The Chicago-based Armour & Company was a meatpacking business founded by the Armour brothers in 1867. Aerial of meat packing plants of Armour and Swift, Fort Worth stockyards, ca. The ruins sit east of the bustling Fort Worth Stockyards, behind tall chain link fences and more than a few "No Trespassing" signs. Plans by the Missouri and Illinois Departments of Transportation have highway extensions planned just a few hundred feet away from the old plant, a potential cause behind the recent “renovations”. Historian J'Nell L. Pate wrote that the recruitment of the Swift and Armour plants “saved the stockyards from failure” as the institution limped along after the financial panic in the late 1800s. Using an instant-read meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat, being careful not to touch bone with the tip of the thermometer. One or two buildings remain, but the entire area is being razed and prepped for new real estate investments - I believe the majority of this is being headed by an investment group called Majestic Realty. Armour Plant to be Demolished - posted in Historic Buildings and Preservation: Chesapeake Energy purchased the old Armour Meat Packing Plant in 2007 and they plan to hold a luncheon on Thursday celebrating the demolition of the historic property. LOL As with most old abandoned buildings, I felt the presence of may ghost; some friendly, some not so. 1940s Date Created: 1940-1949 (Approximately) Coverage: 1940s Category: Architecture, Art and Culture, Cities and Towns, Daily Life, Photography Collections Location: Fort Worth (Tex.) The Swift Fort Worth plant shut down in 1971. William Klann was part of a team of advisors that Ford sent out to find a better means of production. Walking through the ruins is a fascinating, eerie, and spectacular experience. 3.6. View Gallery. Two fires in the next few years would ravage the plant, save the administrative offices. How Did Madagascar Become the World's Biggest Producer of Vanilla? Armour Meat Packing Plant History. Listing for informational purposes only. Two fires in the next few years would ravage the plant, save the … The Swift and Company plant's ruins are covered in graffiti with the word LOVE tagged in white near the top of the main structure. The Beef Loin Flap Meat Steak comes from the Sirloin Primal and is cut from the inner surface of the Bottom Sirloin. I was able to explore the property despite what signs said. Sign up for our newsletter and enter to win the second edition of our book. A robber baron industrialist, Philip is also remembered for his contributions toward innovations in the meat industry. Swift Meat Plant employees in Ft Worth , Texas. (3rd floor) It was Meats For Babies and I was a stacker of baby food boxes. ″It’s … Cattle were led up an outside ramp to meet their demise. Like Atlas Obscura and get our latest and greatest stories in your Facebook feed. Semi-credible sources say the Stockyard Ruins are the remains of the Swift-Armor meat packing factory. The city's population tripled during the ten years after Armour and Swift arrived in what was then called North Fort Worth.Besides the ready selection of cattle available at the adjacent stockyards, the Swift plant was elite in that time because of its modern design, Murrin says. Private Trip: Immersive Art and Otherworldly Landscapes of Santa Fe, Weird Homes Holiday Tour: Decked Out Collections, A Holiday Gathering: Food, Foraging, and Mythology, Tales From the Museum: Best of Museums A-Z, Detangling the Devilish Origins of Scandinavia's St. Lucia Buns, This 19th-Century Cocktail Still Fights Cold Nights in the Midwest, Cultural Heritage Is Caught Up in the Conflict Over Nagorno-Karabakh. 1940s ... 817-272-3000 Directions. That would have been horrible, he says. It manages a staff of more than 3,100 employees throughout over 10 U.S. states. The tracks behind the plant where livestock would be sent and received. The TV series "Prison Break" built a Panama prison set on the property and filmed there, but Hollywood has left, too. Swift Premium offers quick meals, deli meats, bacon and sausages. Armour’s unique office building was demolished, but the classic Swift headquarters building lived on, first as the home of the old Spaghetti Warehouse, a popular restaurant during the 1970s, and now as … 2 of 15. Please do not visit without express permission from the land owner. The plant, which employs about 3,700 people in the state's largest city, has become a hot spot for infections. Be the first to add a review to the Swift Armour Meat Packing Plant. Some folks have obviously made it in. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has a story in today's newspaper. For nearly 150 years, Armour has helped families make everyday meals great. © 2020 Atlas Obscura. A kindly security guard, Hugh Gibson, sits at the entrance to the neighboring Armour plant, still accessible from Niles City Blvd. Murrin says there's been talk of cheap apartments before. Keep right, stay on I-64 East/Illinois 3. Gibson says he once found a brick with the date July 7, 1907 written on it. A representative from the company did not return calls at press time.During the year he's worked in the Armour security post, Gibson says he hasn't met anyone with direct ties to the plant except for an elderly man who used to work at Swift. 1 jan 2020. What else would fit on the hill where the Swift ruins now stand? Discover Armour Meatpacking Plant in East St. Louis, Illinois: An abandoned meat mecca now serves as an excellent locale for urban exploration. Murrin likens Swift and Company's style of processing and packing to the old Ford quip that a customer can have a car painted in any color he wants, as long as it's black. Photographers from around the state attracted to the building marvel at how perfectly "bombed-out" it looks and wonder in the captions on their Flickr sites what will become of the remains. I few years ago, I climbed over the fences and under the signs to visit the place again. Fort Worth, Texas USA. The Swift Meat Packing Plant. The company offers meat products under various brands, such as Margherita, LunchMakers, Schickhaus and Mayrose. Items on this site are licensed by a Creative Commons License. Swift Armour Meat Packing Plant. It soon fell into disrepair due to numerous fires from trespassing vagrants, gang activity and graffiti taggers. Both companies accepted and constructed their plants on the east end of Exchange Avenue. How a Blacksmith in Jordan Created His Own Sign Language, In Naples, Praying With Skulls Is an Ancient Tradition, Inside a Domed Pyramid With Astounding Acoustics and a History of Miracles, See the Mysterious Horned Helmet of Henry VIII, Searching for Home and Connection Through Typewritten Poetry, http://www.builtstlouis.net/industrial/armour-meatpacking-plant.html, http://stlouispatina.com/tag/armour-meat-packing-plant/, http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/columns/joe-holleman/spotlight-last-of-national-city-stockyard-buildings-coming-down/article_3f394f69-5a35-501e-bdc9-643e512da936.html. Bone-In Beef Hind Shanks Bone-In Beef Hind Shanks come from the Shank Primal, a portion of the leg that is cut into cross sections that can be braised to make fork-tender dishes. It was summer so I watched carefully to avoid snakes and rats. Henry VIII's forgotten castle was built by the gunpowder-obsessed king to be defended solely by cannons. These structures will soon be taken down to make room for a massive resort community. Armour & Company was an American company and was one of the five leading firms in the meat packing industry.It was founded in Chicago, in 1867, by the Armour brothers led by Philip Danforth Armour.By 1880, the company had become Chicago's most important business and had helped make Chicago and its Union Stock Yards the center of America's meatpacking industry. Being a resident of Ft Worth although originally from the UK it seems such a shame that the real Stockyards bldgs could not of been saved for their heritage long ago and preserved. Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. Gustavus Swift, the founder of Swift and Company, invented the refrigerated railcar, and his highly insulated plants were advanced as compared to other facilities. This is/was a huge part of Fort Worth's history. 5 votes. Health officials said Sunday that 293 of … To keep Model T production up with demand, Ford engineers borrowed ideas from other industries. It took firefighters almost all day to take care of the blaze. Almost all gone now as Ft Worth landscape continues to change. Then Swift partnered with the owner of Fort Worth Union Stockyards, a moneyed Yankee named Greenlief W. Simpson, to open the Swift and Company plant in March of 1904. All rights reserved. Winner will be selected at random on 01/01/2021. Founded in Chicago in 1867 by the Armour brothers, Armour was the first company to use refrigeration and became one of Chicago's most important businesses by 1880. Double brick walls on the upper floors of the packing house ensured the meat would stay fresh throughout the first steps of processing.The operation was organized top-to-bottom: the slaughterhouse part of the plant was on the fourth floor. So long, old friend. The main structure became a Mexican prison for one season in the mid 2000's. The plant held on longer than the Armour plant, which closed in 1962. The largest, the Swift Meat Packing Plant, which opened in 1893, has been completely demolished; the vast majority of the former site sits underneath the approaches to the new Mississippi River bridge. My great grandpa Olive Holliday is on the bottom row 4th from the left. We depend on ad revenue to craft and curate stories about the world’s hidden wonders. Take it or leave it, the meat was cut and packaged with efficiency being the main concern.The plant held on longer than the Armour plant, which closed in 1962. Armour-Eckrich Meats is a branded meat company with a presence in retail, deli and food service channels. Be careful. His jurisdiction, he says, is the Armour plant. 1961 The first scientific researches laboratory for the food industry begins to operate in South America at Swift La Plata plant. Guard Towers were erected for the occasion and are still standing today. When the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees F, the pork is ready. Please stay safe and call ahead to get the latest information. Due to the spread of COVID-19, some points of interest may be closed or have restrictions. At its peak, the Armour complex employed 4,000 people who slaughtered and processed nearly 2,000 animals an hour. Company spokesman Bill Dillman blamed the decision on financial losses at the plant near East St. Louis. Anything you plan or save automagically syncs with the apps, ready for you to hit the road! Cooking the meat beyond the USDA guideline of 160 degrees F renders out the fat and tenderizes the meat. The Swift Fort Worth plant shut down in 1971. Consider supporting our work by becoming a member for as little as $5 a month. If you love meat, you’ve come to the right place. An abandoned stretch of elevated road in the middle of the Brazilian jungle. Part of the gate was pulled up. The property is great and perfect for urban explorers. There's a lot to see and most of the buildings are in such disarray that I don't advise going in them. UPDATE 2017: All but a couple structures have been razed. Follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. This dilapidated castle-like structure overlooks the Hudson River at one of its widest points and was once home to nuns. Many of the buildings in the complex have collapsed, and the remaining structures are hollow shells of their previous industriousness, with nothing but debris and rusting machinery to recall the site’s past. "They went in as cows and came out as packaged meat at the bottom," Murrin says.Long treks between Texas ranches and Fort Worth coupled with the boom of the trucking industry and the rising preference of the consumer for special cuts of beef caused a drop in demand for Swift's factory-style operation. Armour Plant circa 1932 (St Paul Pioneer Press) For the next six decades, the Armour plant was a major supplier of meat to the U.S. market. Sometime in 1913 they realized that the "disassembly line" principle employed in slaughterhouses could be adapted to building automobiles -- on a moving assembly line. I'm glad I was able to see this. Wilson ended the meatpacking era for good when it closed in April 1976. The massive complex of structures are now mostly lying in heaps of sunken earth, but a handful still survive (one even survived a demolition attempt). But the wrecking balls only took a chunk of the relic. However, visiting the complex has become more hazardous in the past months. Swift executes the first shipment with chilled boneless meat cuts, substituting the traditional quarters with bone, beginning a new phase in the meat marketing and industrialization. Fort Worth, This seems likely the truth as a stairway with a big S marks our entry to the Stockyard Ruins. The Armour & Swift Meat Packing Complex was established in 1902; Armour & Co. at the north end of the complex and Swift & Co. at the south. Every weekday we compile our most wondrous stories and deliver them straight to you. * Noteworthy: Swift Armory was the location used by HBO in their "Prison Break" series. Title: Armour and Swift meat packing plants in the Fort Worth Stockyards Description: Aerial of meat packing plants of Armour and Swift, Fort Worth stockyards, ca. The Swift Fort Worth plant shut down in 1971. I will miss this place. No one we spoke to could say how much longer the remains of the Swift and Company plant would dangle at the edge of the Stockyards, but for now, what's left will continue to invite questions from visitors. Here's where it used to be:From St. Louis:From either I-70, I-40, or I-44, follow signs for I-55 North, crossing the river. The stubbornness that cemented Fort Worth as a king of cattle commerce is entombed in the singed remains of the meatpacking plant small investors helped secure in good faith at the turn of the twentieth century. Click to find a great deal for this hotel. Find an out-of-the-way place to park and walk along the treeline (nest to the RR tracks) until you come to the buildings.Make sure to wear clothes that completely cover the skin. Meatpacking Plant 600 E. Exchange Ave. - 1902-1955 (NRHD, RTHL) In 1901, the City of Fort Worth offered Swift & Company and Armour & Company the opportunity to open meatpacking plants adjacent to the Fort Worth Stock Yards. Armour Meat Packing Plant, The Slaughterhouse. At this meat packing operation, a conveyor moved hog carcasses past meat cutters, who then removed various pieces of the animal. An abandoned factory along the Mississippi coated by a giant mural. Livestock business boomed in the area at that time, so much so that by 1907 an arena was built (in only 3 months) to host the annual "Feeders and Breeders" show. Follow us on social media to add even more wonder to your day. Clair Avenue.Take Exit 4, Illinois 3.Merge onto St. Clair Ave. Stay on St. Clair past traffic circle.Turn right on North 1st Street.Take the first left onto Exchange Avenue.The smokestacks have been demolished, but what is left of the building is unmistakeable. Add Photo. Bees and hornets have been spotted nesting in the rubble.Police have been instructed to arrest anyone spotted on the property. The company opened a meat packing plant there in 1902, next to an Armour & Co. plant that opened in that same year. This place is on private property. UPDATED review (12/3/2016): sadly, nearly all of the former Swift plant was demolished a couple of months ago. Swift’s No. Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic. Murrin, a former Fort Worth city councilman, says his father and grandfather were among the Fort Worth businessmen who pitched in and bought the land and donated it, half to the Swift company and half to Armour, strictly for enterprise. Aerial of meat packing plants of Armour and Swift, Fort Worth stockyards, ca. An eerie derelict amusement park sits abandoned in Berlin. June 7, 2019. julieannegrant. "See old Swift, when he built it, he built it better than any bank you've ever seen," says Steve Murrin, who owns the River Ranch property nearby. Armour closed in 1965; Swift drastically cut its Kansas City operations in 1968. Take it or leave it, the meat was cut and packaged with efficiency being the main concern.The plant held on longer than the Armour plant, which closed in 1962. ... among packing plant workers. Follow signs for Louisville/St. USA. It's a shame to read about this place being torn down. Despite obvious benefits to all parties, Swift and Armour agreed to develop operations in Texas only after negotiating subsidies from both Fort Worth and Simpson. Swift Independent Packing Co. said it will idle 412 employees Friday when its National City plant closes, the third Swift plant to be shut down in six months. 1940s. As for the property beyond it, he says, he is to alert the main Fort Worth Stockyards security if he sees anyone snooping around unannounced. Available in Canada. Times changed and the proliferation of refrigeration altered the meat industry, and Armour relocated to elsewhere in the Midwest. Klann stumbled upon the Swift Meatpacking industry—located in Chicago—which was actually a disassembly line. Did you know: If you use the Roadtrippers mobile app, your trips will instantly auto-sync over... Ready for navigation and good times! In its heyday, the Armour plant employed more than 4,500 people and was also a popular, if gory, tourist destination with daily guided tours of the slaughterhouse and processing lines. Offer subject to change without notice. Murrin is a preservationist, but so is Hickman, an Exchange Club Golden Deeds Award winner and a Stockyards mainstay. Some private invitations have been sent out to supporters. Welcome to Swift Premium. It was part of Gustavus Swift’s family of companies and was in operation from about 1902 to 1971. A recent excursion reveals the main building is approximately halfway demolished; construction equipment is visible from behind the rubble. The Old Courthouse takes visitors on a captivating trip through St. Louis' timeline. Be sure to explore the Armour Meatpacking Plant before it’s completely put out to pasture.Update 2016: Sadly, this amazing facility was completed demolished and razed in 2016 and no longer exists. 1 meat packing plant in the nation closed its doors in 1969, after processing millions of animals into billions of products and employing thousands of workers. Ft Worth has such a unique history that was once centered around the Northside area it's unfortunate that generations to come will only see tourist bars and rodeos representing a long gone era. The National City plant closed in 1959 and was “donated” to the city of East St. Louis, which was clearly not thrilled with the property since it has been left abandoned and rotting since then. Founded by the Armour brothers in 1867, Chicago-based Armour & Company was a meatpacking corporation led by Philip Armour (left). The opening photo in this piece shows the exact place I worked in 1970. In 2019 it employed nearly 200,000 people in direct meat processing jobs at wages averaging US$14.13 per hour or $29,400 yearly. And now rumor has it that the Stockyards Ruins are being used as a prison, housing mostly Panamanian prisoners and a few Americans. In the 19th century the lack of refrigeration technology dictated the process for meat packing and distribution; without it, the meats needed to be consumed quickly or preserved with … Likewise, the giant meat packing plants began to fall one by one. The company revolutionized the industry by building large plants near railroad tracks, and thus expedited the delivery process at a time when every hour counted, as there was little refrigeration technology available. No purchase necessary. Tall tales, trip guides, & the world's weird & wonderful. After the empty plant was ravaged by two fires in the '70s, demolition trucks have come to knock down what's left. The place used to be known as a barn party space; well before that, it was the boneyard for the Swift plant. Photo of Swift Armour Meat Packing Plant. Swift & Co. Springhill Suites Arlington Near Six Flags, A neon-fueled road trip along Route 66's most iconic spots, Soak up the sun on the ultimate Gulf Coast getaway, Road trip to Hill Country's quirkiest hidden gems, The Ultimate Guide to Big Bend National Park, A dreamy drive down the Pacific Coast Highway (One Week), Salem, Massachusetts, embraces its sordid past as Witch City, An Atlantic Coast road trip from Boston to Miami, How to best experience Zion National Park, The Blue Ridge Parkway connects two national parks. The silver lining to the deterioration of the factory is that it has become a prime destination in the Midwest for urban explorers. To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our cookie policy. The beef slaughter house at Armour, labeled clearly on the Sanborn map, is fairly well preserved. As of July 2015, the company that recently purchased the property has made their intentions public, and the fate of Swift Armory is (mostly) sealed. Right next to the Fort Worth Stockyards is a large abandoned industrial complex that used to be the Swift Meat Packing Plant. There are three or four structures still remaining, but that will soon change. Texas Please click below to consent to the use of this technology while browsing our site. Armour was the first to close his Fort Worth plant in 1962; Swift hung on until 1971. The city was named for Philip D. Armour, who was founder of Armour and Company, a meat packing company. Each company received roughly twenty-two acres on which to build a meat-packing plant and a one-third interest in the Fort Worth Stockyards Company. Our Heritage. See. Swift's steel-strong design makes it more expensive to demolish the proud main structure than to let it occupy the land, so it stays, looming over the historic entertainment district as it has since the fires came. That company is owned by developer and investor Holt Hickman, who owns many high-dollar commercial and residential properties in Fort Worth. Armour was founded in 1885. He peers out from under his straw cowboy hat on a Saturday morning to answer questions from passersby. Offer available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). Wilson Meat-Packing Plant to Close The closing was due to aging buildings and equipment in a sprawling complex while the … It seemed to have started down in a hole. Ford’s demand for cars was at a rate higher than they could be manufactured. XTO owns the admin offices across the street -- the building stands out for it's wraparound porch.According to the Tarrant Appraisal District's records, Hickman Investments, Inc. owns the property on which the Swift ruins lie. Armour’s mega-plant opened in 1919, with some of its work force gleaned from “these little towns in Serbia, Croatia, Poland,” young men tempted by free passage to America and a job, Glewwe said. In its prime, the Armour Meatpacking Plant in National City, Illinois, was second in size only to a similar plant in the Chicago stockyards. Situated on 14 acres, the Swift & Company plant was adjacent to tracks of the Fort Worth Western Railroad, which carried the plant's products to the East. It's a shame. And there was something else – about a year ago, he came to work and saw a fire burning in the center of the Swift property. Man-made geyser that rises to the exact height of the Gateway Arch across the river. 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