Bridgeport Progressive Plating Technology Inc


Years had passed since my last trek through the crumbling corridors of this former industrial workhouse, its demise a poignant reminder of time's relentless march. Yet, drawn once again to the allure of abandoned places, my friend A and I embarked on a journey to the bountiful abandonment mecca of Connecticut.

I first stumbled upon this place in the early days of Google Street View's infancy, a tool that revolutionized urban exploration. With just a few clicks, explorers like myself could find, verify, and scout locations from the comfort of our own homes. As I honed my skills, Google Maps pins multiplied, guiding me to remote sites far from my doorstep.

Approaching the former industrial site, it was evident that security was lax, a fact betrayed by the gaping holes in the fence and the numerous open doorways. Nature had begun its reclamation, tall weeds and bushes concealing our approach as we made our way toward the yawning entrance.

As we ventured inside, the emptiness of the space spoke volumes. The concrete foundation slots, once the sturdy anchors for mechanical and industrial equipment, now stood barren, echoing the absence of the bustling machinery that once defined this place. Unlike some abandoned sites I've encountered over the years, it wasn't completely trashed; remnants of its former life remained, providing a canvas for my developing camera eye.

Despite the emptiness, the space still held its own allure. It was brimming with compositional frames, each corner telling a story of its past. I could sense its potential, and I was determined to document it before the inevitable arrival of the demolition crew erased its existence from the landscape.

With A by my side, we explored further, noting how former offices lined the walls while the main manufacturing floor sprawled out as an open expanse, devoid of supporting columns. It was a testament to its original purpose - a spacious area where heavy, plating equipment once hummed with activity, dominating the landscape.

In one room, a large immersion container sat, filled with junk scrap metals submerged in stagnant mosquito water, a testament to the neglect that had overtaken this once bustling space. Graffiti adorned the walls of other rooms, where random assortments of parts from the electroplating process lay scattered.

One room stood out with its stark contrast—a bright yellow-painted back wall serving as the backdrop to two metal pots, marking the bonding and grounding section. It was a tiny enclave compared to the vastness of the rest of the building.

Towards the end of the structure, the roof sagged and collapsed onto the ground, evidence of the building's gradual decay. Beyond, there was an upper level at the back, shrouded in mystery as I never ventured up the stairs to investigate further.

As for the front office building, it resembled a house, likely used for truckers making deliveries. It served as a hub for paperwork before trucks backed into the chemical delivery dock or the material shipping dock, though I didn't take a quick peep inside.


The site, once a bustling metal plating shop, held a dark secret beneath its crumbling facade. Abandoned containers of cyanides, metals, acids, and bases littered the premises, a hazardous legacy of its former life. 

Progressive Plating Technologies, Inc. had occupied the site since 1972, using it for the electroplating of metal parts with cadmium, nickel, and zinc. However, by the fall of 2001, the company ceased operations, leaving the site deserted. Despite its abandonment, the site remained rife with danger as containers of hazardous substances, including cyanides and metal solutions, lay scattered within the building.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stepped in to clean up and secure the site from trespassers. The cleanup effort was monumental, given the extent of contamination and the risk it posed to both human health and the environment. 

Beneath the surface, a significant portion of the soil was tainted with metals, a grim reminder of the site's toxic past. Below-grade sumps and tanks held polluted solids, sludge, and filter cakes laden with cyanide and metals. 

Abandoned and devoid of utilities such as electricity, heat, water, or fire protection, the site stood as a stark testament to the consequences of industrial neglect. The cleanup alone came with a hefty price tag of approximately one million dollars, underscoring the magnitude of the task at hand.

The electroplating of components, whether large or small, is a meticulous process carried out with specialized equipment. Depending on the size, geometry, and specific plating processes involved, various methods are employed, including rack plating, mass plating, continuous plating, and in-line plating.

Rack plating is utilized for components that cannot be mass-finished due to their size, shape, or unique construction features. These components are attached to racks, and fixtures designed for immersion in the plating solution. The process, also known as batch-plating, begins with a thorough pretreatment and cleaning sequence to prepare the surfaces. Components are manually attached to the racks, often using copper wire, before being immersed in the plating solution.

Once mounted, the racks are transferred, sometimes by hand, to the first process tank. After the prescribed immersion time, the rack is withdrawn and moved to the next bath, repeating the process until the sequence is complete. Finally, the plated components undergo thorough rinsing, and drying, and are then taken to the loading bay for further handling.


The property has been stripped down to its bare concrete foundation, with no immediate plans for reuse or redevelopment due to the lingering issues of underground contamination and soil pollution. While redevelopment remains a possibility, it hinges on several factors, including the extent of additional cleanup required, the associated costs of removal, the state of the economy, potential environmental liabilities, the involvement of a new owner, and the zoning restrictions of the parcel.

Redevelopment efforts may be feasible if further cleanup efforts successfully address the contamination and mitigate environmental risks. However, the economic feasibility of such endeavors remains uncertain, especially considering the significant costs involved in remediation and the potential challenges in finding a suitable buyer or developer willing to take on the project.

Moreover, zoning restrictions may limit the scope of potential redevelopment, adding another layer of complexity to the situation. Despite the potential for revitalization, the property's future remains uncertain, caught between the desire for transformation and the practical challenges that stand in the way.


1. Environmental Protection Agency. (2002, January 4). EPA Begins Cleanup of Abandoned Metal Plating Shop in Bridgeport. EPA Newsroom. article

2. Kanani, N. (2004). Electroplating: Basic Principles, Processes and Practice. United Kingdom: Elsevier Science. pg. 5. 


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