black&white

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.

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.

Diesel Lab III

Some local kids were having a fire extinguisher fight when I walked into the lab one day.

Brewhouse Staircase

In the brewhouse between the preheating tank and kettle room. The spiral staircase goes into a kettle annex where a few smaller stainless steel kettles hide. If you looked right from this frame you would see the bottom of one of the kettles like the bottom of a steel mixing bowl.

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.

Diversion in the Shaft House

A hydraulic ‘bridge’ couple lower onto the tracks to bring mine cars into the shaft house, presumably for repair. I haven’t found this system anywhere else, but it makes a lot of sense.

Gering Mill

Little has changed inside the mill, but since it was built in 1916, many tanks and ancillary buildings have popped up around it.

Hastings Sunset

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

Beet Driers

When it was convenient, the sugar company would pull equipment, even pipes, from one mill for another.

Film: Pozo Mine

Pozo Mine, the most menacing mine building I’ve ever seen. Black and white film, shot with the Fuji GX680, a beast of a camera.

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.

Basement Fireplace and Toilet

The basement of the asylum was a strange place. Take, this fireplace, for instance, in an otherwise barren room. Random cinderblock (left) has created a little room behind the fireplace. To round out the strangeness, a toilet was plumbed into the middle of the space. Note the stone foundations.

Dock Stairs

Before it was demolished, there was one good staircase the led to the middle of the dock. Trees grew from it.

Steam Downstream

In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.

Inside Old Hundred Mine-(C)SUSBTREET.org

I’ve been in a lot of different mines. Some on tours, some not. If you pass through Howardsville, Colorado without going on the Old Hundred Mine Tour, you’re missing out. This is what Santiago Tunnel looked like in the 1940s when it was near the end of its life.

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.

Blacksmith Shop Walkway-(C)SUSBTREET.org

The Blacksmith Shop (right) was connected to the Bunk House (left) via this narrow walkway. This is likely due to the fire risk in each building. The left building had a cooking stove and furnace for heat and the right building had a small industrial furnace to repair mining equipment. A little walkway would mean that a fire on one side would be easier to fight from the other.

The Long Mill

Tarpaper telling time-
Wood wittling weather-
Rust rot ruins.

Jackson Residence

“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.

Schmidt Brew Kettle

A brewmaster’s desk leans beside a long-disused stainless steel kettle. The staircase above goes to another level of kettles, which are visibly older.

Just Add Cranes – (C)SUBSTREET

Although it’s difficult to spot at first, there is a traveling mini crane down the way about the three windows. This was installed to service all of the fabrication machines that would be in this section.

Capitol Hotel Bin

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

Casting House Trestle

The whole smelter ran on gravity… elevating the various raw materials and working with them until at the bottom of the furnace, copper poured out.

ADM-Delmar #1- Skyway Demolished

Panorama from where the skyway connected the cleaning house and elevator. ADM Meal Storage is to the right, ADM-4 is to the extreme right, and Kurth is on the left.

Coating Section Conveyor

On the top floor of the former casket building is the finishing line for the coating section; on this section the final spray of plastic would hit the wood before a small furnace would seal the plastic permanently to the surface, making it more resilient, I assume.

Hollow Below

While it looks like ground level, everything here is one story above the actual earth.

Junction Box

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

Twin Room

In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.

ADM-Delmar #1- No Clearance

Looking at ADM-1 from beside ADM-4, back when ADM-4 had a train shed and ADM-1 had a skyway. In the thick woods beneath the skyway was a long time homeless camp… most of its residents were very friendly.

Facing Downtown (2005)

2005. This is very likely the oldest image I have on the website; I took this in the early 2000s with my first camera when I was new to the hobby. I still like it quite a lot.

Some Assembly Required

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

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.

Back Gate (Film)

Scanned after being recovered from the bottom of an old wooden box for a few years. Circa 2005.

Oil Cars

Only two machines sit on the rails in the roundhouse, both oil cars. It’s not clear whether there’s anything inside either, but they have to have been placed here before 1970, when the turntable outside these numbered doors was removed.

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.

MPE3- Crashed Bucket Conveyors

All of the bucket conveyors crashed on this work floor when their casings were scrapped. Note all of the valves to open the grain flow.

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.

Film: Vapor

Water vapor was collected and condensed to be reused in other processes. Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7

Auger Floor

This floor of the workhouse had corkscrew conveyors–big augers–in the floor to move material around. Most of the walls that were metal were missing, leaving the concrete structure and open doors.

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.

Crashed Elevator

This elevator came crashing down, perhaps from the topmost floor. I wonder what it sounded like.

San Luis Home

A typical dwelling in San Luis. I could not tell if it was occupied, but most of the town is abandoned.

Railyard Projection

Harsh rail yard lighting throws shadows of broken windows against the line of boilers.

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.

Many Windowed Building

Between two brick buildings is a metal one with many windows set into it. Having been in many mills of similar design, I conjecture that this was the milling building, where machines ground the corn before it was boiled.

Boiler Blowers

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

Beulah, MB

This elevator was built in 1922 and was used until the passing rails were removed in the mid-1970s.

MPE3- Ladder

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

Big Pipe

A huge steam pipe snakes between catwalks, through the floors, and toward the condensers, so the water could be recovered and reused.

Medicine Cabinet

A corner of the addition is lined with glass cabinets, formerly filled with beds.

Film- Fallen Blower

Part of the grain dust venting system, dislodged from its place above the dumping hatches under the grain cribs.

Swirl – (C)SUBSTREET

Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!

Grate

Bits of pulp hang from a rough grate on the first floor of the plant, which was dark because all of the equipment blocked the light. This is a grate picture.

Group Shower

A typical shower in the old section of the hospital. It looks a little horrifying in the harsh light of a camera flash on the thousands of little white tiles. One soap holder hadn’t been stolen yet.

Headquarters in Fog

The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.

Crosses

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

Cargill in Spring (Film)

Taken from atop a grain train at the end of Cargill B-2, looking toward Lake Superior “I”, now part of the sample complex. This area used to have another slip, but Cargill filled it on when it built the elevator on the right.

Final Furnace

The end of the heating line allowed glass to cool slowly, and thus be stronger.

Sunflower Dollhouse

This is the former air compressor house–one of them, at least–which turned steam power into air power to drive machinery across the production line.

Missile Arm (Fomapan 100)

The metallic arms of the missile erector, which would stand rockets over the blast pit in the launch position. Medium Format film–cheap but excellent Fomapan 100 in a Pentax 67.

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.

1970s Wing

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

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’…

Dead Light

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

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.

Max Pressure

I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.

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.

Sign Language

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

Ruined Hoist

Steel mine hoists, near the place they worked, wait for scrap prices to justify their final removal from Osceola, Michigan.

Blast Furnace Six

Furnace #6; its catwalk and tapway. Note the lever-operated gutter-blockers.

Buckstaff Chair

On the ground floor of the main factory there seems to be only one chair left.

Covered in Coke Dust

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

Powder Kegs

These aluminum powder kegs were forgotten in storage.

Swinging Light

It was obvious which parts of the hospital were the newest, by their relative utter self destruction. It’s comforting to the Cubical Dwellers, I think, to know that as soon as the power and plumbing are disconnected that all hell will break loose and dismantle their suspended ceilings, drywall boxes and fluorescent suns in no time at all.

Westboro Sunset

This room on the top floor of one of the oldest buildings has seemingly not changed since it was adapted for employee use. Some sections of the hospital were adapted for staff to live in. Paying Patient Ward–where capable patients were separated from wards of the state.

Say Remiss

For reasons unknown, this building’s concrete was designed a little thinly. It reminds me of a Chicago, IL building constructed during WWI when concrete and steel were strictly rationed and many buildings went up with insufficient superstructures. I do not have a build date for this one yet.

Orphanage Arches

A street side exposure of the original 1914 section of the orphanage. Turned into black and white to deemphasize all the graffiti across the front steps.

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.

Elevator Pulley

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

Vintage Scale Hoppers

Two steel hoppers supported by counterweights and springs, which were used to weigh incoming grain loads before being deposited in the silos beneath this floor. Garner is another way to say “big measuring tank”, if you were wondering. I fell in love with all the tubes and chutes on this floor.

Hand

Hunter climbing up to the coal tower.

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.

Door C

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

LEMP Elevator

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

Pools

These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.

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.

ADM-Delmar #1- When Entering Grain Bins

One of my favorite signs, informing workers about to descend into the open-top grain bins about basic procedures. This was in ADM-Annex 1 (connected to the cleaning house via skyway), so it will never be seen again, unless the sign lands luckily when the elevator is demolished.

Loading Dock

A ruined platform on the railyard platform side of the warehouse.

Grippers

Robotic pincers to move molten rods of glass between machines.

Slagway

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

Bunker Row

There are 700 of these storage bunkers. Their design was to funnel explosions upward, rather than toward other buildings, to minimize secondary explosions.

Repair Cart

One of a few rolling workbenches to keep the thousands of pulleys, cogs, and belts working properly.

Film- Globe Flywheel

Beautiful belt wheels above the grain cribs. Getting to the spot where this was taken is now impossible, and I don’t know whether these remain or not anymore.

Trigger

The middle missile launcher, as seen from the roof of its neighbor.

Bids

A bank of vertical filing cabinets, probably dating to National Guard days.

Floor Bricks

Wood brick floors reduced noise and vibration, making the work environment safer and keeping the superstructure intact. Too bad people like to pile these up and set them on fire on the weekends. With 3.5 million sqft, though, it’s not exactly running out…

Entre

An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.

Second Floor Throwers

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

1957 Calendar

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

Tooth Brushes

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Chateau Cross

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

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.

I Z E

Miners at the turn of the century had better taste in typography than the average person does today.

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.

10 Operators 5 Casuals

“Ballistite is a smokeless propellant made from two high explosives, nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine. It was developed and patented by Alfred Nobel in the late 19th century.” -Wikipedia.

Elevator Ruins

All that’s left of the lost annex near Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4 and #5. Arista 100.

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.

End Chutes

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

Row

Identical warehouses seem a little newer than the rest of the plant. I suspect these were added in the mid-1950s for the Korean War, during which about 200 buildings were added to the complex.

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.

ADM-Delmar #1- Blockaded Door

The city has taken steps to prevent the curious and the desperate from going into the elevators, including piling rocks against the doors and windows.

Stair Landing

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

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.

Regauging House

Regauging is the process wherein barrels are opened and the whiskey is tested in various ways, especially in its alcohol content.

Memorial Vignette

To get more light into the wards, the building was narrow and had angular rooms, often staff space, perpendicular to the main hallway.

James R. Barker III

Shadows of the rusty trestle and cold control towers on the Barker. Workers are preparing to swing over the sides of the boat to help secure her to the Minnesota Power dock.

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.

Choir Loft

There’s no way an explorer, much less a choir, could stand here now. Since this picture was taken the roof has collapsed onto the loft.

1952 Highrises

Two of the remaining four towers in the projects. Throughout our time there we saw and heard squatters inside and chose not to go in. What do you call a smart choice made in the midst of a dumb choice? There should be a word for that.

Water Bowl

The people that stayed here carved bowls from the mesa itself to collect water.

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.

Gateways

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

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.

Bldg 253

This building seemed like a pump house or compressor house. It was full of empty concrete mounts.

Rauchfang

The smokestack for the sintering plant included a big blower room, to launch the fumes into the atmosphere and away from the town. What could go wrong?

Kentucky Castle

Zachary Taylor’s very own Scottish castle, spring-side in the Kentucky backcountry. Boarded and waiting, but in surprisingly good condition, considering the decades. I especially love the tower on the right side of the frame.

Ogilvie’s- Ship Gallery Arch (Arista 100)

When the ship loaders were added, a doorway was cut through the metal silo to make a room for the grain handling equipment. Note the dust sensor in the corner of the torch-cut archway.

Child’s Wheelchair

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.

Red Line Apartments

Redlining is the practice of shutting certain races out of neighborhoods, and it is still a big problem today. Such behaviors were a big factor in creating the need for these projects.

Fifteen Tons by Whiting

The old crane swung on windier days over the Worthington Steam Pump. This is probably last used to disassemble the antique generators, which are all now gone.

Crack to See From

Glowing observation windows–and someone forgot to lock a patient’s door…

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