Monday, January 5, 2015

The Former Tobacco Town

Winston-Salem is a city built by tobacco. A man named RJ Reynolds started the first tobacco factory here in the early 1890s and before long, he had built factories all over the city and Winston-Salem was providing the USA with 25 percent of the overall tobacco consumed. They created the very popular Camel cigarette, which gave Winston-Salem the nickname Camel City, as well as the brands Winston and Salem, named after the city of course. This made RJ Reynolds the richest man in the state, and made Winston-Salem grow to the size it is now.

However, within the last few decades, sales decreased and what was left of the Reynolds tobacco business moved to Atlanta, leaving the old factories deserted and abandoned. 
That was until the city just recently began renovating the old buildings and turning them into lofts and and office spaces as a way to try and bring new business into the city. I just love the way old factories look and I am so excited to see them restored and not torn down!  

The main factory is tucked away behind fencing, but I would so love to wander around and explore it!




They've finished many of the buildings already and created space for research labs.  I used to work just a few blocks away from here. I would love to be able to work here in this area again in one of the new research places.



Isn't this ironic?  Times sure have changed!


It would be so neat to live in these lofts, with the fancy catwalk across the road and plenty of shops and restaurants withing walking distance. But as much as I like the city, I think I prefer having a house with a yard.
 


I couldn't figure out why all of a sudden the colors seemed to look to nice when I was taking these, and then I realized it was my new lens!  I barely had to edit these at all.  I am super happy with my new lens and I'll write a little review on it soon.






Winston-Salem would not be the city it is today if it weren't for Mr. Reynolds and his tobacco business. Before his death he gave money to start two hospitals and a school among many other things. I like to think it was his way of making up for all the toxic chemicals he sold people for so many years....

I am excited to see how they restore all these buildings, and I especially can't wait to be able to go inside them!

18 comments:

  1. oh my goodness, this looks like a wonderful place for some serious exploring. i dig old factories in downtowns too. just thinking of all the people that waked the same bricks and rode those same rails is so fascinating.

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    1. Everything is pretty much fenced off. But the train still runs right by our locally owned coffee shop Krankies. It's awesome.

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    2. I think it's fascinating too! I was thinking that as I walked on the brick pathways, wondering how many people had walked on the same path going to work 100 years ago!

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  2. Oh wow these buildings are awesome and totally remind me of the Highland Park Ford Plant here in Detroit which had the similar walkways and building facades. They are actually working on redoing it up since some guy finally purchased it although I forget what he's developing it into. Maybe it'll turn out to look at good as these buildings! I'm such a sucker for an old chimney, they are always so impressive.

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    1. That's so cool! I love it when they choose to fix up old buildings instead of tearing them down. I love the old chimneys as well!

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  3. Cool pictures. I haven't been downtown in forever... I don't feel like there's much to do anymore! I miss being 16 and going to krankies all the time and having so much fun doing nothing at all.

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    1. I still have fun just walking around! I do miss going to krankies a lot though!

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  4. Lovely buildings and great photography :)
    Take some more pictures when you go inside.
    xox

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  5. Interesting post and nice photos! I didn't k now all that stuff or really ever looked at those buildings much as I zoomed by driving.

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    1. Thanks! It a lot of fun to look around.

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  6. Such interesting history! I am glad that the buildings are being restored and re-purposed rather than being torn down. And your new lens makes the pictures look so snappy in colour - very nice!

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  7. So interesting how things have changed! For the better, though. =)

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  8. WoW! They look for sure fascinating!
    I am a big fun buildings like this, and its a great thing that they want to give them the old shine :*

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  9. Awesome photos! And great history! I guess tobacco isn't all bad....

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