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.
The historical entrance.
In one of the hundreds of bunkers across the busy highway from the empty plant ruins. Most did not have doors, but I got lucky on this one.
Miners would sit in this room before going into the mine. The boards on the right indicated whether every single miner was “in” or “out”.
Pozo Mine, the most menacing mine building I’ve ever seen. Black and white film, shot with the Fuji GX680, a beast of a camera.
I believe this is the push car, meaning it would push the charge in the oven out the opposite side into the train car.
I love these heavy rolling doors in the old tobacco processing building.
On the extended engine bay…
The steam plant at Nopeming is an iconic (and crooked) smokestack. Kodak Pro 400 on a Fuji GX680.
Pocket door and light switches in the upper control room, at the top of the spiral staircase.
Note the wood and rubber wheels on this powder cart.
Hip bump girl.
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 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.
One of the few doors.
The view into one of the asylum rooms of Norwich Hospital. A long time ago, a window broke, letting the vines crawling up the bricks outside to move indoors and across the floor.
Hunter and the Hoist House.
Looking toward Mitchell from its last building.
This is one of the biggest warps I’ve ever found in a wooden factory floor hasn’t broken yet. When you stand on it, it make a very loud popping sound as the boards shift. The poster on the pillar near the left side of the frame advertises recreational boating, presumably to the factory workers who left this floor in the early 1980s.
The doorframes become more askew every year as the buildings slip downward into the gulch at different rates. This seems to be the part of the mine ruins where transients leave their marks. The graffiti dated back to the 1970s, at least.
A big sliding fire door opens onto a train dock.
Looking across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.
Note the pit is filled in here.
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.
Beds line a basement room that is part way between the concepts of inside and outside. Boards and bricks were falling while I was photographing it—stay out.
The office was redder than the rest of the building.
This bedroom built for a tuberculosis patient has been converted into a safe room.
This ornamental stair is cast iron and used to connect all floors of the Administration building. Now it connects the first and second floor, then the third and fourth floors, with a strange cinder block and drywall barrier separating the new and old sections of the building. Note the insulation on the floor to seal heat into the lower floors that were used as offices until the hospital closed. On the corners of the staircase are lions, on the corners of the suspended section of stair are down-hanging pineapples. Set in the stairs themselves are shield motifs with slate tops.
This is one of my favorite doorways (yes, I have favorites) for a few reasons: 1.) You can see how the once-arched door has been squared-off for rectangular doors to fit; 2.) you can see one complete historic door and one ruined door, and the chain that used to hold them together before someone kicked-out the security, and; 3.) I like the texture of the bricks and design of the radiators in the room beyond–the blacksmith shop. Just do.
One of the occupied buildings in Nevadaville.
Outside the locker room without the sandwiches and beer… plenty of glass shards, though, if you feel like it.
These stairs lead to the balcony.
Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.
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.
The only door into a large windowless concrete room, probably a storage bin. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
Rubber dock boots still sits under the desk in the dock office, near keys to rusted locks and files of fired employees.
A broken window looking through the First Aid Room and into the Control Room in charge of directing grain into ships. You can see one of the large conveyors on the right, clad in green. Chutes and staircases intertwine seemingly randomly through the big empty spaces.
The factory’s first aid room and laboratory. Sure makes me wonder how safe the lab was!
In the nurses’ dormitories, beds, couches and chairs still sit. It’s unclear whether these are remnants of the homeless shelter in the 80s or the actual nurses.
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.
Books in nooks and not getting a look… about the crook with hooks that cooks.
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.
A heavy steel security door, taken right off its hinges. This was likely installed after Grafton State School took over the hospital.
Beautiful details in the plaster moulding have been preserved by the sheer height of this room between the cathedral and auditorium.
This old ward, not a victim of remodeling, still has metal screens over the open windows of the doors. It should be obvious why glass were not used.
A corner of the addition is lined with glass cabinets, formerly filled with beds.
In the ward for the criminally insane, this door was the most-worn. Nail scratches mark the area around the peep hole, the wood is gouged everywhere from thrown chairs and hard kicks, and a ominous blood-colored stain is visible where it dripped in the second inset from the bottom. Aside from the damage, the coloring in this section was very vibrant, though it was probably little reprieve for those who had to work here.
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.
Like many mill-style buildings of the time, the Twohy’s loading doors (in this case, the delivery wagon doors) opened to an elevator shaft. This design cut down on loading time, as long as the elevator was operational. Of course, if it was otherwise occupied, there could be no traffic through the exterior doors!
An interesting crane in the back of the machine shop. It seems very light duty, so I am not certain what it was used for.
The side of Stelco and its scrubber-stacks. This is demolished now.
These houses was built by hard rock miners in the early 1900s.
The bottom of the stairs leading from the work floor to the cafeteria.
Looking from the ‘crack’ that shows a collapsed tunnel into the dry house, in the direction miners returning home would walk. Note smoke lines above door.
This building would store and maintain warheads. It was right next to the launch pad, but the two were separated by a high mound.
Sliding fireproof doors and an old hydrant at Harlowton’s old yards.
An unintentional skylight makes the inside of the office glow, showing the inside of the front door and its strange lock.
A common room with a big bay window that overlooked the main entrance of the hospital.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
Perhaps this office was for a film studio or music producer.
The end of one of the scrapped turbines. Judging by the aborted attempt at cutting it in half, the scrappers had some trouble with this one.
There were a few large houses on the Old Crow property where employees would live. The glen had little housing.
Note the severed skyway–that led to a set of grain elevators that have since been demolished.
The front door to the auditorium.
Old parts catalogs litter the floor. The office overlooks empty shelves. Graffiti glue peeling paint in place.
The piano must have been a nice distraction; there is very little to do in Roberts.
Sunrise in the orphanage… between classrooms and whispers.
When I first visited the chapel, it had a projection TV, two organs, Bibles, and more. Now these are mostly ruined, except for the tapestries, which have somehow survived.
The elevator tower seems to have been built with expansion of the dock in mind.
Aaron by the concentrator.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
A side door for the shop area with ivy crawling toward it.
When ‘men’ meant ‘worker’.
In the many-windowed metal building, the lumberyard buildings and the abandoned starch works buildings are separated by a thick wall of pallets.
The big door at the bottom of the concentrator was where a tram once connected to lower the (pre-) processed ore into the river valley, where the railroad was. It’s unclear whether this ever connected directly to Eureka’s Sunnyside mill, although it’s possible.
The building collapsed except for the back room. The slats of the roof cast lines of light across the floor.
A side door for the brick factory.
Rocket propellant and coolant were stored underground adjacent to the missile silo. This is the hallway that connects the missile area to the propellant area. Walking in this area was nice because the floor was dry.
The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
A blue chair in a blue room
The top floor of the Meal Storage Elevator.
The largest room was the diesel laboratories, which tested various devices and fuel additives to make it safer to mine underground with diesel trucks and other machinery, such as at White Pine Mine, Michigan.
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.
The license plate reads “Farm Truck”.
A better look at the rails in the floor, installed to help move heavy equipment around the building.
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.
Note the maps still left on the wall.
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.
A rare door left on the workhouse. The stairs to the left led down into a flooded basement. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
The top floor’s old-fashioned hospital ways were too much to pass without a photo or two… with the paint falling off the walls it was as if the building was shedding its skin in an effort to become rejuvenated or useful.
Gaskets still organized on nails beside the power plant. This used to be a maintenance room, but since its roof and walls were torn down, it’s not any kind of room.
The old way to get to the elevator from the mill.
These racks lined many of the floors, although I couldn’t decipher their purpose. Tastes like duotone…
The gauges on left of frame are the steam pressure indicators for the various steam-powered components around the ship, like the steering engine and windlass motors. Below the gauges are a case of tiny wooden parts drawers… note the ancient oiling can on the locker near the upper-right corner of the frame.
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.
A heavy steel rail door to help funnel explosions upward, rather than outward.
A look at another “Belt-o-Vator”. I like the sign.
This train shed was later converted to load trucks with concrete from the silos.
Mold creeps up the walls of the offices that housed the Closing Team of the TCRC – Twin Cities Research Center – as water damage pulls ceiling tiles down.
“Place Tripod Here” my friends would say. But for me, it’s the money shot. Note the painting around the inside of the skylight.
At sunset the light skips from puddle to stagnant puddle across the whole foundry room, playing with the classic sawtooth roof with half-hearted shadows.
The shed in the front was full of worker supplies–namely goggles and heavy leather gloves. Molten copper isn’t a friendly thing to handle.
This building cleaned the barrels that transported ingredients through the plant.
I am not sure, but I think this section was a storehouse; it has two ramps that connect the rail yard outside and the blacksmith shop. On all of the historic doors that face that part of the yard, signs caution workers to look out for cars…
Some of the internal staircases were fitted with cages that wound round down the stairs to deter suicidal patients from taking a dive.
You can tell from the marks on the wall that there used to be pipes running the length of this square hallway, which connected a loading dock with explosive mixers.
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 incinerator’s hardened steel door… useless, but still sexy in a heavy-industrial kind of way.
David Aho pictured.
The nurse’s station on this floor, a ward still in its original design, featured a half-door where patients could get their medicine. Portra 160.
The stonework was done by a local handyman of sorts, who was also a guard at a nearby insane asylum. He did a great job, it seems to me.
A pink room with very heavy doors that reminds me of the rooms at some of the insane asylums that I’ve explored.
Kat’s pretty cool.
On the second floor of the kettle building where corn mash was boiled, holes where tanks once sat were everywhere.
The old truck scale sits in the middle of what was Nettleton Avenue Slip.
The roof could be vented when locomotives were running inside.
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
The Wheeler Rec Center was very nice and included gymnasiums and a pool.
Lost words over the auditorium entrance.
The sidewalks are littered with rocks.
A big door into the fire pump room.
An automatically closing door, in case of fire or flood in the engine compartment.
Looking to the chapel addition from the Chateau.
Many of the higher floors were more or less demolished–usually more. These would have been condos had ‘The Arcade’ project come to fruition. Now there are simply wide open floors punctuated only by pillars and meaningless hallways.
Camera: Pentax 67. Film: Kodak Ektar 100.
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.
Safety signs decorated every floor, machine and, yes, door. This message spoke to me for reasons my coworkers will understand; suffice to say, I need to take this message to heart.
It’s pretty unusual to find a fireplace like this in the midst of a factory.
A door covered in pen graffiti.
When I moved from the roof back into the upper floors of the distillery, the plants growing out of the masonry caught my eye. It’s 60 feet up, but looks like it could be an old wall.
Gary Methodist was a filmset for Transformers 3 in 2010.
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 series of interconnected offices that look like they hadn’t been painted in 40 years.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
This miner locker room has probably never been so clean.
Before each warhead was crated, it was inspected.
As my friend Jonathan would say, “on a human scale.”
Inside the main entrance is a whiteboard and mirror, then it branches into discrete spaces.
A bumper sticker with the usual tagline. Note the detail on the radiator!
Glowing observation windows–and someone forgot to lock a patient’s door…
Bayard Sugar Mill, as seen from the old power plant
To move air around the non air-conditioned buildings, may of which date to the 1920s and 1930s, fans were mounted above the high door frames.
A portrait of the second school of McConnell, built in 1937.
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.
These tubes would bring cement to the top of the plant for storage in the silos.
Dominion was acquired by UGG, which designated the elevator ‘M’. Their offices still have safety signage.
In the power house corner is this gratuitously gigantic doorway. It used to be even bigger, too, as indicated by the brick arch another foot over the top windows.
This spiral staircase isn’t doing Lemp much good–maybe they’ll let me have it! I do love, though, that there is a door going to it–without walls–and it ascends to a second floor that doesn’t exactly exist anymore.
A view of the government presses, with pages of law across the floor covered in footprints.
In the corner of most of the factory floors, freight elevators flanked restrooms to leave more central space for machines and their masters.
This wide skyway connected two of the inner factory buildings, where parts would have to be transported to keep the operation moving, which is why it is much wider than other bridges in the plant.
Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.
Typical bunk rooms in MS-20.
Standing where the Standard Oil’s boiler used to sit; the coal room is on the right, and would have been filled from trackside.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
Paperwork litters the floors of the zinc mine offices.
A high-ceilinged room where kegs would be delivered for cleaning, before they were refilled with fresh booze.
2006. A section of the third floor that has changed a lot over the years. Compare to 2015 shot.
A switchboard to control the flow of electricity into the plant from the city and generators.
Everything is texture.
In the back of the warehouse is the old incinerator, probably used to destroy kegs that could not be reused.
Part of an ongoing series on found American flags in shuttered factories.
Looking from the main shop into the boiler shop, one of three attached buildings that specialized in certain repairs. One thing that architectural photographers have to work with is an elongated “magic hour” with ideal shadowing and coloring–this photo is a result of that lighting.
An old nurse’s station (you can tell because of the half-door with table) with torn-up tiles. Notice through the curved doorway that even the ceiling has a curvature.
A typical room in Birtle.
A sizable crane on the corner of the engine house still swings out.
2015. Water damage hastens the decay of the annex and its stage. Every time I visit this room, the chairs are in different places. Kodak Portra 400 in a Voigtlander Bessa.
I love this original brick archway, near the narrow gauge shop. Gorgeous!
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
The portal facing Taconite Harbor (at a healthy distance) is mostly closed. Some kids put bullet holes in it. Shooting down a long tunnel is extremely dangerous, and you should not do it, obviously. Mamiya 6/Portra 160
The wings of the church had a lot more water damage than the rest. The organ on the balcony was in decent condition when I arrived.
Why the door had to be moved over 2 1/2 feet will remain a mystery.
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.
A wimpy crane by most standards, only suitable for moving around parts of steam turbines.
The curving corridors flanking the Administration Tower are especially ornate, though the prison-like door betrays the real purpose of the building.
Between the Old Crow and Old Taylor bonded warehouses are some of the fouled barrels, now the only ones left, which were left to rot in the elements. Nearby in a loading bay that has obviously been disused longer than the rest of the property, terra cotta roofing waits in crates.
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 few of the stalls in the older section of the roundhouse, the noon sky peeking in.
The truck scale is closed at Lena, MB.
The side of the church, taken from a grungy sidewalk.
Prize Mine has been the victim of erosion. Its north wall is pushed in by rockfall and its south side is far from ground level.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
Old boathouses near the dock.
Shag carpet is fabulous, and I hope it makes a comeback.
I can confirm the existence of the long-rumored Federal Rectangle Research Institute labs.
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.
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!
These were some of the most attractive shops of all the mines in the area. It’s no wonder Hanna Mining wanted to use them as their center of operations in the Iron River district.
A fallen branch smashed out this skylight years ago, and since then the bees have found this tiny toilet a perfect home. This is part of the hotel where employees slept.
The back wall of the ballroom, showing water-warped floors.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
Sleeping bags mark this former courtyard as a crash pad for the local homeless.
A view of the hallway outside of the auditorium.
Expanding foam provides some textural contrast to the wood floors, worn smooth over a century. This building dates to the 1890s and was built as the coffin plant.
Watching the comings and goings of doctors, nurses and new patients was a mainstay of asylum routine; one can find it easy to imagine pale faces pressed against the block glass windows, staring out at the world moving past them.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
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.
This is what I believe to be the Masonic Cottage, where infected Freemasons would be treated together and enjoy some simple luxuries because of their social connections. Freemasonry is still popular in North Dakota.