Abandoned since 2010, the Kodak lab now falls into disrepair. The photochemical factory was built in 1923 and bought by Kodak only 4 years later. It started its life as Glanzfilm (Glossy Film) AG Köpenick, an expansion of the already well established and successful Vereinigte Glanzstoff-Fabriken AG, a rayon production company in Wuppertal, near Düsseldorf. By 1927 the factory was still not meeting the original expectations with continual losses. Because of this, it was bought out by Kodak under the name Kodak AG, Werk Köpenick.
The Kodak factory produced black-and-white films, x-ray films and various chemical processing materials. In 1941 Nazi Germany declared the American factory ‘enemy property’ and captured it. After the fall of the Berlin Wall it was given back to the Kodak company. The factory, however, could not keep up with modern technology and was eventually closed in 2010 with part of the factory still manufacturing x-ray films.
Sadly a fire had damaged the building. The fire had destroyed part of the inside and access to the larger building had been blocked off. This made it impossible to enter without a large ladder or breaking something (not my style). I am hoping as time goes on it may become accessible once again.
We actually stumbled across the lab while exploring the cable factory next door, which was a nice surprise. The two buildings were huge and loomed up over us begging to be explored. Another part of the factory has been refurbished into luxury apartments called “Glanzfilmfabrik” which even proudly displays the Kodak logo on the entrance. This made things even shadier as we had the German neighbours watching us from their balconies.
Paper instructions laid in turmoil across the ground and a lonely window sat still intact inside the building. Remnants of the lab fill each room from cabinets to cables and equipment. On the inside, the lab was completely trashed by vandals. Surprisingly it was untouched by graffiti artists, bar the odd tag here and there. Such a sad homage to what was once a really exciting enterprise.
Due to the fire the structure of this building was questionable and areas were completely inaccessible. We dream one day of returning to explore the sealed off larger building along with the nearby Mellow Park, a skate park for youths on the same complex.
Despite the door being easily opened, the Kodak lab, which was sandwiched between houses and a playground, was empty . One of the larger buildings was impossible to get into which I think deters a lot of vandals. I do not recommend entering as there is an on-site security guard from the cable factory next door, he patrols the area on his bike.
If you enjoyed reading about my urban exploration adventures then there are plenty more to be discovered, you can check out the rest here.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to have ever trespassed on this property nor do I condone doing so.
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