Standing on the fence barricade that used to keep squatters out of the tunnel, the size of the space is impressive. What you see here is the current length of the tunnel; I set up a flashlight at the end to illuminate the concrete wall that is the lower portal.
Smashed TVs and stone foundations in a former common room in the basement.
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.
Looking through the dark door at Shaft 3, when my naked eyes could only make out a staircase lit dimly from above.
Looking toward a void–formerly a hallway to the mineshaft–now a hole in the ground.
The sound of water running in the distance.
Looking from the shaft room into the room where an electric hoist would be.
Peering into a remote office at Manitoba Wheat Pool #3. Someone left their to-do list behind.
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 single cloud makes its way to Buffington Harbor and Lake Michigan from the quiet backroads of the plant.
Looking out of a door to nowhere at the fiery sky above.
Chains connected hooked baskets and lockers to hoist up clothes and helmets when they were above ground. Whether wet with sweat or dry street clothes, the system worked to unclutter lockers and maintain air circulation around subterranean uniforms.
Broken dishes and rotten burlap, mixed with the general trash left behind after the roof collapsed on the poor house.
The bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
A wounded flour mill, muscled into the corner to keep out of the way.
Timbers overlap where mine cars plunged, a strange wooden fence traced the center of the beams.
Sarah in Miller Creek Drain.
This building was responsible for storing and drying the barrels. Compare right.
Moss growing where the sunlight sneaks through the boarded windows.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
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.
Since this picture was taken, the roof has totally collapsed in this area.
Note the maps still left on the wall.
…when injection molding was the new thing that everyone was experimenting with.
What appears to be a building once associated with King Elevator is now a defunct scuba company. To the right of the frame you can see how the concrete on the elevator is beginning to show its rebar.
In the middle of the foundry, an office is untouched by scrappers, legal and not. Inside, warnings and catalogs for machines that are gone, obsolete, and melted down.
Two windows above the slate Grand Staircase reflect let a little blue sky skip off the black.
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.
Around the corner from the old boiler room.
A fireproof room in the basement, perhaps for ammunition storage at one time.
So much relies on one thing stacked on top of another thing.
Numbers on a pillar counted tank capacity for a removed water container; an unhinged door in an unhinged factory beguiles those looking for an exit.
The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.
A better view of the belt system that drives all the machinery in the plant.
Looking out of the boarded windows in the Great Western Sugar office.
A Merrill Piano from Boston, in the Recreation Room of the Front Dorm.
I was surprised to see the roof was in such great condition. You can tell by the making on the wood that this wall is covered by a snow bank for most of the year.
A winding flue between the ovens for Furnace 6, capped with sketchy catwalks.
The stage of the theatre still holds hymnals and other vestiges of its time as a church.
One of my favorite photos of the ADM-Delmar #1 skyway, when it stood. Taken at sunset, with the reflection of the overcast sky in the remaining windows.
Trees between duplexes overshadow the buildings they were planted to shield; revenge for the boards on the windows.
A super-shallow depth of field shot on the Leica Summilux.
An old handcart sits next to a rotting elevator.
Pillsbury from across the Mississippi River and Stone Arch Bridge from the roof of the Washburn Crosby Elevator (aka Gold Medal Flour).
The basement of the ruined Masonic cottage.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
Officers got houses and the honor of living near other officers. They call it Officer’s Row.
When I see this picture, I imagine that I am an ant exploring a mushroom farm.
A teeter totter sits in front of the Memorial Building.
A firedoor dating to the original car barn is roped off, anticipating demolition.
Wintertime is quiet, except for the planes overhead.
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.
Too big to be scrapped, to simple to be auctioned. It waited for the demo crews and demo cranes to arrive.
This picture tells half the story about the size of half of the complex. For Port Arthur, it’s average, but this would be a fantastically large elevator if it were anywhere else!
The copula where molten metal would pour is on the left. It seems the whole floor was covered in ash in front of it.
Chicago-made fire door.
Some of the rotting clothes were in boxes, split long ago from moisture. Others were just heaped in piles.
The right passageway is a carved staircase that winds upward to an old entrance. The left portal is one of the bigger and well-carved rooms… I would guess it’s part of the original caves.
The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
Halfway up the coal conveyor, covered in coal dust… black streaks of snot. Starting to get good.
Inside the circa-1906 Gustavson House of Animas Forks. I love the texture of the walls in all of the buildings inside of the old miner’s houses.
After a little rain, the roof took on the color of the bright pink letters.
A scribbled note on a doorframe… lost details.
The windows reflect the sky. The bricks hit the ground.
There were a few traces of the building’s past, mostly in the doors and floors, some of which still had rails embedded in the concrete. The building could store 174 streetcars inside of its walls.
It is unclear whether this area was for coal dumping or ore dumping, though the huge dents in the steel plating suggests the latter.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
Trees like masks.
It was a strange choice, although I appreciate it, for the firm reusing the shops to brick up the doorways while leaving the doors.
The stone chapel sits beside the main house and received a particularly heavy dose of gothic architectural touches.
The rear of engine bay 13… according to the heavily faded sign.
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.
The conveyorway between the on-site grain elevator and mill.
No more bailouts. No excuses.
A cottage for masons infected with TB to live together.
Hand-shooting 4×5 underground. Must be Kate Hunter.
Some of the doors had sliding plastic windows, but most of the older ward doors simply had these peep holes drilled through them. The inside was always marked and worn more than the outside.
Looking out of the demolished skyway. Note the big hole in the floor. The lens is too wide to keep my foot out of it… I’m hanging in the superstructure that I climbed to make this photo.
Christmas lights from the time Island Station was an art studio lean against a rusty boiler.
All of the bucket conveyors crashed on this work floor when their casings were scrapped. Note all of the valves to open the grain flow.
Superior Entry’s lights, backlit by the aurora borealis. In the distance, you can see the lights of Two Harbors.
Peeling paint reveals the room numbers of the past.
A guard shack on top of a hill in the middle of the base. The hill separates the launch pad from the warhead storage building. In other configurations the launch pad is down the road from the Integrated Fire Control buildings, but at MS-40 it was all on one site.
From atop a concrete slap that seals the old path of Mine Shaft #3, I loop up into the hoisting room.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
A steel powder keg serves as a door prop on the static-proof wood core floor. Note the ‘XXX’ marking to the left of the double door.
The guts of the dock are connected with a long narrow hallway. Below this section are shops and labs.
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.
The world’s biggest paper machine was installed here about a century before this photo was taken. The orange in the windows is the brick building across the street–the new part of the plant.
Vents in the boards over the windows helps prevent mold and animals from getting too crazy inside.
Looking through the washer that is the first stop for the dredgings.
Because Oshkosh is close to Green Bay, the Packers are very popular there. Everywhere in the plant there were traces of ‘Cheese Head’ culture.
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.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
Looking at ADM-Delmar #4, #1 and Kurth from the Meal Storage Elevator at sunset on one of the warmer days of December. Note the graffiti “United Crushers” that gave the big elevator its common name among locals. Also, Harris Machinery is sitting in the lower-left corner, awaiting word of its next use.
The spiral staircase ends in the basement, where two oil tanks (for the lantern) and a freshwater tank (for the Keeper) were stored. The basement consists of two long arched vaults like this.
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
We people are so small.
Judging by the bed, this room was used by employees in its later years.
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.
On the ground floor of the main factory there seems to be only one chair left.
Looking toward the Quenching Tower from the coal tower platform.
I like to imagine this as fountain.
Almost all of the doors and windows on the ground floor have been boarded, leaving the ground level very dark.
The bottom of the elevator which seemed too modern for the building. The top of the elevator opens into open air, as the second floor has long since collapsed.
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.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
Beautiful details in the plaster moulding have been preserved by the sheer height of this room between the cathedral and auditorium.
“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.
The bottom of the stairs leading from the work floor to the cafeteria.
While squatting in the power plant a very powerful storm moved over unforgettable, throwing blasts of lightning across the countryside. The plant got a direct hit, in fact, and the sound of the boom reverberating through the turbine hall is something unforgettable.
The white mark allowed for a manual RPM check on this big steel flywheel on the ground floor. Note how dark the bottom level of the mills is—that’s because all of the equipment is blocking out the light.
Behind one of the kitchens is one of the few pieces of furniture remaining. Beside it, a small electric space heater–small by 1970s standards.
A wide view (15mm) of the shadow 4B is casting on 4A. Light leaks because of cheap camera.
About a century later. A view of the main factory building, looking toward the two furnaces.
Glowing observation windows–and someone forgot to lock a patient’s door…
The tunnels were full of bricked-up doorways. I wonder how many rooms under there are totally sealed from the outside world…
Sawdust is the most classic of insulation materials.
The building was the victim of many small fires over the years, and one big fire in 1995.
Looking up the Dominion Elevator’s tower. I especially like this picture because it shows how so much of the electrical conduits wound round through the mostly hollow space.
In the nitrating house.
The meticulously tiled dry house shower floor–cracked by frost.
A decaying door of the Medical Director for the unit. Because this is from one of the outbuildings and not Administration, I doubt that this was the Medical Director of Norwich State Hospital’s office.
A polaroid (FP100c, actually) of the newer grain car dumper.
Wind blew taconite dust against the walls of these suspended control room, making even the glass appear to rust.
While the last of the Studebaker production buildings were being demolished, I visited again. Here’s a shot taken shortly after the demolition crew left for the day.