Help save Remington Arms factory

We found out through Archpaper’s Twitter (@archpaper), they are calling everyone to sign a petition to help save Remington Arms factory in , a Tate-worthy redbrick beauty. The Remington Arms factory in , Connecticut is a spectacular 1.5 million-square-foot structure of 13 interconnected buildings stretching over 76 acres. Now its future is imperiled.

In 1920, General Electric purchased the property, and produced thousands of small kitchen appliances in the plant, but GE slowly pulled manufacturing from the building, and closed it entirely in 2007. The company claims to have looked for development opportunities for the shuttered factory, but concluded that it is “functionally obsolete (and) inappropriate for modern uses.” Now GE plans to demolish the structure, leaving a huge vacant property in Bridgeport—a city that can ill afford more dereliction.

You can find out more here, and sign the petition here.

Cite: Jordana, Sebastian. "Help save Remington Arms factory" 20 Apr 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=57093>
  • http://twitter.com/inpalma/status/12523494599 Leila Tomaselli

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  • http://twitter.com/indiarchitects/status/12524429824 INDIAN ARCHITECTS

    Help save Remington Arms factory http://goo.gl/fb/idSMc

  • Bart

    So, remmington. Oke sining this petition from holland is maybe not the best of idea’s. So maybe I can help by making a suggestion. In holland it is very hot right now (i think in more places around the globe, holland is not that big) to safe industrial heritage by giving an new use in life. We turn factories in theaters, theaters in to housing and housing into artstudios. A sort of modern form follows function, or better following reform function (this needs work).

    The main point usually is a money one, this remmington factory is most likely sitting on top of valuable ground distend for some outer use, housing office’s anything. But almost always a building of some form. So if you can come up with a plan that matches the money driven idea’s with social history idea’s (compromise, or better integration) you get the best of both worlds.

    So beside the petition thing maybe it is plan to come up with a new use based on the needs of the local economy. Do a little research, make a nice drawing an present with the petition to your local owners/legal/whatever people. Chances are the have never looked at it this way.

    And to go out with a very bold suggestion, it is an idea to make they above plan some sort a contest for readers from lets say: archdaily. It can’t be to hard for a couple of the readers here to spent a sunday afternone on a wild new use for the factory. You supply the info, the readers the plans.

    I mean just leaving it an empty factory issent going to is much good either.

    ps sorry for the bad english, being having dyslecxia is hard in a foreign language.

  • http://twitter.com/disagro/status/12525640253 Bocetos Digitales

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  • http://twitter.com/arhitectura/status/12526183624 arhitectura

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  • http://twitter.com/design_metafeed/status/12526183272 Design Metafeed

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  • http://twitter.com/moldingdesign/status/12527370331 Architecture+Molding

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  • http://urbesaereperennius.wordpress.com bill

    I think this building is important to state history, national history, and without any exaggeration or hyperbole, world history. In a few generations from now, when we want to talk about American Industry’s rise to global prominence from the Civil War to the early 1900s, will this terrific monument still be standing? We preserve countless cow pastures, houses and smaller Civil War battle sites throughout the South, but what about a Union structure emblematic of the real reasons for U.S. victories in the Civil War, WWI or WWII. We know the alternative will be a polluted patch of weeds, or some ignominious mall like where the Scovill buildings once stood in Waterbury, so why not think big and do something creative with an amazing complex. It’s done all over the world in old industrial buildings, and even in far away places like Pittsburgh for goodness sake, so why not in Bridgeport? Why must be this building in Bridgeport be the one that gets razed, when lesser buildings become world class institutions for the 21st century economy? The city of Bridgeport just cannot afford to tear this down, and neither should the state of CT allow it, or ultimately, can the National Trust for Historic Preservation allow this to go by.

  • fokt

    tear it down

  • MPArch

    I’m from a part of town with a lot of 1800s and 1900s architecture still standing. Dozens of old factories from the past century and a half are still standing, and as a kid, those have traditionally been the REALLY BAD neighborhoods. If you wanted to get drugs, you could usually break into one of them and find a nice little boutique in some of these neighborhood “relics”… Welcome to Dirty Jersey…

    It’s easy for activists and the nicely dressed hip 20-somethings at the Architect’s Newspaper offices to say “Let’s save this!” because it’s not what they have to wake up to every morning across the street from their SoHo apartments or Tribeca penthouses. That picture is taken on a beautiful blue-sky day and you don’t see kids outside of there playing pickup baseball or hockey. Were they crying for its functional salvation before its demolition was announced?

    If Bridgeport had an architecture school in need of new facilities, or a proposal for a new design museum, I’d say hold your horses, there’s a building to be saved. SCAD’s reuse of some pre-Civil War buildings in Savannah is the PERFECT example.

    I think when lobbying for the salvation of a building, you need to pick your battles…

  • MPArch

    Not to mention, I feel depressed just LOOKING at the picture, can’t imagine driving past it or living near it. It gives me a feeling of sadness and an increased pessimism toward our country’s current economic state a la Detroit…

  • http://urbesaereperennius.wordpress.com bill

    Man, I was born in Bridgeport, so I’ve lived in those neighborhoods with the crack dens and all of that for many, many years–probably just long enough to regret someday all the years of being irradiated by all the crap that’s in the soil and air around there. That building and hundreds like that for years sort of formed the backdrop of my life. And yeah they’re very depressing, but thats why I have talked up saving them as much as I possibly could; only I guess it takes a German architect in the Post to get a little positive press about it.

    But I still say if there’s any future for all these small to midsize former industrial cities you need to save these buildings. Heck, they do it with old industrial buildings in major metro areas all around the world as a matter of course, so why is it only in the Northeast of the US that people immediately get huffy and talk about crime and safety issues with these structures? What makes this the overriding concern versus other locations around the world from Pittsburgh to Hamburg? The negativity and limited imaginations is absolutely infuriating, and I think goes a long way in explaining how things have gotten so much worse in this region than they needed to be, when you make relevant comparisons to other locations. It’s not that people are merely passively neglecting, but instead seem more animated by the thought of tearing things down. There’s just a total lack of pride and a syndrome of complete abandonment when it comes to urban areas like this. If you cannot make it an office tower of the Royal Bank of Scotland or a golf course, the attitude is one of “what use is it” and to heck with the historic significance.
    Well, the depressing feeling MPArch talks about is precisely the reason why they need to be reused. Anything else is a white flag of surrender that great things cannot be done in the area anymore, let alone creative things that build on the accomplishments of the past, and you might as well raze everything built in the whole region before 1980. Wonder what that would look like–Oh yeah. It’s called Derby. Magnifique.
    There’s been an economic rupture and a disconnect for generations now, so saving buildings like these and putting them to productive use is perhaps the only way to staunch the bleeding. It’s bad enough that the Norwalk-Stamford-Bridgeport-Fairfiled metro already has income inequity that resembles Buenos Aires or Sao Paolo. I can imagine when you have dozens of square miles of old factory slum buildings that are today’s contemporary slums, ringing an empty lot for community gardens. That’ll revive the local economy.

    Anyways, after that jeremiad, let me at least agree that it’s way too little too late, which is why I’m so very frustrated with that always seeming to be the case. People never seem to have those good proposals for poor places like Worcester or Hartford or Bridgeport or New Haven, but every little precocious little ole horse stable, carriage house or slave quarters in the antebellum South, or some 2nd rate San Fran warehouse gets a great deal of loving care. To me, I think the situation is a tragedy.

  • http://www.archilocus.com archilocus

    @mparch: there are many examples of reuse of historical buildings that work well, and may it be trendy, it is often better than brute force architecture.

    I don’t know all the details about this one of course, but I’m always sad to see that the first idea is often to tear buildings down, rather than make a small competition opened to architects to make proposals, and see afterwards what’s the best to do, who keeps and who demolishes the existing buildings. They did that a couple of months ago in Lyon, France, for an old jail, and opted to save the buildings.

    And don’t you feel more depressed by tract houses than by this factory? Strange to see people willing to put fake gypsum columns in front of their pathetic villa not willing to save existing buildings that have qualities and an historical background…

    As architects we were taught to appreciate what it could become, not only what it is.

  • http://twitter.com/hok_renew/status/12580211926 HOK RENEW

    Help save Remington Arms factory in Bridgeport, Ct. http://bit.ly/cKULOi

  • http://urbesaereperennius.wordpress.com bill
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  • Joe

    So who’s going to put up the money to restore this and all the other abandoned factories in Bridgeport? Surely not these “preservationists.” The only thing they will achieve is to ensure the permanent preservation of these blighted,crumbling eyesores, seeking to halt the attempts at progress by people proposing to get rid of them.