black&white

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.

I Z E

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

Cerro Cochino

This peak is a little over 7,000 feet high and is a popular hiking spot. As a bulky Minnesotan who is better built for an arctic expedition, I stuck to the mesa.

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.

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.

Arched Corridor

The third floor corridor is not so welcoming, as it requires visitors to walk along the support breams without the luxury of a floor. I didn’t mind, but I can’t see the family with young children that was also exploring Noisy doing the same.

Jalopy and Contrails

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Modern Shaft with Cars

An open mine cars waits to be lowered back into Eagle Mine in front of the rust-locked modern mine shaft in the middle of Gilman.

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.

Empty Frame

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

Shaft No. 1 Tower

Looking through skylights of the payroll office toward the Cheratte No.1’s tower. This is where workers would wait in line to receive pay, surrounded by the mine workings.

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.

Lost?

The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.

Glass Brick Wall

This is a room where the actual explosive elements were mixed. In the event of an accident, this glass wall would give way before the concrete and thus direct the flames and shockwave away from the rest of the building. In other words, the glass is not just to get a lot of wonderful natural light into the building.

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…

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.

Foundry Hallway

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

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.

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.

Unravelled

The power pulley that ran air compressors straight off of the steam plant’s axel.

Loading Dock

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

Gateways

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

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.

Pool 8 Door

The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.

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.

Wagon House & Steam Plant

Wagons and horses were kept in the building on the left, separate from the rest of the complex in case of fire. In the distance is the boiler house, separate for the same reason.

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.

Film: Streetlight

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

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.

Bldg 100

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

80s Chairs

…when injection molding was the new thing that everyone was experimenting with.

SWP4- Hole (Arista 100)

A me-sized hole in the half-demolished skyway looks about a story down to the ground. Step lightly. Arista 100.

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.

Kurth Malting- Cupola

Kurth bears a ghost sign. Recently, its main sign was destroyed by graffiti artists in 2015.

Workshop and Parts

The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.

1957 Calendar

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

Second Floor Throwers

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

Bldg 106

This building looked like some sort of office.

Water Bowl

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

Thrall

A windmill marks one corner of GOW.

Ely’s Peak by Night

A 5-minute exposure of the tunnel and stars, and even some of Duluth’s city lights bouncing off the clouds. A single off-camera flash in the tunnel gives the effect of an oncoming train.

In the Trommel

Looking through the washer that is the first stop for the dredgings.

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.

Solvent Recovery Line

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

Nopeming Reception

The chapel (left) and surgical suite (straight on) move in an out of view as fog rolls up from the St. Louis River valley.

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.

1917 Mill

The oldest part of this mill had a wooden roof that rotted away long ago. Slowly, rust is dulling the edge on every cog left behind.

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.

Tooth Brushes

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

Boiler Room

Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.

Bids

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

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.

Twin Room

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

Tilston School (Kodak Tmax400 35mm)

The Tilston School,built in the late 1960s. In front of it is a memorial and model to the first schoolhouse. This building, however, has been turned into a kind of town dump. The classrooms are filled with mattresses and discarded tires and trash.

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.

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.

Dead Light

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

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’…

Silo Door

After demolition in the mid 2000s, this interior door became exterior. I remember walking through the car shed as a teenager. It was a shortcut, if I didn’t get caught.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Island Station Living

Fake Fact: The term ‘stovetop hat’ was coined by Island Station’s architect while trying to explain why he wanted to put the steel chimney on the station. ‘Live Here’ was part of the advertising when the building was host to artist lofts. They weren’t kidding.

Old Ward

The old men’s ward is an example of what the hospital resembled before part of the complex was modernized. Small rooms, light switches outside the door, small observation windows set into heavy wood. If you ask me, though, the tile work across the floors is the most spectacular.

Film: Vapor

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

Upper Vault

A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.

Daisy Mill from Tanks

The building behind Daisy was demolished, leaving these tanks and a pointless conveyorway. Now it’s bricked (see over door near right corner of mill) and the tanks are exposed to the elements. There are a few holes in the area that have a healthy drop, so you should avoid the area.

ADM-Delmar #1- Maintainance Department.

ADM-Delmar #1- Maintainance Department. The stainless steel bits are part of the grain dryer added in the 1940s. The workhouse itself (the larger tower) was a dedicated Cleaning House, meaning that grain passed through both these buildings to be rid of dust, dirt and extra moisture before storage. In the foreground is the old ADM locker room and pipe department.

Catwalk Creeping

Fall in line, act skinny, watch out for low hanging pipes. Don’t ask me where in the maze this was… 90% of the plant looked like this; vast rooms and catwalks with crisscrossing pipes and valves.

Sunrooms

The Sun Rooms, or Common Rooms, reminded me of the Panopitcon turned inside-out.

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.

Camper

There are a few campers parked in the abandoned buildings around the NAD. I am guessing that they were once a more secure place to store such things OR they have always been wide open, and this was a quick and free way to dump unwanted toys.

Go Pack

Because Oshkosh is close to Green Bay, the Packers are very popular there. Everywhere in the plant there were traces of ‘Cheese Head’ culture.

Hastings Sunset

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

Railyard Projection

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

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.

Hoist Controls

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

Powder Kegs

These aluminum powder kegs were forgotten in storage.

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.

Covered in Coke Dust

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

Final Furnace

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

Entre

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

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.

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.

Crating Building

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

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.

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.

Fallen Vent

A vent sitting at the base of one of the crumbling smokestacks.

Buffer

One of the few artifacts left in the chapel section is this old floor buffing machine.

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.

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.

Elevator Pulley

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

Devan

Storms and waves, focused by the Port of Wisconsin entry have focused the faces to tear-up these boards below.

Stall One Door One

The small door leads to the offices, the large door leads to the shop. My back at this time is to the corrugated steel wall. At the time I wondered why there was just one steel wall, not knowing that 40 years before there was another spot for an engine here. This section of the roundhouse has become a sort of town dump–car seats, cans of paint and tires are piled into its corners.

Collector 4

Pipes to channel nitrose (think nitro glycerine) infused acid through the building.

Oven Battery

Blast Furnace 7 as seen from the ore yard. Imagine running up those stairs through blast furnace smoke.

Thunderdumpers

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

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

Outbuildings

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

Buckstaff Chair

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

New Elevator

The main rail artery for Thunder Bay passes Ogilvie’s.

SWP4- Offices

I wonder if these windows were bricked after the 1950 explosion with the hopes that, if another silos blew, the people in this office would be better protected.

Prize Mine Sign

The mine was built with stone, wood, and steel. It’s in good condition.

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.

Coke Oven Doors 64-66

The individual ovens are skinny to allow even and fast heating of the whole interior. Numbers are cut into signs because no paint could withstand the heat or corrosive emissions from the coking process.

Foot in the Door

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

Armored Booth

Catwalk crating, welded over the yard crane operator cab’s windows.

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.

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.

Swirl – (C)SUBSTREET

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

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.

I Appreciate You

Frankie on the White Pine Mine vehicle access shaft. The mine was traditional inside… all room-and-pillar.

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.

Chapel Miranda

The stone chapel sits beside the main house and received a particularly heavy dose of gothic architectural touches.

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.

Bldg 259

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

Trigger

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

13th Century Wall

Archeologists believe the great house on the mesa was rebuilt shortly before it was abandoned in the 13th Century AD. Tri-X 400 Film, haphazardly self developed.

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.

Nurse’s Tree

Trees by the beautiful Nurse’s Cottage above and behind the Kirkbride. One side looks out over farmland while the other faces the back of the hospital grounds. As of 2014, the city is allowing artists to rent spaces inside.

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.

A Factory Wants

This section of the production floor was constantly dripping. Someone had laid down giant plastic sheeting to attempt to protect the lower floors, but it hasn’t worked.

Big Pipe

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

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.

Boiler Master

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

Records Vault

A fireproof room in the basement, perhaps for ammunition storage at one time.

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.

Steam Downstream

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

Tube-TV Bustout

Smashed TVs and stone foundations in a former common room in the basement.

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.

Bldg 253

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

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.

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