By Jack Williams
These intriguing images take viewers inside the remains of what were once a newspaper’s vibrant printing presses.
Matthew Christopher’s eerie shots of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s previous presses highlight not only the scale of a newspaper’s printing operation, but also the intricacies that are involved.
In the shots, newspapers still remain in rollers and metallic printing plates sit propped to the side.
Renowned abandoned location photographer Matthew, 39, was granted permission to visit the presses toward the end of 2016, one year after the Post-Gazette had relocated.
Matthew, from Philadelphia, PA, said: “There were a lot of amazing things but the three-story printing presses that were still threaded with newspapers from the day the facility was closed were a highlight.
“The presses were enormous, and very beautiful.
“It was also striking to go through the offices where everyone in the editorial staff worked, or go to the basement where the press workers’ lockers were still festooned with pinups.
“There were a million little details about the people who worked there that were still left and the building and machinery were very unique.”
The newspaper was founded in 1786 as the Pittsburgh Gazette, and in 1962 moved into its now-abandoned downtown building, which had been built in 1927.
The Post-Gazette split and relocated its news and press operations by 2015, leaving its empty former home to await redevelopment.
This left the presses completely untouched for the best part of a year.
Matthew, whose books include “Abandoned America: The Age of Consequence” and “Abandoned America: Dismantling The Dream,” required permission in order to enter the premises.
When shooting such locations, Matthew said, he aims to document no only the large areas of abandoned space, but also intricate details that once made up an operation.
He said: “In this particular instance I see this building not as an abandonment of the Post-Gazette’s facilities but as a renewed investment in them.
“Modernizing equipment is necessary for any industry (the American steel industry suffered heavily for not doing so), and when you have a location that is literally built around the old equipment, it’s not always possible to update without moving.
“It’s sad when you consider the history of the old site and this is why preservation and documentation are so important, and the Post-Gazette has gone out of their way to accommodate that – but in this case I think the overall story is a positive one, both in terms of building new and improved facilities and acknowledging the importance of the old ones.”
You can follow Matthew Christopher on Twitter at @abandonedameric [sic]