Inside an abandoned cement factory turned into an amusement park
A photographer exposed the crumbling remains of the old cement works that would become a children’s amusement park project called Cementland.
It’s been labeled one of “America’s Weirdest Theme Parks” for its niche theme and issues over the years.
The bizarre 54-acre attraction, taken by Paul Sableman, was envisioned by sculptor Bob Cassilly was once a thriving factory outside of St. Louis, Missouri, but when the factory closed the area became a dumping ground for construction companies.
The original buildings began to crumble and decay – until one day Cassilly came up with the idea of turning the landscape into a place of obscure projects.
Bob Cassilly saw more than cement and ruins. He saw history, art, architecture and evolution.
In a 2000 interview, Bob said, “They talk about historic neighborhoods and things like that, but one of the main things is that our architecture basically copies things from Europe.
“But our industry is a bit like jazz, it’s an American, original thing. Why not look at it for what it is? It’s impressive. It may be threatening, but we can only be impressed by that.”
His ultimate goal was to create an art amusement park, but everything changed when there was an accident on the construction site.
Cassilly was tragically run over by a bulldozer and killed at the Cementland construction site on September 26, 2011. He was 61 years old.
However, his widow and several medical experts did not believe Bob’s cause of death was a bulldozer accident.
In 2016, physician Dr Arthur Combs reviewed autopsy reports and said he believed the sculptor had been beaten to death before the murder scene was staged to look like an accident.
For the latest news and stories from around the world from the Daily Star, sign up to our newsletter by clicking here.
Over the past six years, the ruins have deteriorated further after a warehouse fire caused a roof to collapse.
Security was hired to ward off vandals and intruders in 2017, but as of 2022 there is no evidence that this arrangement remains in place.
Memorials honoring Cassilly’s life have been held in Cementland, but the attraction is not over.