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Koppers Industries | Photo © 2019 Bullet, www.abandonedalabama.com

Koppers Industries Wood Treatment Facility

Location Class:
Built: 1925 | Abandoned: 1982-83
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: David Bulit

Koppers Industries was a wood treating facility, primarily railroad ties, located near the downtown area of Montgomery. The facility was first constructed in 1925 under a joint venture by the Ayer and Lord Tie Company and the Bond Brothers Creosote Company with operations beginning in 1926 as Producers Wood Preserving. At the time, only creosote treatment was implemented, chemicals created by the high-temperature treatment of wood and fossil fuels such as oil.

Koppers Industries purchased the facility in 1941. Creosote treatment continued to be used until 1957 when it was replaced with pentachlorophenol (penta) treatment. The treatment was initially a mixture of creosote and penta known as creo-penta treatment but it was replaced in 1962 with an oil-penta mixture where penta is dissolved in diesel fuel. The oil-penta mixture was used up until the closure of the facility.

The facility was closed between 1982 and 1983, and the long process of cleaning up the property began. Supernatant and recoverable oils were pretreated on-site and then moved to a nearby public treatment plant. Any waste deemed hazardous was burned in an on-site boiler. The cooling and settlement ponds were filled in between 1989 and 1992. Few remnants remain of the facility such as this administrative building located just outside of the main facility. Heavily vandalized and deteriorating, it won’t be much longer until this building is torn down as well.

David Bulit

My name's David Bulit and I'm a photographer, author, and historian from Miami, Florida. I've published a number of books on abandoned and forgotten locales throughout the United States and advocate for preserving these historic landmarks. My work has been featured throughout the world in news outlets such as the Miami New Times, the Florida Times-Union, the Tampa Bay Times, the Orlando Sentinel, NPR, Yahoo News, MSN, the Daily Mail, UK Sun, and many others. You can find more of my work at davidbulit.com as well as amazon.com/author/davidbulit.

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