These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
One of the staircases that connected the lab, the plant, and the offices.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
The first 800 or so feet of the tunnel is finished with reinforced concrete. The test is raw stone. This is the spot where it switches. Side note: nailing this shot on film is one of my proudest light-painted moments.
…out of our depth.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
Police tape marks were kids got hurt in the past… probably from falling from the unstable catwalk above.
Sunbeams under the sintering belt. Support cradles for the wires crossing the factory are falling down.
The Clipper was one of the most popular Packards, but its production was cut short by WWII. Had they produced the car instead of Rolls Royce plane engines I imagine there would might be driving a Packard today, rather than a Ford.
Note the pit is filled in here.
A natural reaction with this kind of view.
From the catwalks below the hoisting motor in Shaft No. 1.
Looking up the grand stair at the second floor.
This building is now being used to grow fish.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
Looking into the cut made for the streetcar tunnel. It looks like there is a door in the wall, but it’s an optical illusion.
…a little close for comfort.
This might have been part of the Pioneer Pellet Plant. It looks to be a ball mill, which pulverizes ore by spinning it with thousands of ball bearings.
The back of the Lyric, including the offices at the back of the theater.
These stairs were probably removed to discourage scrapping and graffiti. Ask me if it worked.
A depiction of historic Liège, known for its rivers and hills.
Jef throws open the back door of an alley for the trailing photographers and historians.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.
The east side of the boiler shop sported a platform with a control booth and heavy machine mounts. Note the door that replaces the lower section of stairs for explorers.
Graffiti by performing artists that hit the stage in the 1990s. I’m no musician, but I do not think it is being played low enough.
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 number of skyways carried the production line across roads and railroad tracks in and around the plant. An identical skyway to this one was cut off sometime in the past decade (judging by the rust), probably for its steel.
A look down the 1950s foundry building, moments after sunset.
Copper thieves haven’t left anything behind but the shell.
A wide view of the hallway behind the small performance space, covered in hundreds of names, aphorisms, and acts that walked up the stairs to the right and onto the small stage.
Algae grows where water flows/From the sawtooth roof/To the mines below/The sun climbs high/But is in no one’s eyes/A wall alone crumbles/It was no suprise
Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.
90% of Brach’s looks like this. Concrete walls, mushroom pillars, and water over the floor.
One of the pair of motors that powered this mine shaft. In the 1950s, this shaft was designated a rescue shaft, and was only maintained for emergencies. One reason that Cheratte built Shaft 3 nearby was because these motors and infrastructure did not have the capacity that the giant mine below called for.
In what has turned into a kind of industrial courtyard between four ovens some people have posted their tags. X was here.
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
A typical stretch of the assembly line.
Looking through the dark door at Shaft 3, when my naked eyes could only make out a staircase lit dimly from above.
The top of the barracks staircase.
This load of lime seems to have been left right where it was loaded.
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.
What I make out to be the dining room or great hall of the castle, as seen through of the side rooms, which appeared to be a very ruined library. Teenager graffiti looks cooler in French.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.
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.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.
Two signatures complement this gorgeous hand-painted sign. ‘Bowers’ from 1987 and ‘Normal’ from 1982. The blocking on the letters is still visible!
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
Furnace #6; its catwalk and tapway. Note the lever-operated gutter-blockers.
A theater turned skate park. How did that happen?
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
Next to the pit in the maintenance shop is “The Wall”… where rail workers wrote about interesting happenings at Shoreham.
For reasons unknown, this building’s concrete was designed a little thinly. It reminds me of a Chicago, IL building constructed during WWI when concrete and steel were strictly rationed and many buildings went up with insufficient superstructures. I do not have a build date for this one yet.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
In this old repair shop, vines fall from the rotting roof to meet mossy concrete. Even though it had been dry for days, water dripped in from the roof to make permanent puddles between workstations. It was full of color and sound and industry and nature.
See http://www.thecarriedeer.com/ for details.
Two charmers, I’m sure. This area was a coal pit for the nearby power plant.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
Although the floors are pretty warped, I can’t imagine one could do many tricks off of them.
Squinting from the top floor through the skyway, one can feel small, like they’re in a heavy industrial dollhouse.
When the building switched souls from booze to bread, these contraptions were mounted across the brewhouse floors… they’re not for hops, either.
This is part of the oldest section of factory, one that hasn’t had a roof in a long time and all usable equipment has been extracted. The machines pictured would spin sliced beets in boiling water… it was a sealed system before someone cut holes on sides of each unit.
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
Strange graffiti in a side room. Someone was having fun…
One last look in the mirror before you turn around and walk onstage…
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
In the mid-2000s, Peavey sealed the spaces between their Electric Steel Elevator bins. What they unwittingly created was a graffiti time capsule. “Impeach Bush”.
The old hospital (left) and ugly modern additions (right).
The left cave is the largest of the three, and shows the most evidence of expansion.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
The smokestack for the sintering plant included a big blower room, to launch the fumes into the atmosphere and away from the town. What could go wrong?
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.
The back of the mill reads “Red River Milling Company”
A panorama of the Shipping/Receiving building on the northeast end of the block. In the old days this would be facing the ‘Dry Dock Hotel’, a boarding house owned by the company, presumably for the use of the men having their boats repaired here.
Looking down into the lunch building of an Atlas D, near the motors for the retractable roof. In this design, the roof separates to allow the missile to be erected into launch position.
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.
Old parts catalogs litter the floor. The office overlooks empty shelves. Graffiti glue peeling paint in place.
Sunrise in the orphanage… between classrooms and whispers.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
Peering through the glass in the Hoist Operator’s cab, stained with graffiti. The cable and reels can be seen through the glass… these are now gone.
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…
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4 looks rough these days. You can tell how high the children of Thunder Bay can throw a rock.
At an abandoned train repair shop.
Looking through skylights of the payroll office toward the Cheratte No.1’s tower. This is where workers would wait in line to receive pay, surrounded by the mine workings.
A long exposure panorama of Electric Steel and Kurth from the roof of Russell Miller B, days before it was demolished.
An impressive message for graffiti in a Detroit warehouse, but then again look at these steam pumps. Over-built and under-appreciated.
Rims where bulbs were, light were motors were, stairs were people were.
A string of vehicles have found death at Packard recently. Usually they are simply driving up ramps and pushed off the rooftops, but this one seemed destined for a worse fate. Found in the far corner of the far building.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
A rooftop scene.
Harris Machinery rests under snow on the left. Two explorers enjoy the view.
Platforms and abandoned outbuildings, as seen in 2005.
The most pointless, beautiful and nuclear-bomb-proof catwalk I’ve been on to date. It goes between two high levels in its own bottom-lit concrete capsule in the center of the tallest, thickest building. Hang on, we’re riding this one out.
In front of a rust-welded Illinois rotary stoker is where the boiler-men made their mark. The last year I can make out is 1985.
Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
C’mon, guys. PIck up to trash.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
The tops of the coke stoves.
At night the city lights blast through the broken windows, casting crazy colors through the off-white interior of the mill.
I follow this advice every day. You should too.
The bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
Molten copper pouring being a very dangerous thing to do by hand, this scale measured the load for the “Auto Caster” that actually formed the cooling copper in its molds.
2010. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
The top of the annex was bare except for these holes into the silos below.
Behind the small stage is a hallway signed by practically every act that walked through its doors. There’s also a pair of palms. Since all the heat in the building collects in this area, it did seem more tropical.
Counter-weighted ore cars alternately filled and emptied to feed Furnace 7. Honestly, though, the corner-mounted cranes are sexier in my opinion. Note the trees growing from the stacks.
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 first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
Early bird catches the shadow of Battle Mountain blaring across the ghost town.
One of the few doors.
Between the catwalks of Furnace 6, the molted ore would flow through the chute.
On the left is the broken glass room that contains the controls for the cable spool, now gone, that sat in the metal shell on the right. The stairs led down to the hoisting engine itself. You can make out the slits where the cable ran up to the headframe tower through the gaping archway.
Death. About two seconds after the explosives were triggered.
Between the room with mold sand and the space where the car’s metal bits would be put together, a pillar is marked as structurally vital.
Where the trees are sprouting–below the skyways and criss-crossing pipes–are two sets of railroad tracks that turned through this narrow alleyway through the middle of the production line to drop off raw materials and pick up finished product.
Often the quickest way to move between buildings was to take the roof. The inside of the complex was so maze-like, I don’t know how I would have found my way around.
Inside the west portal is a big liquid propane hand warmer, for workers to take the cold off their gloves as they handled the switches and doors of Cramer Tunnel. Mamiya GA645 / Kodak Pro 400
At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.
Dora, the pagan god of urban explorers, stood little chance off Alfred Street.
I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
Looking up at the network of elevators at the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. Its train shed doors stand open under the void where conveyors should be. You can see where they used to connect on the left and right. The outside of the building is covered in racist graffiti.
A bird near the old schoolyard.
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.
Just outside of the blast furnace is a series of platforms and catwalks to bring workers to the stoves.
It’s a small world… look at it.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
The main floor of the hospital was crammed with furniture.
Note the rails in the floor that guided cars to the coating line, the side of which is lined with the windows in the center of the image.
Mill Hell before the University of Minnesota began developing the area. Now many of the buildings are gone, there are new roads and even bike paths.
Watching the sun set behind downtown Detroit is my favorite memory from the building.
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
The sound of water running in the distance.
The stairs that connect the breakwater and light station (Leica M6/Kodak Ektar).
The glow from the city is bright enough to read by.
Partier graffiti dates to when the caves were last open to the public; probably in the 1990s. This tunnel used to horseshoe between the brewery’s ice chute (left) and basement door (right, backfilled). Note the utility tunnel in the upper-right corner as well as the lighting brackets on the ceiling.
My friends know that redheads are my greatest weakness.
Panorama from where the skyway connected the cleaning house and elevator. ADM Meal Storage is to the right, ADM-4 is to the extreme right, and Kurth is on the left.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
This is one of the rooms near Shaft 1 that was converted to be a Dry Room, where workers would wash and change between shifts.
The winch that hauled the sea leg, a decide to unload grain from waiting boats and barges.
These machines are at least 100 years old.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
A colorful makeshift wall.
“See anything?” “No, just more of it.” “How much to go?” “Oh god–we’ve only seen about 10%.” “Guess we should keep moving then…”
To the right is the spiral staircase. This building had a definite “floor problem”.
The long control room overlooks giant caps where equipment was removed long ago.
From the boarded-up choir loft above the chapel, minutes after sunrise. Obviously local kids have long had their way with this landmark.
The spectacular, if precarious, view of downtown Minneapolis from the roof of ADM Annex 4. Note the great messages left by various graffiti artists who made it to the spot.
Looking through the an access panel at the hoist room for Shaft No. 3. The cable had long ago been scrapped, along with the motors to drive the pulleys. I still admire the workmanship on the spool’s arching metal shell.
A typical hallway in the rocket assembly line.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
A door covered in pen graffiti.
I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.
This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.
Ruined cars abandoned in the generator hall, long after its namesake was scrapped.
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.
You can see almost ever level of the factory from this spot.
A small machine shop level.
Rust undermines the decade old graffiti on the steel bin.
Although it’s difficult to spot at first, there is a traveling mini crane down the way about the three windows. This was installed to service all of the fabrication machines that would be in this section.
A polaroid (FP100c, actually) of the newer grain car dumper.
The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…
A little sun and a little moisture sprouted this grass in the middle of the steel silos, in the midst of Minneapolis’ “graffiti graveyard”. Two images of time: nature growing through industry and rust dissolving old art in the elements.
I really liked the bulky pillars on this outer-ring cottage.
The projector booth, above the balcony in the auditorium.
All electrical rooms were surrounded by walls, for obvious reasons. Now all the walls are gone, for reasons less obvious.
I had to search the shelves a while to find this old logbook. The open page lists changes in stock numbers for Cutler Hammer Coils, and one row says that a new coil was installed on the black larry. The larry is the machine that loads coke ovens.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
Downtown and the blight.
Don Crist ’83. Brick Graffiti Series.
This was one of two skyways that went between production line offices. It’s easy to tell because it’s not reinforced for machinery to travel through it. I also like that it’s a double-decker, so to speak.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
One of the clusters of elevators. Doors would open on both sides so that vehicles could be moved through them if necessary. There is only one set of stairs in the whole building.
A burned and rusted control panel in the corner of the new hoist room.
On the left, the formula for the sintering mix was written (“mischungszusammenselzung”) to keep track of the jobs.
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.