black&white

Control Room

The long control room overlooks giant caps where equipment was removed long ago.

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.

Solvent Recovery Line

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

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.

Furnace Mouth

Copper poured from this furnace and was cast by the autocaster on the right into billets.

Elevator Ruins

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

Water Fountain

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

Upper Vault

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

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.

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.

Back Stair

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

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.

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.

Elevator Pulley

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

Crack to See From

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

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.

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’…

Diesel Lab III

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

Drive

The belts on these mills have long ben missing.

Dock Stairs

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

Second Floor Throwers

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

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.

Foundry Hallway

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

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.

Snowed-In Offices

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

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.

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.

Rubber Lining Dock Pockets

Old conveyor belts are draped over the sides of the ore chutes to cut down on the noise and wear of the dumping trains.

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.

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.

Tube-TV Bustout

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

INAAP Power

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

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.

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.

Back Gate (Film)

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

Sign Language

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

Capitol Hotel Bin

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

Loading Dock

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

Packing House

The concrete walls, heavy steel blast doors, and plastic roof tell me that this was one of the shell loading buildings.

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.

Tire Dump

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

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.

Jalopy and Contrails

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

Hollow Below

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

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.

Classroom

A classroom, perhaps from the days when the city owned the building.

Hand

Hunter climbing up to the coal tower.

Junction Box

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

The Long Mill

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

Chapel Miranda

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

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.

Fallen Vent

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

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.

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.

Steam Downstream

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

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.

Slagway

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

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.

Safety Staircase

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

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.

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.

Film: Stems

The old truck scale sits in the middle of what was Nettleton Avenue Slip.

Ruined Hoist

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

Boiler Blowers

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

Bldg 100

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

Nike Launch Pad

A long exposure of the launch pad and its dedicated guard shack. In the middle of the base is a tall antenna which was part of the MARS program during the Gulf War. The MARS program helped connect calls between deployed soldiers and their families.

Final Furnace

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

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.

Collector 4

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

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.

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.

Devan

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

Thunderdumpers

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

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.

Twin Room

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

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.

Old Crow Face

The front of the power plant (right), the distillery itself (center), and the regaling house (left).

Drain to Scale

Molten copper pouring being a very dangerous thing to do by hand, this scale measured the load for the “Auto Caster” that actually formed the cooling copper in its molds.

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.

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.

80s Chairs

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

Bldg 253

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

Hot Mess

Looking up from the industrial courtyard.

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.

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.

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.

Substation Sign

The pockmarked concrete sign of Substation #2 over the control room that faces the highway.

Bldg 250

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

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.

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.

Some Assembly Required

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

Port Sluice Sprays

Sprays of water kept the muddy mixture flowing across the sluices, which filtered out gold particles from gravel and dirty.

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.

Kurth Malting- Cupola Arch

The sexiest feature of Kurth is this steel arch over the silos on its south side. The manholes in the floor open to the silos directly, and flimsy grates might catch a hurried worker. Grates were removable so that workers could descend into the concrete tubes, so a few are missing today.

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.

Evaporator Innards

Either the company was pulling parts from this evaporator to use as parts for other plants, or the last thing the workers did was to get this machine ready for the next campaign. Either way, plans changed.

Spring House

Designed by Taylor himself, the spring house was the site of many parties in its day. You can imagine sipping fresh-tapped whiskey here with your Sunday clothes with soft music and the sounds of the river mixing in the background. Note the key-hole-shaped spring hole.

Rows of Arches

Small rooms in the basement of the asylum were seemingly too tiny to be used, even for storage.

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.

Boiler Room

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

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.

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.

Beet Driers

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

Tube Sky

I like to think of this as a giant straw, through which the factory is slowly draining the earth, leaving nothing but reinforced concrete below…

Water Tower

In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.

Old Entrance Shaft

A small upper level was accessible via ladder through the hole in this ceiling. Ben for scale.

Officer’s Row

Officers got houses and the honor of living near other officers. They call it Officer’s Row.

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

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.

I Z E

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

Blast Furnace Six

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

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.

Big Pipe

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

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.

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.

Buckstaff Chair

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

Repair Cart

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

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…

Dented and Dilated – (C)SUBSTREET

The end of Dock 5 is warped and bent from a rail accident that left some ore cars swinging like a stringy wrecking ball into the end of the superstructure and accompanying stair. The stairs are still navigable, but it wasn’t recommended by the CN workers that were with me.

Blown Gauges

Cracked gauges have a certain quality that hearkens to movies, I think. One can imagine the gauges going off the scales before dramatically cracking, throwing glass right at the camera. This damage, however, is unfortunate vandalism.

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.

Safe Lab

In the quality assurance labs there is a old safe.

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.

Boarded Clocktower

This view of BCT shows the portico where the main entrance is at the base of the office tower, and the clock.

Ogilvie Headhouse

Looking out from my perch close to the Kam toward the Ogilvie head house. To the left is a newer concrete annex, probably built in the years it bore the name Saskatchewan Pool 8.

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.

Dock Shack II

The turned rail was to prevent runaway cars from going over the end of the dock and into the lake.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Boarded Barracks II

Vents in the boards over the windows helps prevent mold and animals from getting too crazy inside.

Turbotrash

A scrapped steam turbine, perhaps. In the background you can see a gutted casing for another turbine.

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.

Stock Office

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

Weekend’s Worth

There were three main stockhouses, two of which still exist, that are filled with tanks like these in addition to Fermentation. Each tank is the size of the city bus and few are left after the 2008-2009 scrapings.

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.

Open Silos

Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.

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.

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