black&white

Vines

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.

Battery Run

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.

King- Dust Funnels

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.

View of the City

These Twin Cities kisses
Sound like clicks and hisses.
We all tumbled down and
Drowned in the Mississippi River. -The Hold Steady

Dead Light

A typical Chateau wall. Kodak Tri-X 400 in Leica M7.

Tooth Brushes

Imagine the voice of an entitled White suburban mother. She’s now talking about oral hygiene in the “urban” (Black) schools.

Bricked Windows

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.

Outbuilding (Fomapan 100)

Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.

Stair Landing

The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.

Ghosts of Munro Mining Co

Rogers Mine is one of the most structurally sound mines in the Iron River area that isn’t part of a museum.

1957 Calendar

Park Insurance Agency is no longer in business, nor would you be able to dial that phone number.

Bldg 106

This building looked like some sort of office.

Foundry Hallway

Broken skyways in the sand casting house, where everything was utterly fire-resistant.

Back of the Line

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.

Fort William Elevator Ghost Sign I

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.

Coke Shack

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.

Snaking Stack

A winding flue between the ovens for Furnace 6, capped with sketchy catwalks.

Apartment Corridor

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.

Crating Building

The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.

Cheratte Obelysk

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.

Boarded Brew House

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.

Three Peaks

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.

Radome

During the Cold War, the Air Force used the radar station to train bombardiers in radar-guided ordinance.

King- Tower Stairs

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.

Chateau Cross

Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.

Torched Feeds

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.

LEMP Elevator

Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!

Calumet Elevator- Coal Room Door

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.

headFrame of Mind

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.

Torn Up Tiles I

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.

Tower Vines

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.

Door C

A heavy steel rail door to help funnel explosions upward, rather than outward.

Elevator Pulley

Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.

Boiler Blowers

While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.

Daisy

“Daisy”… probably for the mill, as it was unusual for women to work at Daisy.

San Luis Church

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.

Twenty-Five Million Minutes

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.

1970s Wing

My first picture at Nopeming, sometime around 2004. The same year that the county stopped mowing the lawn.

Solvent Recovery Line

Solvent pumping buildings, designed to explode upwards rather than outwards in an emergency, are forgotten near the milkweed.

Pier B in Mid-Winter

These wide spools sit atop the abandoned tracks that lead to the train shed, which was later repurposed into a truck shed.

Cadillac Coater

From inside a painting shed, where heatlamps and a vented roof made sure that the Caddy looked like it was worth the price tag.

Ruined Cottage

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.

Anchor Chains

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.

Jalopy and Contrails

The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.

INAAP Power

Looking toward the power station at the edge of the explosives plant.

Monorail in Mono

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.

Second Floor Throwers

Standing atop the dust collector, the factory breaks down into diverging patterns, processes.

Torn-Up Tiles III

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.

Hastings Sunset

Even in monochrome, you can probably tell what colors were over Hastings that evening: Red, White, and Blue.

Success

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.

Rain Over Cerro de Santa Clara

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.

Headroom

The rumors were true. Success is sweet.

Capitol Hotel Bin

My guess is that the Capitol Hotel closed and Adler bought up some of their equipment.

End Chutes

If there was a problem with the conveyor belt, the grain would go out these chutes.

Elevators

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.

Steam Gauges

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.

Back Stair

The back side of the hotel is plain, but for a fire escape.

Collapsing Poor Farm

A wide view of the poor house. Look at the smokestack and elevator shaft, which show the former roofline.

Old Time Hauler

What looks to be a skip for repairing the dock, in the concrete steeple.

Crosses

Little crosses on the side of the church, near a broken window.

Some Assembly Required

One of my favorite shots from that year, conveyor line parts stacked and hung with Postal Service bins from decades ago.

Film: Sugar Mill

Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7. The office (first floor), laboratory (second floor) and mill behind it. Everything was clean and pristine.

MPE3- Ladder

A custom ladder to cross conveyor belts on the work floor.

Outbuildings

Outbuildings near the perimeter fence. Beyond is all ranch land.

Boiler Master

David Aho, the owner of Mitchell Engine House, poses beside the boiler.

Missile Way

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.

Halfway Up the Mesa

The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.

Standard Oil Boiler Room

Standing where the Standard Oil’s boiler used to sit; the coal room is on the right, and would have been filled from trackside.

Tillston, MB- Five Roses Flour

“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’…

Covered in Coke Dust

Halfway up the coal conveyor, covered in coal dust… black streaks of snot. Starting to get good.

Walk Alone

Instructional film strips on the floor of a second floor closer.

Safety Staircase

The fences helped discourage patients from throwing themselves down the stairs.

Wood Block Floor

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.

Wilting Firebox

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.

Still Studebaker

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.

Materials Yard Chutes

It is unclear whether this area was for coal dumping or ore dumping, though the huge dents in the steel plating suggests the latter.

Cafeteria Door

Almost all of the doors and windows on the ground floor have been boarded, leaving the ground level very dark.

Truck Scale

Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.

MPE3- TELE PHONE

I am sure even the workers had trouble remembering which pillar hid the phone. Note the “ON” written on the electrical socket, too.

Kegmaster’s Causeway

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.

Film: Streetlight

Looking at the concrete headframe from street level. Acros 100 in Pentax 67

Original Glucose Line

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!

Twin Caves

The left cave is the largest of the three, and shows the most evidence of expansion.

Junction Box

Between all of the buildings was dense growth, especially vines.

Tire Dump

Many outdoor areas of the plant have become unofficial city dumps. The skeleton doesn’t care.

Nordberg Hoist

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.

Conveyor Blower

Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.

Foot in the Door

A shuttered house at the end of the block doesn’t even have boards on it anymore.

Superior Elevator- Cupola

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.

St. Peter’s Migration

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.

Bldg 259

One of the hundreds of wells across the depot, as seen through an open rail door. In the distance, the radome.

Stock Office

Old parts catalogs litter the floor. The office overlooks empty shelves. Graffiti glue peeling paint in place.

Shutterchutes

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.

197

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.

Side of the Warehouse

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.

Blast Wall

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.

Dry House Basin

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.

Hoist Controls

A burned and rusted control panel in the corner of the new hoist room.

Snowed-In Offices

Train-mounted snowplows pushed the snow through the fence and against the old offices.

Thunderdumpers

These dump cars moved copper ore to the top of the furnaces… it’s about two stories above ground level.

Bldg 250

An orphan culvert and camper, both tossed aside where nobody that will see will care.

Gateways

A gateway for St. Louis as seen through a gateway (of sorts) in East St. Louis.

Loading Dock

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

Chester Creek Infall, near Duluth’s old Armory. The creek will not emerge again until it is near the Lakewalk.

Empty Frame

Someone had helped themselves to one of the safety posters before my visit.

Tunnel Light

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.

Spare Parts II

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.

Slurry Ladder

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.

Bldg 100

Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.

Drive

The belts on these mills have long ben missing.

Sign Language

Looking at the boarded exterior of the newer area of the orphanage from its 1914 section.

Bricked Doorway

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.

ADM-Delmar #4- Head to Head

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.

Radome Guard Shack

Part of the decommissioned plant was used by the Air Force for virtual bombing runs. This is the guard shack for the radar station.

Block Glass Blues

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.

Slagway

Between the catwalks of Furnace 6, the molted ore would flow through the chute.

Dead-End Bridge

A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.

Longmont Sky

“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.”
― Emily Dickinson

Thrall

A windmill marks one corner of GOW.

Demolished Skyway (Arista 35mm film)

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.

Top Floor Tunnel Door

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.

Rebar Fall Guards

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.

Elevator Door

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!

Foundry Dripmarks

Looking at the casting floor from the roof. In the distance are the copulas where molten metal was poured.

Monorail Ramp

Looking up to the second floor of the Nitrating House, where cotton would be soaked in nitric acid. These brought cotton into the building.

Water Fountain

A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.

SWP4- Sealeg (Arista 100)

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.

Do Industry

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.

In Memory of William Ludtke

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.

Groud Floor

A better view of the belt system that drives all the machinery in the plant.

Elements in the Dark

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.

Nurse’s Station

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.

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