glass-block

Hoist House Hook

Was the last job of this hook to lift the remaining equipment out of the hoist hall? The control boards, giant electric motors and transformers?

Twin Beds

A bleak double room in what used to be the Receiving Hospital, built apart from the Kirkbride to observe incoming patients before they were placed in a ward.

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.

Demolished II

The now-demolished Sanatorium, for patients of the asylum that contracted the disease.

Car Barn at Mitchell

As sun set the car barn underwent a temperature inversion causing a dense fog to rise from the puddles where tracks once where. I opened the Yellowstone-sized doors and watched the bank roll out into downtown Mitchell.

Boiler Shop Door – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Film: Sugar Mill

Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7. The office (first floor), laboratory (second floor) and mill behind it. Everything was clean and pristine.

Glass Block – (C)SUBSTREET

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…

Yeast Room Ceiling

The sterile room where yeast was grown for the fermentation process. Thanks much, my little alcohol-excreting buddies.

Rural Roundhouse – (C)SUBSTREET

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?

Drop-Dead Hoist-House

Hanging over the crane cab, looking over at the trane-sized doors below. The steel beam tracing the left wall is the support for the gantry crane this photo was taken from.

Gering Mill

Little has changed inside the mill, but since it was built in 1916, many tanks and ancillary buildings have popped up around it.

Memorial Vignette

To get more light into the wards, the building was narrow and had angular rooms, often staff space, perpendicular to the main hallway.

Machine Shop and Dry House

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.

Female Ward

The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.

Tunnel Skylight in Sidewalk

Ava near the Memorial Building. The block glass embedded in the sidewalk here is actually a skylight for the tunnel below, which connects the Memorial Building to the steam and supply systems of the hospital.

Rail Dock

This dock goes between loading bays (see glass brick walls) and the railroad.

Bricabrac

The bricks are decaying at different rates at this corner, making it especially colorful.

Glass Brick Wall

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.

Office

The office for the maintenance shop was sound-insulated and ventilated.

Twelve Steps

This ward was the last occupied place in the hospital. It was used as a chemical dependency (drug and alcohol) inpatient program. It seems that they were allowed to paint the walls before they abandoned it… I go back and forth, thinking it is a shame and thinking it is a little cool.

Lightning Over FFSH

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.

Yeast Stairs

A caustic tank in one of the unremodeled brewhouse backrooms.

Common Window

Looking into a common from the grounds. The block glass makes the interior seem dreamlike and distorted. Note the poor condition of the bricks around the window.

Peeling Stair II

The seminal architectural feature of the old hospital–the parts built by Illinois Central Railroad–was this staircase. Wide and graceful, adorned with paint chips and fire extinguishers, and leading from offices to surgical suites to the cafeteria.

Ghost Door

Why the door had to be moved over 2 1/2 feet will remain a mystery.

Fe(r)mentation

Note that the back of Stockhouse #4 is missing. A year later, Fermentation was on the ground too.