On the upper floors where the sunlight is yellow–the color of flour dust, once exposed to the elements.
A long exposure panorama of Electric Steel and Kurth from the roof of Russell Miller B, days before it was demolished.
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.
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.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
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.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
From the boarded-up choir loft above the chapel, minutes after sunrise. Obviously local kids have long had their way with this landmark.
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.
Rust undermines the decade old graffiti on the steel bin.
90% of Brach’s looks like this. Concrete walls, mushroom pillars, and water over the floor.
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.
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 company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
Sleeping bags mark this former courtyard as a crash pad for the local homeless.
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.
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.
Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.
Next to the pit in the maintenance shop is “The Wall”… where rail workers wrote about interesting happenings at Shoreham.
Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
Another. Planet. Coal crushers and the coke loading line.
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.
I really liked the bulky pillars on this outer-ring cottage.
One of the staircases that connected the lab, the plant, and the offices.
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 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.
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
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.
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
The winch that hauled the sea leg, a decide to unload grain from waiting boats and barges.
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.
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.
At an abandoned train repair shop.
Police tape marks were kids got hurt in the past… probably from falling from the unstable catwalk above.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
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.
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.
Watching the sun set behind downtown Detroit is my favorite memory from the building.
Looking through the dark door at Shaft 3, when my naked eyes could only make out a staircase lit dimly from above.
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.
Additional Sacred Heart Building (1949) Collapse, 2012, Courtesy Chris Naffziger @ http://stlouispatina.blogspot.com/2011/12/st-marys-infirmary.html
Like many mill-style buildings of the time, the Twohy’s loading doors (in this case, the delivery wagon doors) opened to an elevator shaft. This design cut down on loading time, as long as the elevator was operational. Of course, if it was otherwise occupied, there could be no traffic through the exterior doors!
Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.
The classic Solvay shot. Everyone has it.
“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 typical stretch of the assembly line.
A theater turned skate park. How did that happen?
My friends know that redheads are my greatest weakness.
Two charmers, I’m sure. This area was a coal pit for the nearby power plant.
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
A different kind of tree fort.
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
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.
The long control room overlooks giant caps where equipment was removed long ago.
Like looking out of an airship.
A small machine shop level.
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.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
A burned and rusted control panel in the corner of the new hoist room.
Just outside of the blast furnace is a series of platforms and catwalks to bring workers to the stoves.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
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.
Note the pit is filled in here.
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.
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.
This is how the warehouse looks today.
Death. About two seconds after the explosives were triggered.
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?
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 roof compromised, rain water rolls down the main stairway.
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.
Sunrise in the orphanage… between classrooms and whispers.
I wonder how polluted that water is.
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 sound of water running in the distance.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
Dora, the pagan god of urban explorers, stood little chance off Alfred Street.
The city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.
When the building switched souls from booze to bread, these contraptions were mounted across the brewhouse floors… they’re not for hops, either.
Many outdoor areas of the plant have become unofficial city dumps. The skeleton doesn’t care.
The top of the annex was bare except for these holes into the silos below.
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.
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.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
Don Crist ’83. Brick Graffiti Series.
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 historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
The grain-centric buildings had automatic fire doors.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
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
It’s a small world… look at it.
On the left, the formula for the sintering mix was written (“mischungszusammenselzung”) to keep track of the jobs.
…out of our depth.
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.
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.
I wonder if these windows were bricked after the 1950 explosion with the hopes that, if another silos blew, the people in this office would be better protected.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
You can see almost ever level of the factory from this spot.
Looking up the grand stair at the second floor.
The stairs that connect the breakwater and light station (Leica M6/Kodak Ektar).
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
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.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
One of the few doors.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
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 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 parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
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.
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.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
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.
From the summer a bunch of Australians visited Minnesota.
A rooftop scene.
Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.
A retrofitted dust collector stands out from the geometry of the roofline.
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
The old hospital (left) and ugly modern additions (right).
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
Spring melt flows down the rusty rock house. In the background is the frame for the shaft.
Reflections of graffiti during spring melt.
A depiction of historic Liège, known for its rivers and hills.
This building is now being used to grow fish.
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.
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…
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
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.
In the modern control room at the base of the white elevator tower are the electronics that ran the newer building, its rail components and boat-loading component. The superstructure permeates all spaces here, as can be seen with the crossing I-beams in the main office.
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.
I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.
Jef throws open the back door of an alley for the trailing photographers and historians.
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.
A board to track which miners are underground. Low tech, but very effective.
This concrete sections supported a coal tower that loaded the larry.
A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
The crumbling building barely contained the colors inside of it.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
2010. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
Although the floors are pretty warped, I can’t imagine one could do many tricks off of them.
Copper thieves haven’t left anything behind but the shell.
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.
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
The projector booth, above the balcony in the auditorium.
To the right is the spiral staircase. This building had a definite “floor problem”.
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.
A door covered in pen graffiti.
These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.
This load of lime seems to have been left right where it was loaded.
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.
Whoever did this: good job. You get it.
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”)
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 into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
The entry point for the painting shed on the top floor. Cars would have a few feet in between them before they entered. Separate sheds would prime and add color.
Furnace #7, as seen from #6’s catwalks. Cue morning fog.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
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 what has turned into a kind of industrial courtyard between four ovens some people have posted their tags. X was here.
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.
These stairs were probably removed to discourage scrapping and graffiti. Ask me if it worked.
Downtown and the blight.
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.
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.
The first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
Rims where bulbs were, light were motors were, stairs were people were.
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
The glow from the city is bright enough to read by.
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.
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.
The top of the barracks staircase.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
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.
At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.
In its later years, metal was welded over every door and window on the ground floor.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
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.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
All electrical rooms were surrounded by walls, for obvious reasons. Now all the walls are gone, for reasons less obvious.