clouds

One More for the Clipper

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.

Film: Frontenac Feelings

Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100

BCT from Amtrak I

The first time I saw Buffalo Central Terminal was from a westbound Empire Builder. In the foreground you can see the rows of platforms.

Cargill and Enger Tower in Fall

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.

Brach’s Interior Corridor

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.

Dock 2 at Sunset

Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.

Van Dyke Cabs Only

Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.

Kurth Malting- Mill City Fork

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.

Front Porch

A multi-family home with an attic bedroom. The staircase was unstable, to say the least.

Fire Brick Bucket

Near the old slag dump there are the remains of the pouring buckets that received the molten steel from the US Steel blast furnaces, filled to the brim with pig iron. They must be incredibly heavy!

Holmfield, MB- Harrison Milling

The flour mill (rear) and its elevators. The taller elevator was moved here in 1955, when the Harrisons bought it from Federal, who declared it surplus. The smaller elevator replaced an earlier smaller warehouse in 1926. Taken shortly after dawn. This one picture made the drive worth it, for me. Medium Format.

Overgrown Pillars

One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.

Cargil B2 and Coal Dock Ruins

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.

Original Glucose Line

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!

Pitfall

Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.

Abandoned Switch

A switch for the yard engines, now on the edge of the property where nobody will find it.

Building 402

Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.

Radome

During the Cold War, the Air Force used the radar station to train bombardiers in radar-guided ordinance.

Broken Dust Pipe

It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.

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.

National Mine on Quartz Hill

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.

Rosemount Stonehenge

Some of the ruins are way off the beaten path… foundations of tank stands and pillars of buildings that never had walls or roofs.

Atlas Stared

“Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian writer and historian.

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.

Bench Swing

This tree caught my eye. Note the bench swing near it. Portra 160.

Ship at Allouez I

On top of the light hoop, 160-feet up, a ship comes into port, ready to load-up. If you look really close, you can see my shadow cast on the dock below, courtesy of the full moon.

Corps Tug

A US Army Corps of Engineers tug, tied at the end of the pier before the American Victory was parked here.

Hexagon Building

This battlement-like tower is the first thing one sees coming to Old Taylor from Frankfort.

Elevator Row

Looking out across the elevator row from Portland Huron’s roof. Don’t you love the color of the sky?

Film: Streetlight

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

Haus, Anno 1815

This building was 99 years old when it was demolished for the coal mine.

Two Scrubbers

The copula stacks were fitted with scrubbers. Making metal is a very polluting activity.

Paint in the Water – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

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.

First North and Banks

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.

War City Power

From the bottom of the skyway I looked back, my eyes tracing the vines from the marsh up the smokestacks to the perfect Midwestern sky.

Truck Scale

Daisy Mill could accept shipments from water, rail, and truck at one time. Now everything comes and goes by rail.

Industry + Aurora

A nice view of the aurora borealis (“Northern Lights”) strong enough to outshine the industrial lighting at the power plant. The lights in the foreground direct ships discharging coal for the station.

Dead-End Bridge

A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.

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.

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.

Biker

A taste of Superior culture.

Halfway Up the Mesa

The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.

Dock 4 Panorama

The top of Dock 4 was too dangerous to explore, but this panorama gives you an idea of the view (and how rotten the wood was).

School Ruins

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.

Launch Buildings

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.

We Built This City on Flour

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.

Cutoff Ranch

An abandoned ranch on the east side of the tracks. This was not the Colmor Cutoff they were waiting for.

Broken Cross

On my second or third trip, the cross had broken in the wind.

Creature – Brahm

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.

Welcome to Atlas

A gate large enough to accommodate a missile, next to the ruins of the guard shack. Wyoming is the intersection of lonely and beautiful.

Two Rooflines

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.

Dock 5L

One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.

Charge Car

I believe this is the push car, meaning it would push the charge in the oven out the opposite side into the train car.

Pillsbury A’s Stone Fascade

From Main Street, looking straight up at the A Mill, only the silence makes one think that nobody’s still inside, grinding grain into Pillsbury’s Best.

Elevators

Counter-weighted ore cars alternately filled and emptied to feed Furnace 7. Honestly, though, the corner-mounted cranes are sexier in my opinion. Note the trees growing from the stacks.

Chopper Over Atlas

“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

Rich Dirt

The command building and a coolant tank. In the distance, rain and hail pound Wyoming dirt.

Parking Lot

The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.

Stelco Skies

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.

Cooperage

One of the old cooperage buildings is largely unchanged from when it was built. The raised section of the building houses a crane.

Moonrise

Even with a hundred people parked in front of the lakeside relic, it was invisible.

The Shortened Temple

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.

Workhouse I

On the dark side of the workhouse at sunset, you can almost see where the walls used to be. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.

Laundry

The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.

Shadows of Taconite Harbor on the James R. Barker

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.

Overgrown Spires

The back of the castle is barely visible through the trees that have grown thick around the walls, making it look so much older.

Holmfield, MB- Harrison Mill

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 Freedom – Brahm

A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.

Perch

Looking across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.

Ratimis – Brahm

The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.

Puffer by Bibio

The roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.

Broadway On Broadway

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.

Workshop

Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.

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.

New Mexico Ghost Town

The main street of the ghost town is also the maintenance road for the BNSF line that bisects Colmor.

South Bend Sunrise

I was squatting overnight in one of the buildings and woke up with the sunrise. This is what I woke up to.

North Face

Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.

Bldg 100

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

Studebaker Headquarters

The company headquarters. Abandoned last time I drove past it, though it is the classiest building in downtown South Bend.

White Pine Mine Ruin

These concrete blocks were formed to be solid mounts for machinery. All the metal was scrapped in the late 1990s, leaving these modern ruins. Seagulls love them.

Water Tower

Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).

Jalopy and Contrails

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

Collapsing Poor Farm

A wide view of the poor house. Look at the smokestack and elevator shaft, which show the former roofline.

ADM Labs- LIVE

Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.

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.

Barn

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.

Ogilvie’s Fez

When I first saw Ogilvie’s from the ground, I promised myself to look back when i found my way into this little pitched outcropping which seemed to have the best view of Thunder Bay I could imagine. It turns out, though, that there is no floor in that section; it is just extended machine access! Oh well. Mount McKay in the background in the last light.

Tailings Boom I

Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.

Silverton, Colorado

Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!

Today’s Weather- Stormy

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.

Bunker Row

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

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.

Old Sign

This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.

Slag Nuggets

Giant chunks of cooled slag form an island near Mud Lake.

Driveway

This old Jetta did more offroading than your average lifted tinted loud-exhaust pickup.

Battery Run

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.

Alley Cloud

A single cloud makes its way to Buffington Harbor and Lake Michigan from the quiet backroads of the plant.

Ball Mill Mounts

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.

ADM-Delmar #4- Top of the World

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.

Down the Boom

Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.

Barracks and Trees

One of my favorite night views of Fort Snelling’s so-called Upper Post, taken between snowstorms.

Trees in the Stacks

Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.

Old Orphanage

It would be a shame if this building is not preserved. Word is (as of 2015) that construction may start on this section soon.

Supply House and Carpentry Shop

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.

Hike to Frontenac

The hiking around Central City is beautiful and full of history. Just get a proper topo map!

The Cold Front

Knowing that a tornado just passed nearby is less distressing when you’re surrounded by nuclear-attack-hardened buildings.

Backdoor

Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.

Placer Pacer

The tailings boom is the first and last thing you see when approaching the mountaintop shipwreck.

Kurth Malting- Sunrise’s Dusty Gaze

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.

Cracked Glass Signal – (C)SUBSTREET

A broken signal light that would indicate to incoming engineers and brakemen the status of the dock deck. The streetlight-style lighting is a retrofit; originally the top of the dock would be lit by strings of lights suspended by towers on each side of the deck… a poor system according to the workers at Allouez who had the same lights.

Under Dock Two

The conveyor between the shore and Dock 2. Note the gap in the aerial walkway that used to connect Dock 4 to the rest of the complex.

Treasure Mountain Concentrator

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.

Interior Cloud

A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.

Control Room Window

Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.

Sunrise and the Wellman Crane

This electric Wellman crane was added to extract coal from ships for the power plant that Erie built beside their dock. Now, with the advent of self-unloading boats, it’s been replaced by a funnel and conveyor belt.

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.

Algosteel Crew

The Algosteel crew strikes a pose while heading through Superior Entry toward Allouez

Mushroom Pillar

When I see this picture, I imagine that I am an ant exploring a mushroom farm.

Vivacious Veteran

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.

Keeper’s Houses

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.

Ghosts of Munro Mining Co

Rogers Mine is one of the most structurally sound mines in the Iron River area that isn’t part of a museum.

Rundblick

A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!

Cradle and Tree

Gopher Ordnance Works, aka the U-Lands, is a landscape where roots and boughs break apart concrete and steel.

Skyway

The exterior of the factory is unassuming

Last Building

A gymnasium, if I recall. The last building before the road dead-ends.

Elevator Shaft

The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.

Old Coke Power House

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.

Biking Past Bunkers

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.

Thrall

A windmill marks one corner of GOW.

Blast Path

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.

Moonrise at Taconite Harbor

The approach to the dock is rigidly geometric. I always thought its outline was beautiful against the lake that, by contrast, was always moving.

Perimeter Fence

The perimeter fence still holds strong, 50 years after it was put up.

Standing Strong

“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.

Nature Bouncing Back

No matter what environmental disasters industry throws at Mother Earth, she will bounce back.

Drain Key

Looking out of the Brewery Creek Drain outfall at night, after a storm had pushed piles of rocks up onto the shore.

Be C- Watch You- Step

A cracked sign at dock-level, where loading boats would be tied below the taconite conveyors. All across the surface of the concrete dock were taconite pellets, like slippery little marbles. One wrong step could put a worker in the water, which is a bad, bad place to be.

End of the Mill

Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.

Santiago Tunnel Tailings

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.

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