Will coming down “Darwin’s Ladder”.
Looking across the ruined skyway that connects the two elevators. I wanted to walk across it, but my exploring parter held me back.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
In front of the mine building the ground has opened up, showing a one-subterranean hallway. Locals seem to be using the dangerous hole as a trash dump.
The inside of Whiting mine, as it looks today.
Although the caves deviated little in their year-round temperature, it was common to use blocks of ice to cool beer immediately before shipment. This is the ruins of the ice chute.
Before the gold could be extracted, the rock was turned to powder. Depending on the size of the steel balls inside the mill, the rock would be reduced to a certain size. So, multiple mills were usually used in stages.
A ruined platform on the railyard platform side of the warehouse.
I’m not sure, actually, whether this was an outhouse (right), but it seems likely. In any case, it was connected by a covered staircase to the Bunk House (left). The soil here was not all tailings, so there is a bit of thick grass–almost the only in sight!
If you look closely, you can see the rain dropping into the building. This is the part of the chapel with the collapsed roof–not the carvings on the choir loft.
This skyway, built to help seal off two parts of the complex during an out of control fire, was probably too rotten to burn by the time I saw it.
After climbing the elevator shaft to the illusive second level, a new pallet of colors were revealed.
A screen above the floor apparently shields workers from the disintegrating building.
While the building looks uniform on the outside, inside it’s clearly divided between a hoist room and shaft room (seen here).
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
After Wilson Bros moved out, a furniture company moved in.
This part of the roundhouse was being brought down by rain and gravity.
The women of the hospital made clothes for the other patients.
In what Studebaker called the ‘Materials Building’ are these giant concrete bins of fine molding sand, there for casting metal parts using the molten metal from the adjoining building. On the far left side there is a train track and once upon a time a gantry crane traced the room under the roof
Snow weight collapsed this section of McKee… the newest section. The brick buildings always outlive cheap metal ones.
An unintentional skylight makes the inside of the office glow, showing the inside of the front door and its strange lock.
There’s a chair in there… on the auditorium balcony.
The ghost town of Lauder, Manitoba. It’s seen better days, but I bet the TV reception on the flatlands is great.
The balcony used to be beautiful, you say. I say, it still is.
This rockhouse was added below the shaft to load Gilpin Tram cars.
From the roof of the Clemens House, looking toward downtown St. Louis.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
It’s unclear where this walkway once connected. Perhaps there used to be a building here that covered the entrance to the Santiago Tunnel…
A gateway for St. Louis as seen through a gateway (of sorts) in East St. Louis.
A washout two thirds of the way down the tram gave me a place to relax in the thin air.
Below the factory floor is a network of hallways and tunnels, all flooded with water.
The building collapsed except for the back room. The slats of the roof cast lines of light across the floor.
I wanted to see the third floor to get a better view, but the third floor had already been demolished. The old walls had cascaded down the staircases. This building is gone, now, as you can expect.
A collapsing and unstable building.
An abandoned ranch on the east side of the tracks. This was not the Colmor Cutoff they were waiting for.
2008. Harris Machinery as seen from the roof of ADM-Delmar Elevator #4.
2011. Harris Machinery as seen from the roof of ADM-Delmar Elevator #4.
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 pipes above sprayed water onto the hot coke.
The beautiful green ruination of the refrectory.
The last batch of molded metal stuck in the chute, this metallurgical furnace was falling apart brick by disintegrating brick b the time I got to it. On the upper floors there is a sophisticated network of vents and chimneys to make these little furnaces as hot as possible.
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.
Plaster doesn’t last long without a roof.
This ruined skyway looks like it should be at ground level because of the growth, but it’s actually the second floor of the building.
The huge snowfalls of 2011 brought new collapses across the buildings.
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.
At Treasure Mountain mine. This collapsed building was likely the 1937 Compressor House, which pushed compressed air and water into the Sanitago Tunnel in the time it was producing.
Partier graffiti dates to when the caves were last open to the public; probably in the 1990s. This tunnel used to horseshoe between the brewery’s ice chute (left) and basement door (right, backfilled). Note the utility tunnel in the upper-right corner as well as the lighting brackets on the ceiling.
This gives a sense of the scale and the water damage of the old side (brick, rather than concrete) of the roundhouse.
Where the bricks jumped and wood followed, water runs amok.
One of the cupola air intakes, rattled loose by the demolition downstairs, hangs stranded on the second floor. You can see that the floor I’m standing on in this picture used to extend all the way to the right wall. The blue paint on the wall made the climb absolutely worth it.
There’s no way an explorer, much less a choir, could stand here now. Since this picture was taken the roof has collapsed onto the loft.
In the mountainside are a number of air shafts, indicating where the tunnels traced under the rocky surface.
The main staircase of the old hospital had… problems.
“Place Tripod Here” my friends would say. But for me, it’s the money shot. Note the painting around the inside of the skylight.
Since this picture was taken, the roof has totally collapsed in this area.
A strange sight: Part of the drain here seems to have had a skylight of glass, which has since been filled over. However, the collapsing ceiling began to create natural skylights of its own.
Looking up from the train shed. The building was consistently crumbling and I wish I had worn a hard hat in this area.
This section of the hospital recently collapsed.
The brick substation and the wooden storage shed are the last two structures from The Milwaukee Road’s operations at Loweth.
From the door where mine carts were dumped into the Concentrator, the erosion around the former Santiago Tunnel on Treasure Mountain is obvious. The rails barely connect to the ground anymore.
These rails used to connect to those inside the Santiago Tunnel. Now they dangle above tailings.
Additional Sacred Heart Building (1949) Collapse, 2012, Courtesy Chris Naffziger @ http://stlouispatina.blogspot.com/2011/12/st-marys-infirmary.html
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
The roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.
Two versions of Detroit. One where buildings stand tall and proud, and one where they wilt under the sun. It’s an amazing juxtaposition.
Snow weight collapsed this warhead assembly building. Now its warped roof looks like a wave.
The bathtub fell into the basement, ala The Miller’s Tale. That’s right. Chaucer.
The primitive chair caught the falling plaster.
This sawtooth roof collapsed months later under the weight of an early snow.
I made this picture to give the reader a sense of the slope between the mine buildings and the base of the concentrator. The whole area was really steep, and sometimes required scrambling to get up and down the Picayune Gulch for short distances.
Modern ruins of the Gilman-Belden tram…
These copulas made the iron for casting.
In the far back of the cellars there are some old bottles. This arch shows an old entrance to the cellars, now collapsed.
The machine shop today.
One of my favorite images from my stay… Note the snowed-over road in the distance! This is looking toward Animas Forks.
When I wasn’t paying enough attention on the rotten balcony, I accidentally put my foot through a rotten floorboard. I snapped a picture to remember the moment.