To the right is the spiral staircase. This building had a definite “floor problem”.
It’s a small world… look at it.
Two signatures complement this gorgeous hand-painted sign. ‘Bowers’ from 1987 and ‘Normal’ from 1982. The blocking on the letters is still visible!
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 tops of the coke stoves.
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.
Downtown and the blight.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
The lower portal of the Selby Tunnel, as it looks today. The area is a popular spot for homeless to camp–can you spot the tent?
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.
Note the really old carvings in the mineral-stained sandstone on the walls and ceiling. This little cave was walled-off on one end, making me wonder what the area was for. Lighting is a set of three candles and two LED flashlights and a cigarette.
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
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.
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.
Rims where bulbs were, light were motors were, stairs were people were.
Early bird catches the shadow of Battle Mountain blaring across the ghost town.
The roof compromised, rain water rolls down the main stairway.
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.
From the boarded-up choir loft above the chapel, minutes after sunrise. Obviously local kids have long had their way with this landmark.
…out of our depth.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
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.
From the catwalks below the hoisting motor in Shaft No. 1.
Like looking out of an airship.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
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.
Dora, the pagan god of urban explorers, stood little chance off Alfred Street.
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.
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.
A bird near the old schoolyard.
I like to imagine this as fountain.
In what has turned into a kind of industrial courtyard between four ovens some people have posted their tags. X was here.
…a little close for comfort.
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.
The first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
Jef throws open the back door of an alley for the trailing photographers and historians.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
The projector booth, above the balcony in the auditorium.
2010. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
Looking up the grand stair at the second floor.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
I’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
Whoever did this: good job. You get it.
A natural reaction with this kind of view.
Next to the pit in the maintenance shop is “The Wall”… where rail workers wrote about interesting happenings at Shoreham.
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.
A retrofitted dust collector stands out from the geometry of the roofline.
One last look in the mirror before you turn around and walk onstage…
Death. About two seconds after the explosives were triggered.
Copper thieves haven’t left anything behind but the shell.
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.
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.
Sunrise in the orphanage… between classrooms and whispers.
Judging from old pictures and maps, raw ore was dumped through these hatches, stamped into a rough powder, and hastily sorted before sending the best ore to the mill. Mills charged by tons of rock sent to them, so it did not pay to send them obvious tails.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
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.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
C’mon, guys. PIck up to trash.
Sleeping bags mark this former courtyard as a crash pad for the local homeless.
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.
An iron gate separates vaults below the barracks.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.
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.
Looking out of the “back door”, where equipment could be lifted into the factory with a crane. The bottom of the coal conveyor can be seen outside.
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
The top of the barracks staircase.
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
Rust undermines the decade old graffiti on the steel bin.
A theater turned skate park. How did that happen?
Reflections of graffiti during spring melt.
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
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.
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.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
90% of Brach’s looks like this. Concrete walls, mushroom pillars, and water over the floor.
When the building switched souls from booze to bread, these contraptions were mounted across the brewhouse floors… they’re not for hops, either.
A machine to cast copper billets.
The back of the mill reads “Red River Milling Company”
A depiction of historic Liège, known for its rivers and hills.
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 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.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
Two charmers, I’m sure. This area was a coal pit for the nearby power plant.
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
The winch that hauled the sea leg, a decide to unload grain from waiting boats and barges.
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.
Additional Sacred Heart Building (1949) Collapse, 2012, Courtesy Chris Naffziger @ http://stlouispatina.blogspot.com/2011/12/st-marys-infirmary.html
In its later years, metal was welded over every door and window on the ground floor.
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
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
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.
Strange graffiti in a side room. Someone was having fun…
A small machine shop level.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
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.
One of the few doors.
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.
I follow this advice every day. You should too.
My first night on Minneapolis’ Lighthouse–now an old picture and distant memory… I still remember the exhilaration and the view of the city off one edge of the roof and the Mississippi River over the other.
A polaroid (FP100c, actually) of the newer grain car dumper.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
Between the catwalks of Furnace 6, the molted ore would flow through the chute.
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4 looks rough these days. You can tell how high the children of Thunder Bay can throw a rock.
Watching the sun set behind downtown Detroit is my favorite memory from the building.
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.
The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.
Spring melt flows down the rusty rock house. In the background is the frame for the shaft.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
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.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
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.
Looking through the dark door at Shaft 3, when my naked eyes could only make out a staircase lit dimly from above.
Platforms and abandoned outbuildings, as seen in 2005.
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.
Don Crist ’83. Brick Graffiti Series.
The newer train barn for the SK Pool 4 complex has a car tipper that would clamp and turn the grain cars to dump them into hoppers. FP-100c.
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?
A different kind of tree fort.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.
From the summer a bunch of Australians visited Minnesota.
Ruined cars abandoned in the generator hall, long after its namesake was scrapped.
Taken on a short trip where the whole floor of the roundhouse and engine shop was covered in fresh snow–thanks to the holes in the roof and open windows.
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 wonder how polluted that water is.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
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.
A typical hallway in the rocket assembly line.
A look down the 1950s foundry building, moments after sunset.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
Across the walls of the brick repair shop, near where men and machine entered Shaft No. 3, vines, pipes, and graffiti battle unknowingly for visual prominence.
The only thing that signals that this was an office building, rather than another production floor, is the small amount of wood paneling that remains.
The sound of water running in the distance.
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.
This building is now being used to grow fish.
Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.
Many outdoor areas of the plant have become unofficial city dumps. The skeleton doesn’t care.
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.
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
These stairs were probably removed to discourage scrapping and graffiti. Ask me if it worked.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
These machines are at least 100 years old.
The grain-centric buildings had automatic fire doors.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
An impressive message for graffiti in a Detroit warehouse, but then again look at these steam pumps. Over-built and under-appreciated.
A rooftop scene.
The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.
A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.
This load of lime seems to have been left right where it was loaded.
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
Science Alert. When the sun strikes an object, that object absorbs some of the infared light in the form of heat. The heat absorbed by the old Soo dock absorbed and radiated that energy to melt off the snow from the ice around it, making it very reflective.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
The glow from the city is bright enough to read by.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
On the left, the formula for the sintering mix was written (“mischungszusammenselzung”) to keep track of the jobs.
The left cave is the largest of the three, and shows the most evidence of expansion.
Note the pit is filled in here.
“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…”
The crumbling building barely contained the colors inside of it.
A door covered in pen graffiti.
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.
This concrete sections supported a coal tower that loaded the larry.
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.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
The classic Solvay shot. Everyone has it.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
One of the staircases that connected the lab, the plant, and the offices.
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.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
A matrix panorama of the brewhouse staircase, post-scrapping. So pretty…
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.
Just outside of the blast furnace is a series of platforms and catwalks to bring workers to the stoves.
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.
In the soft wood of the machine, an employee left their mark.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
Furnace #7, as seen from #6’s catwalks. Cue morning fog.
Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
The old hospital (left) and ugly modern additions (right).