To get more light into the wards, the building was narrow and had angular rooms, often staff space, perpendicular to the main hallway.
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.
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?
Part of the historical hospital was walled off with glass block.
The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
The now-demolished Sanatorium, for patients of the asylum that contracted the disease.
A caustic tank in one of the unremodeled brewhouse backrooms.
Why the door had to be moved over 2 1/2 feet will remain a mystery.
Camera: Pentax 67.
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.
So much relies on one thing stacked on top of another thing.
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.
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.
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.
The giant radiators in this casting shop look like a flag to me.
The bricks are decaying at different rates at this corner, making it especially colorful.
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.
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?
Demolition following the arson of the Administration Building.
Note the pit is filled in here.
Note that the back of Stockhouse #4 is missing. A year later, Fermentation was on the ground too.
Hunter and the Hoist House.
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.
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.
Little has changed inside the mill, but since it was built in 1916, many tanks and ancillary buildings have popped up around it.
Sprouts of life in center of a smashed glass block.
Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7. The office (first floor), laboratory (second floor) and mill behind it. Everything was clean and pristine.
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.
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.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
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…
The office for the maintenance shop was sound-insulated and ventilated.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
The hospital is so self art deco that it seems like a film set!
This dock goes between loading bays (see glass brick walls) and the railroad.
The sterile room where yeast was grown for the fermentation process. Thanks much, my little alcohol-excreting buddies.
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.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
Tow Away Zone, I’m sure.
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.