U.S. NEWS
10/06/2017 05:46 am ET

An Abandoned Factory In Fort Wayne Will Give You Both Nostalgia And The Spooks

Does your job have a bowling alley?

Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a city that prides itself on its industrial history. It’s the birthplace of magnet wire, a type of coiled copper or aluminum that became a major player in the development of modern-day electronics. 

So it’s no surprise General Electric established a factory in this part of Indiana in 1911. There were over 10,000 workers in that factory alone, making it an important landmark for the Fort Wayne community ― and leaving some residents now less than excited it’s going to be redeveloped.

With the fall of the industrial age, the campus has been vacant for years. Greater Fort Wayne Inc., which operates as the chamber of commerce and economic development organization for Fort Wayne and Allen County, has a plan to bring the deserted factory back to life with the help of two consulting groups.

The project will transform the vacant 1.2 million square feet of land into a mixed-use “innovation district” that will include high-rise apartments, restaurants, office spaces and more. The first phase of the estimated $220 million project is projected to be complete in 2020, with the second half of construction wrapping up a few years after that, said Kevin Erb, who works in communications for an advertising company representing the project.

“A revitalized Electric Works campus will energize our economy, create jobs, and inspire many generations to use their creative talents to improve the lives of others,” said Eric Doden, CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

HuffPost got to tour the abandoned space before its transformation begins. Check out the spooky photos below, including a full-size basketball court and a bowling alley that was once used for GE employees.

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    An old building in the Electric Works compound once owned by General Electric that will now be repurposed into a multiuse campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
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    An overview image of the Electric Works compound.
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    Kevin Erb shows a photo of what the vision is for the Electric Works compound.
  • Jo Confino
    Coat hooks in the General Electric clubhouse that have gone unused for decades.
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    Blue film covering the windows at General Electric's abandoned manufacturing plant
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    An eerie blue glow as light floods into one of General Electric's disused factories.
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    Inside an industrial lift at General Electric's disused industrial site.
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    A basketball court sits unused in the Electric Works compound.
  • Jo Confino
    This factory used to have 10,000 employees working around the clock. 
  • Jo Confino
    Seats at the General Electric employee baseball court.
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    Piping in the Electric Works.
  • Jo Confino
    Water leaking into one of the abandoned General Electric factory buildings.
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    Old bowling lanes sit unused.
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    Old bowling pin machines.
  • Jo Confino
    An abandoned bowling ball at the General Electric employee clubhouse.
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    Old bowling shoes sit unused.
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    Pictures of old trucks show just how long ago the General Electric manufacturing plant shut its doors.
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    Rust-stained pavement.
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    The tour group makes its way through the Electric Works compound.
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    Various rooms sit unused in the Electric Works compound.
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    Walkways between buildings a littered with plaster that has fallen.

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