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.
The concrete walls, heavy steel blast doors, and plastic roof tell me that this was one of the shell loading buildings.
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.
This building seemed like a pump house or compressor house. It was full of empty concrete mounts.
A corner of the addition is lined with glass cabinets, formerly filled with beds.
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.
Furnace #6; its catwalk and tapway. Note the lever-operated gutter-blockers.
Rivets are sexy, and this old machine has more than a fair share.
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.
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.
From the catwalks below the hoisting motor in Shaft No. 1.
“Daisy”… probably for the mill, as it was unusual for women to work at Daisy.
A winding flue between the ovens for Furnace 6, capped with sketchy catwalks.
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.
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.
The Sun Rooms, or Common Rooms, reminded me of the Panopitcon turned inside-out.
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.
We people are so small.
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.
The powerhouse had two elevated tracks behind it, one for coal and one for deliveries.
Tarpaper telling time-
Wood wittling weather-
Rust rot ruins.
My guess is that the Capitol Hotel closed and Adler bought up some of their equipment.
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.
Part of the grain dust venting system, dislodged from its place above the dumping hatches under the grain cribs.
Shells of mixing buildings.
In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.
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.
A wide view (15mm) of the shadow 4B is casting on 4A. Light leaks because of cheap camera.
Looking at the rear of the mill, through dead vines and barbed wire.
Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.
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.
Rogers Mine is one of the most structurally sound mines in the Iron River area that isn’t part of a museum.
A Kiva is an underground, or partly underground, chamber for ceremonies.
Looking at the casting floor from the roof. In the distance are the copulas where molten metal was poured.
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.
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.
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.
A self portrait, from the early 2000s.
There are 700 of these storage bunkers. Their design was to funnel explosions upward, rather than toward other buildings, to minimize secondary explosions.
…when injection molding was the new thing that everyone was experimenting with.
A cottage for masons infected with TB to live together.
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.
This elevator came crashing down, perhaps from the topmost floor. I wonder what it sounded like.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking up from the industrial courtyard.
A truck loading dock for raw materials. Looking at the concrete, you can sort of tell where the rails used to run.
The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.
The end of the heating line allowed glass to cool slowly, and thus be stronger.
Ringling’s church was built in 1914 and sits on a hill over the town.
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.
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.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
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 sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
A better view of the belt system that drives all the machinery in the plant.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
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.
She’s a charmer.
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.
Note the tiled floor between the bucket conveyors and an old mill.
The generator hall of the last power station, as seen from the gantryway.
In the quality assurance labs there is a old safe.
“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.
The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
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.
Near Howardsville, Colorado, the Animas River gets quite wide. This is near the Little Nation Mill, which is worth a stop if you’re traveling north from SIlverton. It’s also near the former Gold King Mine, which “blew” in 2015 and flooded the Animas River with toxic mine water.
These wide spools sit atop the abandoned tracks that lead to the train shed, which was later repurposed into a truck shed.
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.
The fences helped discourage patients from throwing themselves down the stairs.
When the Mitchell project is complete, I’ll miss the textures on the face of the boiler.
The long control room overlooks giant caps where equipment was removed long ago.
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.
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.
Looking out of the wavy stock shop.
One of the few doors.
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
Broken skyways in the sand casting house, where everything was utterly fire-resistant.
The belts on these mills have long ben missing.
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!
On the ground floor of the main factory there seems to be only one chair left.
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.
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.
Hunter climbing up to the coal tower.
On the second floor of the kettle building where corn mash was boiled, holes where tanks once sat were everywhere.
It is unclear whether this area was for coal dumping or ore dumping, though the huge dents in the steel plating suggests the latter.
Standing where the Standard Oil’s boiler used to sit; the coal room is on the right, and would have been filled from trackside.
A heavy steel device locks the anchor up.
The superstructure for the sea-leg skyways serves no purpose now… the offices are bricked up, too. Why?
The roof had structures bigger than most buildings in South Bend.
Part of the plant has been reused as a scrap metal yard.
Trees between duplexes overshadow the buildings they were planted to shield; revenge for the boards on the windows.
A broken scale in Isabella A, next to an old wood stove.
Kodak Tri-X 400, Leica M7. Serious enough to write across the side of the tank, but not serious enough to have a sign made.
Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7. The office (first floor), laboratory (second floor) and mill behind it. Everything was clean and pristine.
A view of the government presses, with pages of law across the floor covered in footprints.
Imagine the voice of an entitled White suburban mother. She’s now talking about oral hygiene in the “urban” (Black) schools.
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.
Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.
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.
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.
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
Pipes to channel nitrose (think nitro glycerine) infused acid through the building.
Inside this small iron clad mine is a couch and some clothes. It seems that for a short while, someone was living inside of it…
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.
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.
Camera: Voigtlander Bessa
Film: Acros 100
If there was a problem with the conveyor belt, the grain would go out these chutes.
Halfway up the coal conveyor, covered in coal dust… black streaks of snot. Starting to get good.
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 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.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
Solvent pumping buildings, designed to explode upwards rather than outwards in an emergency, are forgotten near the milkweed.
A warped mirror in the rock crusher at the rear of the complex.
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.
The entry point for the painting shed on the top floor. Cars would have a few feet in between them before they entered. Separate sheds would prime and add color.
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.
Between all of the buildings was dense growth, especially vines.
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.
The incinerator’s hardened steel door… useless, but still sexy in a heavy-industrial kind of way.
An elevator is reflected in the flooded footprint of Spencer & Kellogg. These trains are in storage for the winter.
Scanned after being recovered from the bottom of an old wooden box for a few years. Circa 2005.
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.
The front of the power plant (right), the distillery itself (center), and the regaling house (left).
I like to imagine this as fountain.
The stone chapel sits beside the main house and received a particularly heavy dose of gothic architectural touches.
This photo illustrates how vertical the complex is.
The roof has been replaced since this was taken. Hopefully, that will stem the water damage.
A high-voltage tunnel sheathed in concrete dips below ground near a shell packing building that now stores fireworks.
Just a couple guys enjoying an industrial ruin.
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.
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.
A late look at the brewhouse, long after the stainless steel tanks were scrapped.
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.
The top floor of the Meal Storage Elevator.
Frankie on the White Pine Mine vehicle access shaft. The mine was traditional inside… all room-and-pillar.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
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.
David Aho pictured.
A sign of where man met machine.
Officers got houses and the honor of living near other officers. They call it Officer’s Row.
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.
Almost all of the doors and windows on the ground floor have been boarded, leaving the ground level very dark.
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.
When a big motor rusted free of its ceiling mount, it smashed onto this workbench.
A typical dwelling in San Luis. I could not tell if it was occupied, but most of the town is abandoned.
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.
I believe these hooks were meant for hanging filters to dry.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
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.
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
A vent sitting at the base of one of the crumbling smokestacks.
This rockhouse was added below the shaft to load Gilpin Tram cars.
These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.
The barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
Don’t know what’s heavier… the bricks or shadows.
My first picture at Nopeming, sometime around 2004. The same year that the county stopped mowing the lawn.
“This way,” then, “No, that way!”
An orphan culvert and camper, both tossed aside where nobody that will see will care.
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.
A classroom, perhaps from the days when the city owned the building.
Gloves hang in the basement of the former quality assurance labs.
A massive water tower easily tucks into the shadow of Blast Furnace #6.
The roof of the King Elevator had two small vents and a terrific view of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Arista 100 in 120.
It was a strange choice, although I appreciate it, for the firm reusing the shops to brick up the doorways while leaving the doors.
King Elevator sits in the corner of a more recently-defunct lumber mill: Great Western Timber. Perhaps in the future I will write the history of it. Arista 100 in 120.
Before it was demolished, there was one good staircase the led to the middle of the dock. Trees grew from it.
A little cloud passes over the Five-Stack powerplant ruins, like a puff of smoke.
An alarm panel in the powerpplant, now demolished.
Little crosses on the side of the church, near a broken window.
Looking at the boarded exterior of the newer area of the orphanage from its 1914 section.
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.
Regauging is the process wherein barrels are opened and the whiskey is tested in various ways, especially in its alcohol content.
Water vapor was collected and condensed to be reused in other processes. Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7
The steel awning and its elegant staircase are one of my favorite features near the old carpentry shop. The gymnasium-theater is in the background.
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.
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.
A back-lit tree with the silhouette of a roof spire in the background.
The basement held a makeshift chapel.
Chester Creek takes many such sliding dives where it empties into Lake Superior.
Vines are finding their way into the roundhouse.
Where the approach meets the dock.
An article from Minnpost describes this design as “marital”, and I could not agree more.
Looking from the shaft room into the room where an electric hoist would be.
I love that the administration building–almost 100 years old now–still carries the original name.