I used to think Celotex made clouds. The big plumes of white steam so closely resembled Cumulus clouds that my brain, at 6, made the connection one clear day. Driving past the building that housed the operations was a daily occurrence in my life. Not only was the physical space of plant immense but it occupies a significant place in my memory of Sunbury. One went to and fro and this town and Celotex was visible where ever.
In reality, the Knight-Celotex, LLC. plant in Sunbury made fiber board roofing and insulating materials. The building, occupying 22 square acres, was built in 1898 and had housed a silk mill and Westinghouse. In 2008, the company closed it’s plant along Front Street and a year later, the company declared bankruptcy. The site is now flat and scattered with debris.
I had known that the plant was non-functioning but when I drove by a few weeks ago, I was dumbfounded by it’s absence. Time simultaneously leaves this place alone and forces it into the future.