Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
Many outdoor areas of the plant have become unofficial city dumps. The skeleton doesn’t care.
Another. Planet. Coal crushers and the coke loading line.
A typical stretch of the assembly line.
At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.
…a little close for comfort.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
I really liked the bulky pillars on this outer-ring cottage.
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.
Reflections of graffiti during spring melt.
A different kind of tree fort.
This is how the warehouse looks today.
The bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
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.
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.
The glow from the city is bright enough to read by.
A colorful makeshift wall.
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
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
Rust undermines the decade old graffiti on the steel bin.
The first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
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.
A board to track which miners are underground. Low tech, but very effective.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
The tops of the coke stoves.
In its later years, metal was welded over every door and window on the ground floor.
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 bird near the old schoolyard.
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”.
It’s a small world… look at it.
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 door covered in pen graffiti.
These stairs were probably removed to discourage scrapping and graffiti. Ask me if it worked.
A theater turned skate park. How did that happen?
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.
Two signatures complement this gorgeous hand-painted sign. ‘Bowers’ from 1987 and ‘Normal’ from 1982. The blocking on the letters is still visible!
I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.
The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
Rims where bulbs were, light were motors were, stairs were people were.
The grain-centric buildings had automatic fire doors.
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
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.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4 looks rough these days. You can tell how high the children of Thunder Bay can throw a rock.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.
At an abandoned train repair shop.
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
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.
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
Police tape marks were kids got hurt in the past… probably from falling from the unstable catwalk above.
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.
Copper thieves haven’t left anything behind but the shell.
Strange graffiti in a side room. Someone was having fun…
Looking up the grand stair at the second floor.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
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.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
One of the few doors.
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 concrete sections supported a coal tower that loaded the larry.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
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 small machine shop level.
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.
At night the city lights blast through the broken windows, casting crazy colors through the off-white interior of the mill.
What appears to be a building once associated with King Elevator is now a defunct scuba company. To the right of the frame you can see how the concrete on the elevator is beginning to show its rebar.
…out of our depth.
Furnace #6; its catwalk and tapway. Note the lever-operated gutter-blockers.
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.
Sleeping bags mark this former courtyard as a crash pad for the local homeless.
Like looking out of an airship.
Early bird catches the shadow of Battle Mountain blaring across the ghost town.
A machine to cast copper billets.
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.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
The sound of water running in the distance.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
The roof compromised, rain water rolls down the main stairway.
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
I like to imagine this as fountain.
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.
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.
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
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.
Downtown and the blight.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
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 depiction of historic Liège, known for its rivers and hills.
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”)
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
The top of the annex was bare except for these holes into the silos below.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
The left cave is the largest of the three, and shows the most evidence of expansion.
On the upper floors where the sunlight is yellow–the color of flour dust, once exposed to the elements.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
Additional Sacred Heart Building (1949) Collapse, 2012, Courtesy Chris Naffziger @ http://stlouispatina.blogspot.com/2011/12/st-marys-infirmary.html
Old parts catalogs litter the floor. The office overlooks empty shelves. Graffiti glue peeling paint in place.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
All electrical rooms were surrounded by walls, for obvious reasons. Now all the walls are gone, for reasons less obvious.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
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 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 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.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
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 crumbling building barely contained the colors inside of it.
Platforms and abandoned outbuildings, as seen in 2005.
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
Harris Machinery rests under snow on the left. Two explorers enjoy the view.
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
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…
A ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.
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?
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.
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.
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
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.
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.
Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
A matrix panorama of the brewhouse staircase, post-scrapping. So pretty…
See http://www.thecarriedeer.com/ for details.
My friends know that redheads are my greatest weakness.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
A typical hallway in the rocket assembly line.
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.
The city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
When the building switched souls from booze to bread, these contraptions were mounted across the brewhouse floors… they’re not for hops, either.
Note the pit is filled in here.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
Just outside of the blast furnace is a series of platforms and catwalks to bring workers to the stoves.
The long control room overlooks giant caps where equipment was removed long ago.
The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
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.
This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.
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.
Next to the pit in the maintenance shop is “The Wall”… where rail workers wrote about interesting happenings at Shoreham.
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.
Ruined cars abandoned in the generator hall, long after its namesake was scrapped.
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.
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.
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.
Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.
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.
You can see almost ever level of the factory from this spot.
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.
The projector booth, above the balcony in the auditorium.
A look down the 1950s foundry building, moments after sunset.
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.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
A burned and rusted control panel in the corner of the new hoist room.
An impressive message for graffiti in a Detroit warehouse, but then again look at these steam pumps. Over-built and under-appreciated.
A polaroid (FP100c, actually) of the newer grain car dumper.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
Dora, the pagan god of urban explorers, stood little chance off Alfred Street.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
This load of lime seems to have been left right where it was loaded.
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.
“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…”
A natural reaction with this kind of view.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
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.
A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
The old hospital (left) and ugly modern additions (right).
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.
The main floor of the hospital was crammed with furniture.
Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.
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.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
Although the floors are pretty warped, I can’t imagine one could do many tricks off of them.
A retrofitted dust collector stands out from the geometry of the roofline.
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’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
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.
C’mon, guys. PIck up to trash.
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
90% of Brach’s looks like this. Concrete walls, mushroom pillars, and water over the floor.
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.