Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Mouldering away, the Levee Street Tank Farm, Vicksburg

A petroleum tank farm sits at the junction of Levee and Fairground Streets. The facility has been unused since before I moved to Vicksburg in the mid-1980s. For many years, the fence was intact and the gate closed. Then, for several years, I saw a "For Sale" by the General Services Administration sign. The GSA is the agency that manages real estate and other property (like motor vehicles) of the US Government. Then there were no signs at all for a few years.
Levee Street tank farm, April 7, 2018
In April, the gate was open, no one was around - it was too good to resist.
The brick building on the right in the photograph above once must have contained compressors or other heavy industrial machinery. Evidence for this are the concrete supports, now semi-engulfed by vines and jungle. I have watched this building for years as its roof collapsed. 
View of Fairground Street Keystone Bridge, April 8, 1990, 4×5" Fujichrome transparency from Tachihara camera, 75mm f/8 Schneider Super-Angulon lens
Many years ago, my daughter and I climbed one of the metal stairs to the top of a tank. I carried up my 4×5"camera and tripod. There was a pungent smell of petroleum products coming from open valves. No one cared about fumes in 1990? From the top was a great view of the old Fairground Street Keystone bridge. The bridge still stands, but it has been closed to car and pedestrian traffic for 20 years and part of the approach on the west side has collapsed.
This is another 1990 view of tanks and piping, taken on Fujichrome 4×5" film with a 75mm f/8 Schneider Super-Angulon lens. Surprisingly, last week, when I biked by the site, I saw a fellow on a lawnmower cutting the grass. Someone is doing some maintenance there.

The 2018 black and white photographs were taken on Kodak TMax 100 film with a Pentax Spotmatic camera and the 24mm f/3.5 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar lens. This is fine early-1970s equipment. This version of the lens was made from 1972 to 1976, has 9 elements in 8 groups,  and features multi-coating on the glass surfaces to reduce flare and reflections from the internal air-glass surfaces. I mounted the camera on a tripod.

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