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.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
The back of the Lyric, including the offices at the back of the theater.
A different kind of tree fort.
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.
The main floor of the hospital was crammed with furniture.
At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
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.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
From the summer a bunch of Australians visited Minnesota.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
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.
All electrical rooms were surrounded by walls, for obvious reasons. Now all the walls are gone, for reasons less obvious.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
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.
This concrete sections supported a coal tower that loaded the larry.
Note the pit is filled in here.
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
Platforms and abandoned outbuildings, as seen in 2005.
This load of lime seems to have been left right where it was loaded.
A burned and rusted control panel in the corner of the new hoist room.
The bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
Police tape marks were kids got hurt in the past… probably from falling from the unstable catwalk above.
The glow from the city is bright enough to read by.
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.
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.
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 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?
Between the catwalks of Furnace 6, the molted ore would flow through the chute.
Just outside of the blast furnace is a series of platforms and catwalks to bring workers to the stoves.
When the building switched souls from booze to bread, these contraptions were mounted across the brewhouse floors… they’re not for hops, either.
Sleeping bags mark this former courtyard as a crash pad for the local homeless.
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 rooftop scene.
In its later years, metal was welded over every door and window on the ground floor.
Sunbeams under the sintering belt. Support cradles for the wires crossing the factory are falling down.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
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.
Looking up the grand stair at the second floor.
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.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.
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.
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.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
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”)
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
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.
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.
The stairs that connect the breakwater and light station (Leica M6/Kodak Ektar).
These machines are at least 100 years old.
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.
It’s a small world… look at it.
A board to track which miners are underground. Low tech, but very effective.
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.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
“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…”
Sunrise in the orphanage… between classrooms and whispers.
C’mon, guys. PIck up to trash.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
The old hospital (left) and ugly modern additions (right).
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
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 colorful makeshift wall.
The first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
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!
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
A polaroid (FP100c, actually) of the newer grain car dumper.
…a little close for comfort.
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.
You can see almost ever level of the factory from this spot.
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
One of the few doors.
Next to the pit in the maintenance shop is “The Wall”… where rail workers wrote about interesting happenings at Shoreham.
Death. About two seconds after the explosives were triggered.
A small machine shop level.
Watching the sun set behind downtown Detroit is my favorite memory from the building.
Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
In the soft wood of the machine, an employee left their mark.
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 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.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
Additional Sacred Heart Building (1949) Collapse, 2012, Courtesy Chris Naffziger @ http://stlouispatina.blogspot.com/2011/12/st-marys-infirmary.html
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
One of the staircases that connected the lab, the plant, and the offices.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
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.
Old parts catalogs litter the floor. The office overlooks empty shelves. Graffiti glue peeling paint in place.
Rust undermines the decade old graffiti on the steel bin.
Furnace #7, as seen from #6’s catwalks. Cue morning fog.
On the upper floors where the sunlight is yellow–the color of flour dust, once exposed to the elements.
Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.
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.
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.
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 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 depiction of historic Liège, known for its rivers and hills.
Strange graffiti in a side room. Someone was having fun…
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
The long control room overlooks giant caps where equipment was removed long ago.
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 building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
An impressive message for graffiti in a Detroit warehouse, but then again look at these steam pumps. Over-built and under-appreciated.
I follow this advice every day. You should too.
A door covered in pen graffiti.
A retrofitted dust collector stands out from the geometry of the roofline.
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
90% of Brach’s looks like this. Concrete walls, mushroom pillars, and water over the floor.
This building is now being used to grow fish.
Whoever did this: good job. You get it.
The top of the annex was bare except for these holes into the silos below.
A natural reaction with this kind of view.
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
Two charmers, I’m sure. This area was a coal pit for the nearby power plant.
The winch that hauled the sea leg, a decide to unload grain from waiting boats and barges.
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.
I really liked the bulky pillars on this outer-ring cottage.
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
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 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 splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
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 view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
A number of skyways carried the production line across roads and railroad tracks in and around the plant. An identical skyway to this one was cut off sometime in the past decade (judging by the rust), probably for its steel.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4 looks rough these days. You can tell how high the children of Thunder Bay can throw a rock.
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.
Although the floors are pretty warped, I can’t imagine one could do many tricks off of them.
A typical hallway in the rocket assembly 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.
This is how the warehouse looks today.
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
The sound of water running in the distance.
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.
Like looking out of an airship.
Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.
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.
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 long exposure panorama of Electric Steel and Kurth from the roof of Russell Miller B, days before it was demolished.
On the left, the formula for the sintering mix was written (“mischungszusammenselzung”) to keep track of the jobs.
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.
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
I wonder how polluted that water is.
A ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
One of the ugly modern staircases.
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.
In what has turned into a kind of industrial courtyard between four ovens some people have posted their tags. X was here.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
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.
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
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 company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
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.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…
Squinting from the top floor through the skyway, one can feel small, like they’re in a heavy industrial dollhouse.
Dora, the pagan god of urban explorers, stood little chance off Alfred Street.
Don Crist ’83. Brick Graffiti Series.
The left cave is the largest of the three, and shows the most evidence of expansion.
Reflections of graffiti during spring melt.
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.
I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.
The tops of the coke stoves.
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 exterior of the factory is unassuming
Rims where bulbs were, light were motors were, stairs were people were.
Spring melt flows down the rusty rock house. In the background is the frame for the shaft.
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.
The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.
These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.
The city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.
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!
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 theater turned skate park. How did that happen?
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.
Another. Planet. Coal crushers and the coke loading line.
Two signatures complement this gorgeous hand-painted sign. ‘Bowers’ from 1987 and ‘Normal’ from 1982. The blocking on the letters is still visible!