact in Venice. Portions of the plant and the neighborhood are in Madison.

There’s a portion of Venice and Madison, Illinois that’s literally, not figuratively, on the wrong side of the railroad tracks.

Heading west from the main drag of Madison, and you enter another world of extreme poverty, abandonment, and the threat of nuclear radiation. This is not the stuff of conspiracy theories, but thoroughly documented at government websites, such as this one at the Centers from Disease Control.

The massive factory, which for generations processed Thorium and other radioactive metals, is closed now, and may or may not be cleaned up, but it almost certainly poisoned workers who died from the contamination.

There’s a security guard at the front gate (not pictured, of course), and there’s a certain menacing air that hangs over the giant buildings, which are isolated out of the public consciousness.

I expect this whole area of Venice and Madison to be abandoned in the next decade; it is in rough shape and there are no public services or even stores in the area.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Slevin Kelevra says:

    Chris – I believe these buildings are actually in the town of Venice. I also believe this article from the 2010 Riverfront times tells more of the story.


    I apologize if I am wrong.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Oh my gosh, I just checked the boundaries of Venice and Madison, and while some of the neighborhood is in fact in Madison, there’s this weird “finger” of Venice that sticks up from the south, encompassing the plant. So Madison gets to enjoy the potential pollution, while not technically controlling the site. Weird. I wonder how the heck police, fire and emergency service are provided effectively to this area. I suspect they are not.

    2. Chris Naffziger says:

      Also, here is a good write-up from the Wall Street Journal about remediation efforts at the site. It looks like it might have been cleaned up successfully, but I would prefer that the residents of the nearby area be allowed to live elsewhere for safety’s sake:
      Though at the rate of abandonment I witnessed, this seems to be the de facto future of the neighborhood, anyway.

      1. Larry burgan says:

        Chris please call me,. You need to know the whole story and when you do you will be amazed, I was there and I,m a victim as well as many others. Call 618-307-5879

  2. I have been trying to verify an internet rumor about the big spill & burn-off in E. Palestine, Ohio (in February 2023) – the WSJ website and the email address posted, as well as the Illinois state DoE links are all disabled now. So as I’ve kept up my search your StLouisPatina site is catching my interest. The rumor is possibly itself misguided – the allegation of coverup as well -may be purely for commercial and/or fraudulent interests to be served … but this is what a few people are saying: that the five tank cars with vinyl chloride were being taken from Madison to an Army weapons location at Edgewood/Aberdeen, Maryland. The awful part of that rumor of course is that that substance was not only highly poisonous and volatile/explosive but also radioactive! I’ll keep searching.

    1. Barbara says:

      Sir, I have read in several newspaper articles that those train cars did come from Madison Il. I myself am in Illinois, closer to Chicago, so I am curious and was searching also.
      Per retired USAF Dr. Sandy Miarecki, she claims the chemical is not Vinyl Chloride, as reported, but a more toxic chemical, I think a derivative of it, and I didn’t write it down. But you can listen and watch the video on Sean’s SGT Report.com, program entitled: “Uncontrolled Burns! Collapse and Tyranny!!” Extremely interesting!
      It sounds like someone is making a chemical(s) and storing it at the Madison site, which I thought was shut down, from what I have found, so far. There is one more article on google that I will look at next, that says who Dow Chemical sold that location to.
      Thank you!

  3. Larry burgan says:

    My name is Larry Burgan and I worked at that factory for years and and I have represented both employees and residents with their exposures. Please call me Chris and I will tell you all the lies,deaths and deceptions that factory has caused on a scale no one could have imagined.
    Call 618-307-5879

    1. Rodney Peron says:

      The Chicken In the Box Building next to the Tavern what was it a restaurant ????? it is so wrong what happened in the Factory I just cant believe it is still open.

  4. Larry burgan says:

    This fa.ctory of death still operates today and people need to know the danger it poses.

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