The chocolate factory that gave America its first Hershey’s kiss is now in ruins.
Hershey Co. began demolishing the 110-year-old factory two years ago in a move that devastated many longtime residents of the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania, where the plant was located.
Photographer Matthew Christopher, whose father worked for the Hershey Co., went inside the factory just before it was destroyed. He shared what he found with Business Insider.
The inside of the crumbling chocolate plant is a far cry from the fictional Willy Wonka chocolate factory.
Only three acres of the 24-acre factory site were spared from demolition, while the rest was leveled to make way for a new development, according to Reuters.
The candy company has moved operations to a new chocolate plant two miles away in West Hershey, Pennsylvania.
'The demolition of the Hershey plant is a really sensitive subject for many people in the town and beyond,' Christopher says.
'I think the loss of the plant is a tremendously sad thing, but I try to avoid attaching what I do to anything critical of the company itself,' he says.
'I was hoping they would at least use some of the old factory for tours,' Kathi Sopp, 52, who has lived in Hershey since 1987, told Reuters.
'People should be able to always smell the aroma of chocolate and sweat from generations of workers in this town,' she said.
Hershey officials said that no developers were interested in working with the structures on the site.
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