What you see is not a crack in the floor, but a long vine extending ten feet onto the shop floor, as if reaching in to escape the wind and rain.
A side view of the oven pusher from the ground. The tallest coal bunker looks tiny in the distance, though on the scale of the factory it’s practically on top of me as I’m taking the picture.
This photo illustrates how vertical the complex is.
Let’s play a game called “FIND THE PIGEON”! There is one bird in this photo of dust collectors atop the King Elevator train shed.
These Twin Cities kisses
Sound like clicks and hisses.
We all tumbled down and
Drowned in the Mississippi River. -The Hold Steady
A typical Chateau wall. Kodak Tri-X 400 in Leica M7.
Imagine the voice of an entitled White suburban mother. She’s now talking about oral hygiene in the “urban” (Black) schools.
Windows provided the 250-some workers with fresh air and light, and helped to keep flour dust from building up in the air, helping to prevent explosions. Today, machines control air flow better without windows, so they were bricked.
Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.
The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
Rogers Mine is one of the most structurally sound mines in the Iron River area that isn’t part of a museum.
The top floor of the Dominion Elevator. Acros 100 on 120.
Park Insurance Agency is no longer in business, nor would you be able to dial that phone number.
This building looked like some sort of office.
Broken skyways in the sand casting house, where everything was utterly fire-resistant.
Note the large belt pulley in the center of the frame. Follow the axel it’s on and you’ll see several belts still attached to the drive, which was originally steam-driven.
The Western Elevator’s old moniker looks over Fort William (the neighborhood). Snow falls over Mount McKay in the background. This elevator is still active… the only active elevator in Fort William proper.
Between the repair shops and the stock department is this odd little structure. No, the walls are not level–it’s not your eyes. The shops slope left, the structure slopes right.
A winding flue between the ovens for Furnace 6, capped with sketchy catwalks.
A teeter totter sits in front of the Memorial Building.
I like to imagine this as fountain.
The top floor of the apartment seemed so empty without the furniture that once adorned it. Instead, my eyes were drawn to the worn paths in the floor between the rooms.
The playground used to be near the school which is now in ruins.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
Looking at the headframe for Shaft 3 from the tower for Shaft 1. Below is the roof of the Dry House. It was hard to remind myself that these building have been abandoned longer than I’ve been alive.
From the street, it’s clear that almost every window and door had boards over it, but not every building had a roof. Silly priorities.
Near the base of the mesa is a modern house, which seems to be a ranch of some sort. What a fantastic spot to live, but for the fact every rainstorm floods the arryos, muddy ditches at the bottom of gullies, making it impossible to travel.
During the Cold War, the Air Force used the radar station to train bombardiers in radar-guided ordinance.
For some time, tugboats were stored next to the elevator.
Shells of mixing buildings.
The King Elevator is connected by a manlift and this spiral staircase. The manlift was down–can you believe it? Note the cool turns in the vertical railings. Arista 100 on 120.
A warped mirror in the rock crusher at the rear of the complex.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
Cauterized wounds on the factory floor, where the middle of the newer mill opens up to allow massive equipment. Now the pipes are cut and the equipment is gone.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
The machine shop today.
The last of four radar domes on the base.
This corner of the building was the coal room, used to feed the two big boilers inside. The steam equipment has been replaced with electric, so this section may not have changed much in the past decades.
This is a great example of a combination rock house; the silos below used to fill trains with ore dropped from mine cars pulled to the top of the structure.
Local kids probably call this the ‘Shootin’ Shack’, judging by its war wounds.
A heavy steel device locks the anchor up.
An old nurse’s station (you can tell because of the half-door with table) with torn-up tiles. Notice through the curved doorway that even the ceiling has a curvature.
One thing that struck me as a midwesterner in the South was the vines. They seem to be able to completely cover a building when left alone for a few decades.
The overgrown offices serve no one at this former Federal Elevator in Snowflake, MB.
A heavy steel rail door to help funnel explosions upward, rather than outward.
Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.
While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.
“Daisy”… probably for the mill, as it was unusual for women to work at Daisy.
San Luis may not be a ghost town, but it’s aspiring by all indications. Luckily, it’s close enough to Cuba, NM to hang onto life, unlike the other ghost towns down the road.
The railing were jealous of both the bricks and bits, and chose instead to dissolve like this.
Standing where the Final Assembly Building used to hum and staring across the former site of the Sheet Metal and Spring buildings. Today, of course, the Foundry is gone as well, so you’d be looking across Prairie Ave.
A massive water tower easily tucks into the shadow of Blast Furnace #6.
My first picture at Nopeming, sometime around 2004. The same year that the county stopped mowing the lawn.
Solvent pumping buildings, designed to explode upwards rather than outwards in an emergency, are forgotten near the milkweed.
These wide spools sit atop the abandoned tracks that lead to the train shed, which was later repurposed into a truck shed.
From inside a painting shed, where heatlamps and a vented roof made sure that the Caddy looked like it was worth the price tag.
Kat’s pretty cool.
A side view showing the extreme structural damage to what I believe is the Masonic Cottage. I honestly cannot unravel how some of this was done, unless the local armory is missing a 4″ canon and some cartridge shot.
Taken from the most forward part of the windlass room to show how the front of the ship opens up from the front wedge. Note the giant anchor chains and foam strapped to the frontmost beam.
Hip bump girl.
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
Looking toward the power station at the edge of the explosives plant.
The basement held a makeshift chapel.
One of the only extant assembly line tracks in the body painting department. No photographer leaves Fisher 21 without capturing some version of this spot; hope you like mine.
Standing atop the dust collector, the factory breaks down into diverging patterns, processes.
The snowflake (?) patterns were hand-laid throughout the hospital. It is possible some or all of these tiles were laid by patients, as it is on record that they were used for simple tasks in the name of occupational therapy.
Even in monochrome, you can probably tell what colors were over Hastings that evening: Red, White, and Blue.
Ringling, MT is spread thin across the grassy land.
When the Mitchell project is complete, I’ll miss the textures on the face of the boiler.
My first night on Minneapolis’ Lighthouse–now an old picture and distant memory… I still remember the exhilaration and the view of the city off one edge of the roof and the Mississippi River over the other.
An old fashioned lift.
A machine to cast copper billets.
Soft rain on Vulcan’s ashy pyre… Both of these peaks are dead volcanos, too hard to be totally washed away by storms. As a result, they seem to rise dramatically from the flat valley.
The rumors were true. Success is sweet.
Near the guard post protecting the launch pad at the Duluth BOMARC is an orange windsock.
Labeling line elevator.
My guess is that the Capitol Hotel closed and Adler bought up some of their equipment.
If there was a problem with the conveyor belt, the grain would go out these chutes.
Where the approach meets the dock.
Counter-weighted ore cars alternately filled and emptied to feed Furnace 7. Honestly, though, the corner-mounted cranes are sexier in my opinion. Note the trees growing from the stacks.
A little catwalk gives access to the most important gauges in the building. Behind them are huge vents and fans. I bet it got steamy in here.
The back side of the hotel is plain, but for a fire escape.
A wide view of the poor house. Look at the smokestack and elevator shaft, which show the former roofline.
Unintentional art comes in the form of a beet juice slurry baffle.
What looks to be a skip for repairing the dock, in the concrete steeple.
Little crosses on the side of the church, near a broken window.
One of my favorite shots from that year, conveyor line parts stacked and hung with Postal Service bins from decades ago.
Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7. The office (first floor), laboratory (second floor) and mill behind it. Everything was clean and pristine.
A custom ladder to cross conveyor belts on the work floor.
A little cloud passes over the Five-Stack powerplant ruins, like a puff of smoke.
The steam plant could be vertically traversed with this one-man belt driven elevator.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
Outbuildings near the perimeter fence. Beyond is all ranch land.
David Aho, the owner of Mitchell Engine House, poses beside the boiler.
Part of the plant has been reused as a scrap metal yard.
The top floor of the Meal Storage Elevator.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
The BOMARC launch buildings are spaced on a large concrete pad that looks like a parking lot. Out of view are underground pipes for fueling and cooling the rocket motors.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
Standing where the Standard Oil’s boiler used to sit; the coal room is on the right, and would have been filled from trackside.
“Five Roses” was the brand of flour that Lake of the Woods marketed. Later, this became another Manitoba Pool elevator. Notice the “POO” up top? It’s missing the ‘L’…
Halfway up the coal conveyor, covered in coal dust… black streaks of snot. Starting to get good.
Graffiti by a crew member of the Algolake.
A back-lit tree with the silhouette of a roof spire in the background.
Instructional film strips on the floor of a second floor closer.
The fences helped discourage patients from throwing themselves down the stairs.
A steel powder keg serves as a door prop on the static-proof wood core floor. Note the ‘XXX’ marking to the left of the double door.
Considering the side of Boiler #3’s firebox, where it meets the boiler (between the cylinders). The top piece is where the exhaust is sucked into the chimney, one chimney for each pair of boilers.
Between the room with mold sand and the space where the car’s metal bits would be put together, a pillar is marked as structurally vital.
It is unclear whether this area was for coal dumping or ore dumping, though the huge dents in the steel plating suggests the latter.
Almost all of the doors and windows on the ground floor have been boarded, leaving the ground level very dark.
Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.
I am sure even the workers had trouble remembering which pillar hid the phone. Note the “ON” written on the electrical socket, too.
Taken from under the headframe.
A mix of brick and stone construction where the stock house meets the cellars. The caves brought well water to the brewery and drained the refuse away, and the various sewer connections are visible here and tell the story of the company’s expansion above.
Looking at the concrete headframe from street level. Acros 100 in Pentax 67
Point me to the blast furnace.
A facade that tells the story of demolition and neglect. The sign on the garage door indicates that if one finds themselves there, that they enter the buildings at their own risk. If only property owners in the US took this philosophy!
The left cave is the largest of the three, and shows the most evidence of expansion.
Between all of the buildings was dense growth, especially vines.
Many outdoor areas of the plant have become unofficial city dumps. The skeleton doesn’t care.
The steam-powered hoist that pulled ore and dropped men from the mine. Note the hydraulic-operated brake on top with its massive brake pad. Now scrapped.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
A shuttered house at the end of the block doesn’t even have boards on it anymore.
Camera: Voigtlander Bessa
Film: Acros 100
The cupola–the space above the silos–is surprisingly original. The building was too unstable for anyone to scrap it out. Seriously, the floor is a deathtrap.
Checking out the neighbors. Shot on a the legendary Pentax 67.
Between the ice chute and the back of the north section of the cellars, a little pillar shows where a room used to be. The ceiling’s disintegration has since filled the space, which seems to be the last point of expansion in the cave–this was last carved in the mid-1840s.
One of the hundreds of wells across the depot, as seen through an open rail door. In the distance, the radome.
Looking out of the wavy stock shop.
Shuttered windows on the side of one of the collapsing bonded warehouses.
Old parts catalogs litter the floor. The office overlooks empty shelves. Graffiti glue peeling paint in place.
At the end of a conveyor belt and poised over a loading station, it’s easy to image the tinny sound of chicken feed sliding across the metal. Like sand on the old-fashioned stainless steel playground slides.
In the mine offices, hooks and a board with numbers was the system to keep track of who was in the mine and who was safe.
Not a part of the Foundry, but the Enclosed Body Building. The rebar welded over the windows and the rust patterns with the lighting makes this geometric photos one of my favorites from the year.
Without their walls these Solvent Recovery Line buildings look like blast walls. Their concrete inner structures were part of the design so if there was an explosion inside it would ‘blow out’ with a puff instead of a bang. Now most of these are demolished or overgrown.
A porcelain basin in the locker room is detached, but shows excellent patina. I hope when the machine shop is repurposed that this can be saved.
A burned and rusted control panel in the corner of the new hoist room.
Train-mounted snowplows pushed the snow through the fence and against the old offices.
These dump cars moved copper ore to the top of the furnaces… it’s about two stories above ground level.
An elevator is reflected in the flooded footprint of Spencer & Kellogg. These trains are in storage for the winter.
Looking from the shaft room into the room where an electric hoist would be.
An orphan culvert and camper, both tossed aside where nobody that will see will care.
An Old Crow warehouse, formerly federally controlled, near Old Taylor Distillery.
A gateway for St. Louis as seen through a gateway (of sorts) in East St. Louis.
Just a couple guys enjoying an industrial ruin.
A truck loading dock for raw materials. Looking at the concrete, you can sort of tell where the rails used to run.
Chester Creek Infall, near Duluth’s old Armory. The creek will not emerge again until it is near the Lakewalk.
Someone had helped themselves to one of the safety posters before my visit.
A look at the Longmont Sugar Mill in May 2014.
Looking through the hole where a glass pane once was at the Columbus Mine ruins, just south of Animas Forks. It was quiet when I took the picture, but for the gurgle of the nearby Animas River.
The newer tunnels were fitted with these fluorescent lights, although some skylights (block glass embedded in skywalks) let in some natural light during the day.
Peeling paint reveals the room numbers of the past. Kodak Trix-400 on Canon T40.
Bits and things in a pile in the corner of the smelter, the unsold chunks of industrial history that didn’t sell at an on-site auction before my visit.
A jankey ladder leads to a platform over a wooden tank. Here’s hoping my usage contributes to jankey being accepted into the dictionary! Thanks, lexicographers.
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
The belts on these mills have long ben missing.
Looking at the boarded exterior of the newer area of the orphanage from its 1914 section.
I’ve written it before, but I like observing the way buildings change in terms of new windows, bricked up doors, and so on, and thinking of how their forms change to reflect the work inside of them.
Looking from one workhouse at another, with the other residents of Mill Hell falling into place as the distance grows. Across the rail yard you can see Froedert Malt elevator and Calumet.
Part of the decommissioned plant was used by the Air Force for virtual bombing runs. This is the guard shack for the radar station.
Watching the comings and goings of doctors, nurses and new patients was a mainstay of asylum routine; one can find it easy to imagine pale faces pressed against the block glass windows, staring out at the world moving past them.
David Aho pictured.
The main buildings were mostly interconnected and in good condition. The dry air helps to preserve the wooden structures.
Between the catwalks of Furnace 6, the molted ore would flow through the chute.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.”
― Emily Dickinson
A windmill marks one corner of GOW.
Looking out of the demolished skyway. Note the big hole in the floor. The lens is too wide to keep my foot out of it… I’m hanging in the superstructure that I climbed to make this photo.
In most places, it may seem off for there to be a tunnel door on the top floor of a building, but Ford was that kind of place. This door from the steam plant led into a skyway and tunnel that connected to the main assembly floor.
A look straight down into the chutes were taconite pellets would dump into the dock hoppers. Rebar was a safety measure to keep workers from being buried alive, were they to slip into the holes.
Like many mill-style buildings of the time, the Twohy’s loading doors (in this case, the delivery wagon doors) opened to an elevator shaft. This design cut down on loading time, as long as the elevator was operational. Of course, if it was otherwise occupied, there could be no traffic through the exterior doors!
Looking at the casting floor from the roof. In the distance are the copulas where molten metal was poured.
Looking up to the second floor of the Nitrating House, where cotton would be soaked in nitric acid. These brought cotton into the building.
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
Circa-1960s graffiti. Someone got their ass kicked.
I had to climb into the roof of the half-demolished skyway to see through to the other side of the train shed. That’s my foot in the corner.
This rockhouse was added below the shaft to load Gilpin Tram cars.
Another ruined spiral staircase in the mill.
The only good shot I have of the top of Battery A, in the upper left. Though it seemed to have been disused before its neighbor it had a lot less growth on it.
We mark our world in unexpected ways… this is how patient possessions would be stored during their stay in the old asylum wards. It’s about the size of a shoebox, and this particular drawer has a name where the others do not. Its place reminded me of the hospital cemetery where more than 3,000 are buried and less than 1% of whom are recorded by stone or plaque in their resting place.
ADM overshadows the Meal Elevator. The cleared area behind is now home to Surley Brewery.
A better view of the belt system that drives all the machinery in the plant.
The shed in the front was full of worker supplies–namely goggles and heavy leather gloves. Molten copper isn’t a friendly thing to handle.
That floor isn’t dirt–it’s old rotting grain that’s formed into a sort of moldy mud.
This is one of the modern nurse’s stations where the last inpatients lived in the mid-2000s. The windows are thick shatterproof plastic. I am unsure why the suspended ceiling is missing.