“Abandoned Photography” debuts at Longmont Museum and Cultural Center

Grain Towers
Grain Towers (Photo credit: Jonathan Fulton)

Times are changing. As the author C.S. Lewis once said, “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?”

In the haste of this world, people often forget to reminisce about the things that moved us forward.


That notion is what drives photographer Mark Ivins, 58, to capture the beauty of the past.

Ivins’ current show, “Abandoned Photography”, is being exhibited at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center until Feb. 17.

“His work is delightful and I’m delighted he was able to show here,” said Erik Mason, curator of research and information at the Longmont Museum.

This particular exhibition focuses on the long-abandoned and well-recognized sugar factory in Longmont.

“This exhibition brings a much better appreciation to the building and Mark’s remarkable work,” Mason said.

The factory was up and running for 74 years before being shut down in 1977, and has been left vacant ever since.

“It was filled with ghosts … It showed history, it showed humanity,” Ivins described.

This remarkable building is an iconic structure representing the past of Longmont, Colo. Ivins has taken advantage of an opportunity to make this building more than just a second glance.

He hopes to remind people of the importance of history.

“We live in an era where time goes by so fast. People forget stuff, the people and places before them,” Ivins said.


With his beautifully captured black and white still shots, Ivins’ photos are more than meets the eye. After several decades of decay he has still managed to find prestige in the building.

“You can see things that aren’t really there … Things that used to be there,” he says.

Ivins wants his audience to take away from this show the ability to look at things with a little more depth than before and to appreciate the history that is all around us.

His inspiration for his photography is the opportunity to see from new perspectives.

“It brings me to a lot of worlds other people don’t get to visit. It’s a passport to other peoples’ lives … It’s sometimes boring, sometimes scary, but always interesting,” Ivins explained.

Take a quick trip to Longmont for an even better trip back in time with Mark Ivins.

Ivins reflected on his own past and what moved him forward. He was just twelve years old when he began photography.

“What did I know? I was kind of good and I rather enjoyed it,” he chuckled.

Editor’s note: Ivins does not encourage anybody to visit the actual site of the factory. The area in and around the factory is toxic and can be very dangerous, and the factory’s website forbids entry.