A typical hallway in the rocket assembly line.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
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 splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
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?
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
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 top of the barracks staircase.
…a little close for comfort.
The crumbling building barely contained the colors inside of it.
One of the ugly modern staircases.
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.
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.
Whoever did this: good job. You get it.
A matrix panorama of the brewhouse staircase, post-scrapping. So pretty…
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.
Sunrise in the orphanage… between classrooms and whispers.
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 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.
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.
One last look in the mirror before you turn around and walk onstage…
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…
A theater turned skate park. How did that happen?
You can see almost ever level of the factory from this spot.
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
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.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
2010. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
The classic Solvay shot. Everyone has it.
This building is now being used to grow fish.
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 ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
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.
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
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 is one of the rooms near Shaft 1 that was converted to be a Dry Room, where workers would wash and change between shifts.
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.
Jef throws open the back door of an alley for the trailing photographers and historians.
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’.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
In the soft wood of the machine, an employee left their mark.
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.
Additional Sacred Heart Building (1949) Collapse, 2012, Courtesy Chris Naffziger @ http://stlouispatina.blogspot.com/2011/12/st-marys-infirmary.html
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.
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.
A depiction of historic Liège, known for its rivers and hills.
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
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.
I really liked the bulky pillars on this outer-ring cottage.
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 small machine shop level.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
My friends know that redheads are my greatest weakness.
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4 looks rough these days. You can tell how high the children of Thunder Bay can throw a rock.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
Furnace #7, as seen from #6’s catwalks. Cue morning fog.
The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.
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!
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
The back of the mill reads “Red River Milling Company”
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
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…
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
Sunbeams under the sintering belt. Support cradles for the wires crossing the factory are falling down.
Looking up the grand stair at the second floor.
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.
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
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.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
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.
See http://www.thecarriedeer.com/ for details.
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
I follow this advice every day. You should too.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
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.
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
The stairs that connect the breakwater and light station (Leica M6/Kodak Ektar).
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.
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 company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
The winch that hauled the sea leg, a decide to unload grain from waiting boats and barges.
C’mon, guys. PIck up to trash.
The long control room overlooks giant caps where equipment was removed long ago.
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.
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
Although the floors are pretty warped, I can’t imagine one could do many tricks off of them.
Looking through the dark door at Shaft 3, when my naked eyes could only make out a staircase lit dimly from above.
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.
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 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.
Next to the pit in the maintenance shop is “The Wall”… where rail workers wrote about interesting happenings at Shoreham.
Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.
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”.
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.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
A rooftop scene.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
To the right is the spiral staircase. This building had a definite “floor problem”.
The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
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 polaroid (FP100c, actually) of the newer grain car dumper.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
Sleeping bags mark this former courtyard as a crash pad for the local homeless.
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
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 projector booth, above the balcony in the auditorium.
These machines are at least 100 years old.
Two signatures complement this gorgeous hand-painted sign. ‘Bowers’ from 1987 and ‘Normal’ from 1982. The blocking on the letters is still visible!
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
One of the few doors.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
“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…”
In what has turned into a kind of industrial courtyard between four ovens some people have posted their tags. X was here.
Reflections of graffiti during spring melt.
I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
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.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
One of the staircases that connected the lab, the plant, and the offices.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
All electrical rooms were surrounded by walls, for obvious reasons. Now all the walls are gone, for reasons less obvious.
A machine to cast copper billets.
Ruined cars abandoned in the generator hall, long after its namesake was scrapped.
The city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
A different kind of tree fort.
Many outdoor areas of the plant have become unofficial city dumps. The skeleton doesn’t care.
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”)
I like to imagine this as fountain.
In its later years, metal was welded over every door and window on the ground floor.
I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
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 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.
The sound of water running in the distance.
These pools looked into the cribbing below 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.
When the building switched souls from booze to bread, these contraptions were mounted across the brewhouse floors… they’re not for hops, either.
The roof compromised, rain water rolls down the main stairway.
Early bird catches the shadow of Battle Mountain blaring across the ghost town.
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 bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
Spring melt flows down the rusty rock house. In the background is the frame for the shaft.
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 main floor of the hospital was crammed with furniture.
Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.
The back of the Lyric, including the offices at the back of the theater.
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 colorful makeshift wall.
It’s a small world… look at it.
From the boarded-up choir loft above the chapel, minutes after sunrise. Obviously local kids have long had their way with this landmark.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
From the summer a bunch of Australians visited Minnesota.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
The left cave is the largest of the three, and shows the most evidence of expansion.
Downtown and the blight.
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 new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
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.
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.
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.
From the catwalks below the hoisting motor in Shaft No. 1.
The first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
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.
On the upper floors where the sunlight is yellow–the color of flour dust, once exposed to the elements.
Note the pit is filled in here.
Two charmers, I’m sure. This area was a coal pit for the nearby power plant.
Copper thieves haven’t left anything behind but the shell.
Police tape marks were kids got hurt in the past… probably from falling from the unstable catwalk above.
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
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.
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.
An iron gate separates vaults below the barracks.
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 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?
…out of our depth.