It’s unclear whether the abandonment, the foreclosure, or the series of fires (one of which burnt for a week straight) came first for the Remington Arms factory and its shot tower, but either way, the buildings have remained unused for quite some time.
Shot towers were the most common method for producing shot balls for muskets from the late 18th century to the 1960s. From the very top of the tower workers would pour molten lead through a sieve. While falling through the empty tower, the lead would cool and form into perfectly round balls. These would land in a basin of water to be cooled further and to solidify.
The Remington factory and tower have now been purchased by the city, which has plans to reuse the sturdy structures. Several plans have been suggested, including a train station and a butterfly zoo.