Hours of Idleness-A Photographer's Journey in St. Louis

Unilever Plant; Pagedale, Missouri

Posted in art, awareness, perception, photography by Jason Gray on August 19, 2011

This former Unilever plant in Pagedale, Missouri sits on 20+ acres and features over 320,000 square feet of existing, interior space. It was built in 1953, and ceased operating in 2001. The Terminal Railroad runs nearby and once serviced the commercial giant at this former manufacturing center. There had been plans in 2003 to renovate the site, but as far as I can tell, all that is happening now has to do with a large paved area northwest of the central building being used as a school bus parking lot. It is a unique and interesting site that once supplied over 200 jobs to the region.

All photos Nikon D300 with Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G lens.


8 Responses

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  1. Hal Moran said, on November 3, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Jason, I live in the St. Louis area and I’m wondering if you needed permission to enter this site to capture your photos. I’m getting into urban exploration and would be interested in shooting this site, but want to be respectful of the property. Thanks for sharing any available. Hal

  2. Jason Gray said, on November 8, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Hi Hal,

    Thanks for reading!

    When I last went to Unilever, it was with a group of other photographers, and there were no signs or fencing preventing entrance. You could just walk right in. This may have changed since then, but it is worth driving up to check.

  3. Richard R. Barron said, on December 18, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    What an amazing place. I’d never get bored.

    This package reminds me of http://www.abandoned-places.com

  4. Mark Dunlap said, on December 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    I live a few miles from this site, and I have walked past three times this month – twice on the 12th and once today. There are signs – now – that say “No Trespassing” all along the fence. I mention it just in case anybody else is thinking about trying to go in.

  5. Jason Gray said, on December 29, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Thanks for the update, Mark. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the neighborhood; have they furthered demolition on this building?

  6. Mark Dunlap said, on December 30, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Not that I can tell. Your pictures here give me a far better perspective of what the building looks like than from what I can see just walking along Pennsylvania Ave. I would think that the only people who would do anything to help demolish it now would be some real estate developer with a specific plan for making something new there.

  7. Marla said, on November 19, 2016 at 9:35 am

    A rumbling explosion at 8am this morning and a series of phone calls got me out of bed running to my front door to witness the large cloud of DUST in the beautiful cold morning sky of this building coming down after many years of being abandoned.

  8. Jason Gray said, on November 19, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Really?! So sad. What is the development that’s planned?

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