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Robbed Motor

Copper thieves haven't left anything behind but the shell.

Copper thieves haven’t left anything behind but the shell. READ IT»

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The roof compromised, rain water spirals down the main stairway.
This is the station where the keyboard would have been, tied-into the mechanical switches you see. The operator would type on the keyboard and the machine would punch letters out of a hot metal slug, making an inverse metal copy of the transcription. The slugs could then be placed vertically in the printing press, used, and melted down later to make new slugs.
In the bottom of a creek, an antique children's wheelchair is buried in grass, where someone threw it. Wooden leg braces suggest this dates to the 1950s.
In the corner of most of the factory floors, freight elevators flanked restrooms to leave more central space for machines and their masters.
Under the steam engine in the lower engine room--the camera is mounted right over the beginning of the cam shaft.
From the bottom of the skyway I looked back, my eyes tracing the vines from the marsh up the smokestacks to the perfect Midwestern sky.
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    This wide skyway connected two of the inner factory buildings, where parts would have to be transported to keep the operation moving, which is why it is much wider than other bridges in the plant.

    Coffin factory funerals are not often so solemn. Read why this famous furniture factory closed after 160 years and see how it looks today. READ IT»

    Island Station, in the middle of the power house, in the middle of a thunder storm. Flapping pipe covers and sheets of ran penetrating one massive arched window and blasting through the other, as winds power through the building from the Mississippi. The sound of the thunder made every length of steel squeak under the pressure.

    This is my goodbye to a St. Paul power plant currently being demolished: ISLAND STATION. It served in a limited capacity from 1924 to 1973, but its iconic steel smokestack left an impression on me and thousands of other St. Paul residents, past and present. READ IT»

    The Osborn Block (front) and the Twohy (rear) at sunset. In the distance, you can almost make out Globe Elevators. One of my favorite photos of 2013.

    Since the 1890s, little has changed on North First Street. The Twohy and Osborn buildings have survived a century just a block off the beaten path, just out of sight of downtown. A few good stories hide there; these are some of them. READ IT»