From the summer a bunch of Australians visited Minnesota.
Reflections of graffiti during spring melt.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
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.
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.
…out of our depth.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
On the left, the formula for the sintering mix was written (“mischungszusammenselzung”) to keep track of the jobs.
The classic Solvay shot. Everyone has it.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
Next to the pit in the maintenance shop is “The Wall”… where rail workers wrote about interesting happenings at Shoreham.
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.
Police tape marks were kids got hurt in the past… probably from falling from the unstable catwalk above.
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.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
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
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
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 skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
Furnace #6; its catwalk and tapway. Note the lever-operated gutter-blockers.
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
A rooftop scene.
The grain-centric buildings had automatic fire doors.
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.
Downtown and the blight.
When the building switched souls from booze to bread, these contraptions were mounted across the brewhouse floors… they’re not for hops, either.
90% of Brach’s looks like this. Concrete walls, mushroom pillars, and water over the floor.
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 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 ugly modern staircases.
I really liked the bulky pillars on this outer-ring cottage.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
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.
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.
At an abandoned train repair shop.
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.
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.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
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.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
One of the staircases that connected the lab, the plant, and the offices.
Watching the sun set behind downtown Detroit is my favorite memory from the building.
Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.
Spring melt flows down the rusty rock house. In the background is the frame for the shaft.
The city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.
These stairs were probably removed to discourage scrapping and graffiti. Ask me if it worked.
Sleeping bags mark this former courtyard as a crash pad for the local homeless.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
Furnace #7, as seen from #6’s catwalks. Cue morning fog.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.
A machine to cast copper billets.
An iron gate separates vaults below the barracks.
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.
A polaroid (FP100c, actually) of the newer grain car dumper.
Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.
Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
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 roof compromised, rain water rolls down the main stairway.
A theater turned skate park. How did that happen?
In the soft wood of the machine, an employee left their mark.
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.
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.
This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.
From the boarded-up choir loft above the chapel, minutes after sunrise. Obviously local kids have long had their way with this landmark.
I wonder how polluted that water is.
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.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
Just outside of the blast furnace is a series of platforms and catwalks to bring workers to the stoves.
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.
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.
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
A colorful makeshift wall.
Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.
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.
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
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.
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.
The main floor of the hospital was crammed with furniture.
A natural reaction with this kind of view.
Between the catwalks of Furnace 6, the molted ore would flow through the chute.
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”)
C’mon, guys. PIck up to trash.
I like to imagine this as fountain.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.
The top of the annex was bare except for these holes into the silos below.
The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…
At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.
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.
The tops of the coke stoves.
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.
In its later years, metal was welded over every door and window on the ground floor.
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
This concrete sections supported a coal tower that loaded the larry.
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.
Whoever did this: good job. You get it.
The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
My friends know that redheads are my greatest weakness.
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.
Old parts catalogs litter the floor. The office overlooks empty shelves. Graffiti glue peeling paint in place.
Harris Machinery rests under snow on the left. Two explorers enjoy the view.
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.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
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 matrix panorama of the brewhouse staircase, post-scrapping. So pretty…
Looking through the dark door at Shaft 3, when my naked eyes could only make out a staircase lit dimly from above.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
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.
A ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
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.
I’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
From the catwalks below the hoisting motor in Shaft No. 1.
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.
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.
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 door covered in pen graffiti.
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?
In what has turned into a kind of industrial courtyard between four ovens some people have posted their tags. X was here.
To the right is the spiral staircase. This building had a definite “floor problem”.
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.
The projector booth, above the balcony in the auditorium.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
A typical hallway in the rocket assembly line.
These machines are at least 100 years old.
Platforms and abandoned outbuildings, as seen in 2005.
The glow from the city is bright enough to read by.
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 typical stretch of the assembly line.
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.
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
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.
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
The bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
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.
A long exposure panorama of Electric Steel and Kurth from the roof of Russell Miller B, days before it was demolished.
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.
One last look in the mirror before you turn around and walk onstage…
The stairs that connect the breakwater and light station (Leica M6/Kodak Ektar).
See http://www.thecarriedeer.com/ for details.
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.
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4 looks rough these days. You can tell how high the children of Thunder Bay can throw a rock.
A burned and rusted control panel in the corner of the new hoist room.
Looking up the grand stair at the second floor.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
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.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.
A retrofitted dust collector stands out from the geometry of the roofline.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
I follow this advice every day. You should too.
The back of the Lyric, including the offices at the back of the theater.
The old hospital (left) and ugly modern additions (right).
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.
All electrical rooms were surrounded by walls, for obvious reasons. Now all the walls are gone, for reasons less obvious.
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.
Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.
Another. Planet. Coal crushers and the coke loading line.
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 is one of the rooms near Shaft 1 that was converted to be a Dry Room, where workers would wash and change between shifts.
This building is now being used to grow fish.
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.
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!
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
A look down the 1950s foundry building, moments after sunset.
Copper thieves haven’t left anything behind but the shell.
Strange graffiti in a side room. Someone was having fun…
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.
One of the few doors.
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.
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 sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
“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…”
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.
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
The long control room overlooks giant caps where equipment was removed long ago.
Two charmers, I’m sure. This area was a coal pit for the nearby power plant.