Abandoned WNY – Growers Cold Storage Co.

Abandoned WNY
Exploring an old factory off of 279 in Waterport

Alright, so I’ll be the first to honestly admit that Western New York sucks, but the country has it’s pluses.  I have no idea why anyone would want to live in WNY and raise a family with all the abandoned homes, foreclosures, and lack of jobs, but people do it. The brutally cold winters, rain and scattered clouds make it a miserable place to live, but I was only there for a few months each season to pack parachutes. This season we moved to Pine Hill Airport in Albion, NY. Technically it’s an 8-mile drive from the city of Albion, but needless to say I am in the Town of Barre, which is full of abandoned barns, buildings, and quarries, both vacant and occupied by active heavy equipment.  Here is a recent adventure towards Lake Ontario in a small town called Waterport.  This post explores abandoned WNY as I venture into Growers Cold Storage Co.  I stumbled across this wandering around and this is the first post I have seen of this place on the Internet.

“I set out yesterday towards Lake Ontario, specifically Lakeside Beach State Park. There and back is exactly 34 miles. Most of the grades are relatively flat, but some of the narrow, one-way, draw bridges have steep grades where I walked up them, pushing my bicycle beside me as I looked out over Eagle Harbor and Waterport Pond.

The complete desolation and lack of cars made the ride peaceful and relaxing. I pedaled by multiple fruit orchards, farmland and stepped into abandoned WNY as I passed decaying barns and foreclosed homes, but the building that stuck out the most in my mind was right off Waterport Road on Route 279.  Next to a field of semis and a government building, stood a crooked, dilapidated, vacant factory…or so I thought…

Abandoned WNY
Stairway to Heaven…I wanted to check out the basement but without a flashlight this place sketched me out.

I literally walked around back and pulled my bicycle in through the faded brown back door. The musty aroma of mold, moist dirt and freshly sprouted ivy tickled my nose. I propped my bike up against the window and locked it tightly. Not that anyone was going to steal it, but you never know what you’ll find in these places or who you’ll find “dead or alive!”

I shuffled away from the door and my eyes stuck to the opened lockers in the corner of the room. I pressed my finger against the gray door whisking away the dust in a single stroke until gently hearing a creak whistle at the hinges. I approached the next room to see electrical panels dismantled, cords dangling from the ceiling, old, rusted gears, steel beams, flakes of asbestos, broken filing cabinets and metal piping scattered across the floor. I just stood there and pondered why this place shut down and how long it remained abandoned? I walked up the steps into the next room to see a few old tires piled up next to the wall. An old elevator dangled by steel cables sat crooked on the ground floor, inoperable, full of random debris.

Abandoned WNY
Rooftoping in Abandoned WNY

I tiptoed towards the red spiral staircase and stopped, noticing it twisted up two more stories and down into a pitch black basement. The other rooms on the interior remained dark and the only spawn of light came from holes in the shell or walls of the decaying building. I grabbed onto the spiral staircase, my fingers clasping rough rusted metal, pieces flaking off with each move up to the next floor. My eyes wandered around the room, first at the graffiti sprayed across the walls, and then at the exposed re-bar dangling from the corners of the concrete ceiling.

A door perched open with the letter “G” printed in big, bold, black lettering followed by a scribble of “UNIT” in red spray paint. To the left of it someone outlined a stick figure with Afro hair dancing and to the right of the door depicted a tall wine glass that was half full or empty. I looked inside and all the rooms remained completely black, with only tiny pinholes of light shining in from cracks in the building. I decided to walk of the rickety set of stairs and climb a ladder that barely hung on the wall to the roof the building.

Abandoned WNY
Abandoned Grower’s Cold Storage Co. in Waterport, NY

Now the roof made for a nice view over most of the road. The first room I climbed into held some sort of heavy, green, gear next to an old electrical panel. The weight alone of this made me confident that the wood flooring would not buckle beneath me sending me 40 feet to my death.

More Relics in Abandoned WNY

WNY is a haven of much urban blight through areas like Rochester with the RTA Subway System, to the myriad historical silos of Buffalo, with abandoned squats, homes and barns in between.  Some of my favorite parts of Abandoned New York include Dansville:  Castle on the Hill and JN Adam Memorial Hospital to name a few.  Explore. Wander.  Live Free!


  1. glad you liked it there. it was my family’s business until the mid 90s. as you know this area has a jobs issue and frozen food wasn’t what it was in the 30s. the place was built along the Hojack railroad as a means to get good from the small town into the citys. all the other cold storages had names like the Holly cold storage or albion… waterport was a fart in the middle of no wear with farms for “growers” hence the name growers. briefly some clown had plans to make wooden flooring for a local home improvement chain in the building but bailed without ever making a buck. i’ve spent a ton of time in this place as a kid when it was operational too.

    • Wow man. That is awesome that you stumbled across this post. I’m always interested in learning about the old industry that has decayed away and what it once used to be back in the day. Thanks for the information. I lived the past few summers in Albion, NY and stumbled across it on my bike and really enjoyed exploring it.

  2. Been through the same building a few years ago, was such an awesome sight and left me wondering. Glad others share the same insight. Always passed it as a kid when we would travel from Point Breeze to lake Alice. Cheers!


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