Pillars painted red indicated firefighting supplies. Fire was a very common enemy of early rail facilities, and many roundhouses burned down because of a combination of dry wood, hot, fire-breathing machinery and countless oil-saturated surfaces.
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.
The stone chapel sits beside the main house and received a particularly heavy dose of gothic architectural touches.
From the 1909 addition, it’s obvious how much water it takes to carry a single wall to, into and through the cracks between the floor tiles: exactly one roof’s worth.
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.
There were a few large houses on the Old Crow property where employees would live. The glen had little housing.
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.
The bathtub fell into the basement, ala The Miller’s Tale. That’s right. Chaucer.
On the second floor of the kettle building where corn mash was boiled, holes where tanks once sat were everywhere.
Heavy steel doors to isolate the underground magnetic separation mill from Eagle Mine’s main tunnel.
The old truck scale sits in the middle of what was Nettleton Avenue Slip.
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.
Beautiful details in the plaster moulding have been preserved by the sheer height of this room between the cathedral and auditorium.
The old way to get to the elevator from the mill.
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.
The large domed rooms were surreal.
When ‘men’ meant ‘worker’.
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.
A side door on the rear of the castle that let guests out into a small stone courtyard below a tall turret.
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.
The historical entrance.
This used to be one of the office doors, but it’s been removed (apparently without malcontent) and placed in the shop area.
Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.
The steam plant at Nopeming is an iconic (and crooked) smokestack. Kodak Pro 400 on a Fuji GX680.
Aaron by the concentrator.
A comrade lights-up where so many workers apparently congregated to do the same.
The back wall of the ballroom, showing water-warped floors.
Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7. The office (first floor), laboratory (second floor) and mill behind it. Everything was clean and pristine.
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 wimpy crane by most standards, only suitable for moving around parts of steam turbines.
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.
In the back of the warehouse is the old incinerator, probably used to destroy kegs that could not be reused.
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.
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 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.
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
A few of the stalls in the older section of the roundhouse, the noon sky peeking in.
Looking at the ghost sign from a rust-locked cement conveyor that linked the silos with a packing warehouse.
Inside the office was a small furnace and a collection of mechanical belts. You can see “SERVICE AT COST” and “POOL 168” in the background.
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.
A series of interconnected offices that look like they hadn’t been painted in 40 years.
This is a room where the actual explosive elements were mixed. In the event of an accident, this glass wall would give way before the concrete and thus direct the flames and shockwave away from the rest of the building. In other words, the glass is not just to get a lot of wonderful natural light into the building.
A dead work truck rusts near an outbuilding. Everything is marked with a code. Modernity.
Pocket door and light switches in the upper control room, at the top of the spiral staircase.
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.
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.
The roof compromised, rain water rolls down the main stairway.
A single metal emergency slide rusts away at sunrise.
Note the maps still left on the wall.
A small wood-paneled office for the on-duty keeper to use.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
This is one of my favorite images of the year because of the color, light and textures. Someone told me once that the medium of photographers is not film or digital sensors, but rather shadows. This photo is evidence of that.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
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.
Gloves hang in the basement of the former quality assurance labs.
The substation has definite structural issues. Pictured is the sidewalk that connected the plant to the company housing.
One of the few doors.
Shag carpet is fabulous, and I hope it makes a comeback.
A photo from my first trip, although very little has changed in this area of the building except for the level of graffiti. I love skylights, don’t you?
The roof could be vented when locomotives were running inside.
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!
A big sliding fire door opens onto a train dock.
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.
The license plate reads “Farm Truck”.
A typical narrow hallway at Birtle.
Paperwork litters the floors of the zinc mine offices.
The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
Sleeping bags mark this former courtyard as a crash pad for the local homeless.
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.
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.
The west portal of the tunnel is open, and if it wasn’t for the rough track, I would think by looking at it that a train could be coasting up behind me any moment. Mamiya 6/Portra 160
A door covered in pen graffiti.
A Merrill Piano from Boston, in the Recreation Room of the Front Dorm.
I love these heavy rolling doors in the old tobacco processing building.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
Looking toward Mitchell from its last building.
The shaft house, where hydraulic steel doors allowed or denied entry into the mine shaft. Overhead is a light and alarm. If it sounds, the mine is being evacuated, and you best not go in and best stay the hell out of the way. Locals dump tires here, now.
The beacon was installed in 1938 and removed in the mid-2000s.
Almost all of the doors and windows on the ground floor have been boarded, leaving the ground level very dark.
Behind the grand staircase is this beautifully preserved hallway with medieval-style arches and vivid paint.
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.
A heavy steel security door, taken right off its hinges. This was likely installed after Grafton State School took over the hospital.
Gary Methodist was a filmset for Transformers 3 in 2010.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
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.
Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.
A side door for the brick factory.
Sharks in the floor.
The first floor hallway between conference rooms and the diesel lab at the center of the facility
Devan setting up his 4×5 camera.
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.
Before each warhead was crated, it was inspected.
Old boathouses near the dock.
My favorite time to be in the brewery was sunrise. That’s the kind of light that made the brewhouse glow.
Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.
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.
The building collapsed except for the back room. The slats of the roof cast lines of light across the floor.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
The only door into a large windowless concrete room, probably a storage bin. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
And I forget just why I taste / Oh yeah, I guess it makes me smile / I found it hard, it’s hard to find / Oh well, whatever, never mind (Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”)
Offices above the labs. Note all the air handling equipment. I love the utilitarian design.
A big door into the fire pump room.
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.
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.
The arches of the Twohy building, before some of the signs and sills were painted in 2015.
An employee lunchroom with every door and window covered in vented steel.
The side of Stelco and its scrubber-stacks. This is demolished now.
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.
This door used to open at river level, but it has since been built up and sealed with a steel grate. Still, the original doors (with original paint?) stand in the same place. Once they opened to the fresh air, now they are permanently sealed in the tunnels. This is the official entrance for inspecting the mine, hence fiber optic and ladder. Shortly after the plant was demolished, this entire area was resealed and alarmed.
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
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.
Part of the unremodeled hospital, above the Service Building, where employees would stay sometimes.
Hunter and the Hoist House.
The top floor of the apartment seemed so empty without the furniture that once adorned it. Instead, my eyes were drawn to the worn paths in the floor between the rooms.
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.
Connecting the Administration Building to the wards fanning out. Historical photos show cots lining this hallway when the hospital was severely overcrowded. Lit by lightning outside the grounds during a huge thunderstorm.
When Nopeming was affiliated with local farms, it often slaughtered its own livestock. This is the part of the hospital where food would be prepped, below the stage in the Service Building.
Redlining is the practice of shutting certain races out of neighborhoods, and it is still a big problem today. Such behaviors were a big factor in creating the need for these projects.
In the middle of one of the outlying cottages, perhaps the Masonic Cottage–it was too damaged to tell, really–are these pair of skinny doors that led from patient rooms to a common area with rotting shag carpet.
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.
Left: A medium storage chamber with access to an interconnecting steam tunnel at ceiling height. This room also has various smashed toilets. Why? Because dead toilets–all of them–always find a home in a cave. Center: Steps go past a +-intersection, left goes deeper, right goes to utility tunnels for the brewery, forward used to go to the brewery basement… it’s now backfilled. Left from the backfill is a small hallway; see ‘Backfill Self Portrait’. Center-Right: Utility tunnels tie knots between the brewery’s demolished basement and its caves. Right: Most of the storage volume is in large chambers down this causeway.
The blacksmith shop is pretty rugged looking. Through the door you can see the collapsed walkway that might have once connected to a building covering the Santiago Tunnel adit.
Dominion was acquired by UGG, which designated the elevator ‘M’. Their offices still have safety signage.
A common room with a big bay window that overlooked the main entrance of the hospital.
A look at another “Belt-o-Vator”. I like the sign.
These racks lined many of the floors, although I couldn’t decipher their purpose. Tastes like duotone…
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.
A sizable crane on the corner of the engine house still swings out.
This miner locker room has probably never been so clean.
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.
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.
A pink room with very heavy doors that reminds me of the rooms at some of the insane asylums that I’ve explored.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
This picture shows all three areas of the substation. In the foreground is the transformer room, the tallest space. The darker room in the middle is the motor generator room. The room at the end through the door is the control room and office area.
A warped mirror in the rock crusher at the rear of the complex.
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.
An elevator to bring big somethings into the basement, it seemed. Nearby were the plant firetrucks, still ready to go. I hope they were saved.
This dock goes between loading bays (see glass brick walls) and the railroad.
This building would store and maintain warheads. It was right next to the launch pad, but the two were separated by a high mound.
These tubes would bring cement to the top of the plant for storage in the silos.
Glowing observation windows–and someone forgot to lock a patient’s door…
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.
Looking to the chapel addition from the Chateau.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
The truck scale is closed at Lena, MB.
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 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.
Sunrise in the orphanage… between classrooms and whispers.
Note the pit is filled in here.
A corner of the addition is lined with glass cabinets, formerly filled with beds.
My first view of the tunnel was in the dead of winter. In spite of being in the middle of the forest, it was totally silent. Mamiya GA645 / Kodak Pro 400
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
A small bunker and blast wall between shell-loading buildings would have provided shelter during disasters, such as tornados, accidental explosions, and perhaps even enemy attacks.
In the corner of most of the factory floors, freight elevators flanked restrooms to leave more central space for machines and their masters.
A colorful boiler is a happy boiler! RotoGrate systems remove ashes from the boiler firebox by revolving the bottom of the system to let the fly ash drop into a hopper. This greatly increases boiler efficiency.
2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.
The floor IS the machine…
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”.
Lost words over the auditorium entrance.
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.
Beautiful doors separated the boiler room and the sugar mill. Can you imagine the gracefully curving steps in a power plant today?
2006. A section of the third floor that has changed a lot over the years. Compare to 2015 shot.
The front door to the auditorium.
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.
Sawdust is the most classic of insulation materials.
The modern morgue, a replacement for the original morgue which has since been turned into a kitchen area.
The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
A storage vault for guns and other weapons to protect the base from attack.
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.
The top floor of the Chateau was the original surgical suite. Later, hydrotherapy took place here. When Nopeming was converted to a nursing home, it was a place where residents watched movies. Portra 400 on Voigtlander Bessa.
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.
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.
A typical room in Birtle.
The sidewalks are littered with rocks.
Typical bunk rooms in MS-20.
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 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!
A rare door left on the workhouse. The stairs to the left led down into a flooded basement. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
Tunnels interconnected all of the complex, carrying power, steam, laundry and food throughout the hospital. This is a typical causeway that would have been very busy when the hospital was operating. In some places, signs still point to defunct areas of the hospital.
A bumper sticker with the usual tagline. Note the detail on the radiator!
The bottom of the stairs leading from the work floor to the cafeteria.
One thing I like about the oppressive globalist-wrought future is the idea of numerically subdividing spaces; my geek side sort of wants to live in a flat that can be sorted by as Dewey Decimal-like code.
An automatically closing door, in case of fire or flood in the engine compartment.
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.
As my friend Jonathan would say, “on a human scale.”
Sliding fireproof doors and an old hydrant at Harlowton’s old yards.
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.
I can confirm the existence of the long-rumored Federal Rectangle Research Institute labs.
David Aho pictured.
The grain-centric buildings had automatic fire doors.
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.
Upper Prize Street in Nevadaville earned the nickname ‘dogtown’ when a pack of dogs took over the abandoned houses.
Looking across the catwalk attache to the elevated control room, in charge of the train dumping part of the operation.
I love this original brick archway, near the narrow gauge shop. Gorgeous!