The roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
This is what the mine shops look like from the road between Gaastra, MI and Rogers Location (formerly Bates, MI). The community was renamed for the mine, probably under the heavy influence of M.A. Hanna.
Summertime is when Duluth goes to the lakeside to listen to music, visit traveling fairs, and talk to neighbors about the smell of the lake. As seen from the castle walls.
This ruin was once the Toltec Mine, a producing gold and silver claim that operated into the 1940s.
Because of the dangers of storing the materials to make explosives as well as the explosives themselves, there were earthen bunkers all across the plant like this.
The first time I saw Buffalo Central Terminal was from a westbound Empire Builder. In the foreground you can see the rows of platforms.
The layout and design of the buildings reminded me strongly of a brewery or distillery. To the right you can see some of the retrofits by the first lumber company to buy the buildings, in the 1970s.
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
A storm passes over BOMARC’s center row of launch buildings. You can clearly see the tracks on which the roof would retract for launch.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
Don’t you love the shape of the house on the right?
The Big Dipper brought its friends into view, and the best seat is 80-feet up.
Looking at the concrete headframe from street level. Acros 100 in Pentax 67
Taken just after the sun set over Duluth. Don’t you love that green glow?
The crane on Dock 2, as seen from Dock 4 right after sunset. Notice the old light tower is warped.
One of the older buildings on the site, this is an old power house that provided electricity to the plant. I spent some time walking around it and believe it was fired with coal gas but had a diesel backup installed later.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
The powerplant and its dedicated water tower supplied steam for heating and mechanical work.
The Clipper was one of the most popular Packards, but its production was cut short by WWII. Had they produced the car instead of Rolls Royce plane engines I imagine there would might be driving a Packard today, rather than a Ford.
The top three floors were removed from the top of the Temple Opera Block (right). If you have a sharp eye, you can see the outlines of some of the old floors on the shared wall of the Orpheum (left). For a time, the front of the building held a bus stop.
This building was an office and lounge for engineers. It is also demolished.
A wide view of the poor house. Look at the smokestack and elevator shaft, which show the former roofline.
The purpose of the concentrator was to separate the gold and silver-rich ore from the waste rock. You can tell from the design that the process relies heavily on gravity.
Pillars among trees… those who inherit the earth will be so confused.
A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.
Looking out upon Mill City through the lens of FLOUR, highlighted in pink and low clouds. This sign has recently been converted into LED lighting.
Shadows of distant power lines are carried to the concrete by street lights.
Some of the ruins are way off the beaten path… foundations of tank stands and pillars of buildings that never had walls or roofs.
The pitch of the roof is more typical for areas with lots of snow—not the border of Ohio and Kentucky. So, I assume this roofline accommodated some equipment inside for trains—note the tracks.
A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.
Rogers Mine is one of the most structurally sound mines in the Iron River area that isn’t part of a museum.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.
Colleen on the roof.
This building was 99 years old when it was demolished for the coal mine.
As the Barker steamed past the dock and island, the sunset casts the shadow of the Taconite Harbor receiving trestle on the boat. Through the fog, you can see some of the islands that were joined into a breakwater.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
Tornadic fronts duel over the retired missile launcher.
The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
During the Cold War, the Air Force used the radar station to train bombardiers in radar-guided ordinance.
This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.
The rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
A full harbor on a hot summer evening, just after twilight, as seen from atop the castle walls.
The concrete walls, heavy steel blast doors, and plastic roof tell me that this was one of the shell loading buildings.
Just across the North Dakota border, a rusty Milwaukee Road boxcar sits where it was shoved off the mainline. The grain elevator in the background marks the tracks, which is still used by BNSF.
The screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
No, it’s not your Mac’s desktop, it’s a beautiful Lake Superior night. Taken from near the former Pittsburgh and Reading Anthracite Plant. You can see the frame that used to hold the lifeboat that was auctioned in 2006 to the left of the Pilot House.
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.
Taken at a junction in the tube world.
I was squatting overnight in one of the buildings and woke up with the sunrise. This is what I woke up to.
Kate stands on top of the tailings pile that added some usable land to the side of the gulch. Somewhere nearby is the buried Santiago Tunnel.
There is no denying that the Fergus Falls asylum was a beautiful place, especially around sunset.
A typical dwelling in San Luis. I could not tell if it was occupied, but most of the town is abandoned.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
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.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
Knowing that a tornado just passed nearby is less distressing when you’re surrounded by nuclear-attack-hardened buildings.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.”
― Emily Dickinson
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
The spectacular, if precarious, view of downtown Minneapolis from the roof of ADM Annex 4. Note the great messages left by various graffiti artists who made it to the spot.
The sun sets in front of a huge concrete building—about four times the size of the power plant. Probably a corn storage bin from an ethanol operation that ran here in the 1980s.
The Brown Hotel still stands, but has recently gone out of business again. One of the nice things about historic buildings in New Mexico, though, is things tend to stay around a lot longer than if they were subjected to lots of rain and snow. It will probably be reopened eventually.
The control room floats above the top of the dock atop a spiral staircase.
Sunrise over Mill Hell, and all of Kurth’s various skyways. The elevators in the foreground date to the mid-1920s, Electric Steel is behind and is a little earlier than that.
National Mine and its rockhouse (?) as seen from Mammoth Hill. From this angle, I am fairly certain this was a crushing and sorting house. The bottom looks like it has two aerial tram doors as well.
The ghost town of Lauder, Manitoba. It’s seen better days, but I bet the TV reception on the flatlands is great.
This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.
Looking out of the brewhouse toward the river.
Looking from abandoned to active. The end of Dock 6 often has a crane and some shacks on it, as the chutes aren’t used anymore. Instead, conveyors are installed on the land-side of the dock that fill docked vessels, making the end of the dock little more than a breakwater and a place to park repair and recovery equipment.
Peering at Stelco’s abandoned steel rod rolling mill, not demolished. The rectangular on the right in between is the boiler house that heated Stelco.
Before the clouds broke, I snapped this profile of the dumping control room and its spiral staircase. These are the colors that I dream in.
An abandoned ranch on the east side of the tracks. This was not the Colmor Cutoff they were waiting for.
The top of the grain handler of Ogilvie’s. The flagpole serves as a lightning rod. In fact, I would not be surprised if that was its primary purpose.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
Looking out from a hallway on the third floor where a ceiling and roof should be. I could not stand in the room, as the floor had collapsed into the basement, but I could put my camera out at arm’s length and fire a few pictures upward, which is how I came away with this image!
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.
The Eureka Mill, historically known as Sunnyside Mill, is now the gateway to Animas Forks.
On the National Mine property are two shafts, both serving the same workings. This one seems to have gotten some upgrades in the 1960s, judging from the condition of the metal.
I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
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.
The company headquarters. Abandoned last time I drove past it, though it is the classiest building in downtown South Bend.
The roof had structures bigger than most buildings in South Bend.
A gymnasium, if I recall. The last building before the road dead-ends.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
Short-stack remains of mounts for rod and ball mills, if I was to bet. The concentrator separated junk rock (tails) from the copper and silver ore, to such a point it could be smelted.
For a short time, CN mounted flood lights atop the abandoned dock.
The southernmost houses in Gilman are seen through the pines on the right, near the tram stop.
Looking through the loading platform of Frontenac Mine toward Black Hawk. In 1900, you would see Druid Mine on the left and Aduddell on the right.
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
Sunrise in SEMI. The shadow of Kurth Malt is cast across ADM-Delmar #1. Clouds behind ADM-Delmar #4 light up. It’s cold and the air smells like train grease.
At first glance, I thought the center building was a hoist house because of the shape of the window. Now I think this was built as a warehouse and later used as a laboratory.
The Port Arthur elevator row, as seen from the edge of Fort William.
The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
A morning breeze pushes the last ice from the lake against Wisconsin Point.
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
This big rusty sphere hides behind the incomplete 5-stack.
Giant chunks of cooled slag form an island near Mud Lake.
If you look carefully along the side of the slip alongside this image of Cargill B-2, you will see the remains of the crane stops when this was a Hannah coal dock.
The perimeter fence still holds strong, 50 years after it was put up.
The school (hospital) campus was expansive.
“Against the blue sky, its rusting central silos look like rising smoke meeting the last minutes of a sunset. These give way to a corrugated night sky of blue gray, punched-through with staggered four-pane windows, all glassless.”
Looking at the huge and modern Cargill B2 from the circa-1919 Lake Superior “I”. This is a rather unique perspective of Enger Tower and Skyline.
A shot of Longmont from the highway. Fuji 35mm.
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.
Exploring the plant while live Reggae plays nearby was bizarre.
Looking toward Old Taylor Distillery from the roof of Old Crow.
A look at the Longmont Sugar Mill in May 2014.
One of my favorite night views of Fort Snelling’s so-called Upper Post, taken between snowstorms.
The copula stacks were fitted with scrubbers. Making metal is a very polluting activity.
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.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
The rear of the complex shows the more than 100 year old workhouse–still working! I do not know if the tanks are original to the 1901 elevator, but I suspect so.
The command building and a coolant tank. In the distance, rain and hail pound Wyoming dirt.
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.
Ava near the Memorial Building. The block glass embedded in the sidewalk here is actually a skylight for the tunnel below, which connects the Memorial Building to the steam and supply systems of the hospital.
A squat building with a rail scale. Taken between rain showers in late summer, when I seemed to be the only one at White Pine.
The approach to the dock is rigidly geometric. I always thought its outline was beautiful against the lake that, by contrast, was always moving.
A sizable crane on the corner of the engine house still swings out.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
No matter what environmental disasters industry throws at Mother Earth, she will bounce back.
“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’…
SWP4-A on the left and Viterra C on the right in a 90-degree panorama.
Looking at the Broadway from across Broadway, a beautiful Buffalo day. Note the glazed terra cotta facade–and the signs of fire damage from the first floor.
Old boathouses near the dock.
Sometime soon, maybe in early 2016, someone will have this view from their office or condo.
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
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.
A taste of Superior culture.
Looking out of the Brewery Creek Drain outfall at night, after a storm had pushed piles of rocks up onto the shore.
Looking out from what little remains of the second floor at the poor house, which was in terrible condition. No roof and no floors. Soon to be ruins.
The Harrison flour mill, completed in 1897 and expanded in 1901 and 1902. The tunnel that I am standing on probably transported grain from the elevator to the mill. Medium Format.
The bottom of the tailings boom is rotten. In days when the dredge, floated, gangways connected it to shore, it seemed. You can see the size of the pontoons under the boat here.
It’s a small world… look at it.
The lower door is where the rocket exhaust would flow into the blast pit during initial launch. The upper doors would vent the rocket so the erector and other equipment in the building would not be (as) damaged.
Wyoming has Montana’s ‘big sky’ reputation truly challenged.
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.
Street lights and pavement are some of the obvious signs a town used to be here.
On the left are rows of dayrooms; on the right is one of two long hallways which connect the two halves of the hospital. The large, center section of the hallway would fit chairs for patients to look out on the gardens. They called it a conservatory. This hallway would be as close as some patients would get to nature.
One night, I camped behind the sugar mill. You can tell be the clouds that a cold front was moving out—it was a hot day.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve been getting reports that several Yellow Helicopters have been seen hovering above town. We are all aware of the Black Helicopters, which are World Government, and Blue Helicopters, which are Secret Police, and the Helicopters with Detailed Murals of Diving Birds of Prey, which are the helicopters that took all the children in Night Vale away a few months ago (we still don’t know what those helicopters are but they did bring all the children back unharmed, and much more well-behaved than before, so they are deemed just as safe as the other helicopters) but these new Yellow Helicopters, no one quite knows.” – Welcome to Night Vale, Ep. 32
Standing on a caustic tank with my head out a roof hatch, I look at the sign of the last brand to be produced here.
One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.
Dr. Muchow’s offices stand near his ‘new’ mill, but they show evidence of vandalism.
The truck scale is closed at Lena, MB.
A social club/restaurant that was likely the place to be late at night.
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.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.
Before Portland-Huron Cement’s Duluth Plant was (mostly) demolished and (partly) turned into a hotel, the top of its silos gave a cinematic view of elevator row.
A windmill marks one corner of GOW.
When I see this picture, I imagine that I am an ant exploring a mushroom farm.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
It would be a shame if this building is not preserved. Word is (as of 2015) that construction may start on this section soon.
Where the trees are sprouting–below the skyways and criss-crossing pipes–are two sets of railroad tracks that turned through this narrow alleyway through the middle of the production line to drop off raw materials and pick up finished product.
These houses were built for the use of the lighthouse keepers in 1913 (left) and 1916 (right). The second house was added when the entry added a fourth light and required a second rotation. Today, there are no unbroken windows in either building.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
The valley is full of rocky peaks that stand out from the winding creeks, which only truly run after storms. It is a very beautiful place.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
The hospital featured a farm that once helped to sustain it. This is one of the few remaining signs of those years, near the Nurse’s Cottage.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
Demolition about 50% complete.
Looking at the tallest part of the plant from a skeletal loading dock. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
It is unclear when the ‘Superior Warehouse Company’ sign was put up, but it was likely around 1916-1917, when maps indicate it served as a dry goods warehouse, operated by Twohy-Eimon Mercantile Company. The Sivertson sign was likely added in the mid-1980s. In this image I tried to preserve the colors the bricks turn at sunset.
The blast pit carried the smoke and flame from the rocket motor away from the other base buildings.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
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.
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.
A damaged roof channeled rain onto the adobe walls, cutting them in half. In the distance, a preserved house and the ruins of the Colmor School.
A multi-family home with an attic bedroom. The staircase was unstable, to say the least.
The top of the docks are so rotten in places that you can see the lake through the boards. In the foreground you can see the controls for the chutes, which work on a clutch.
A quick vertical panorama taken on my back at the sweet spot of a great summer sunset. On the skylight is the torch-cut catwalk that used to link the outside of the smokestacks that vented the cupolas.
SFAAP’s iconic smokestacks. You’d notice if you drove past this on the highway.
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
35mm Film, Expired. An abandoned swath of NAD is landlocked by soybean fields.
The offices for the Five Roses elevator have long been boarded. To the left you can see the Manitoba Pool Elevator slogan, “Service at Cost”, meaning they would not make profit off farmers and dues.
Near the guard post protecting the launch pad at the Duluth BOMARC is an orange windsock.
Looking down at the Port Arthur Ore Dock from Manitoba Pool Elevator #3. The conveyor belts are gone and King Elevator is in the far distance.
Different doors for different vehicles, I would guess. White Pine Mine used tire-based vehicles, rather than track-based, making it pretty different than other mines I’ve been to.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
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.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
The St. Louis County Sheriff constantly patrols the property looking for trespassers.
Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.
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!
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
The Osborn Block (front) and the Twohy (rear) at sunset. In the distance, you can almost make out Globe Elevators. One of my favorite photos of 2013.