Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
…out of our depth.
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.
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.
Just outside of the blast furnace is a series of platforms and catwalks to bring workers to the stoves.
A matrix panorama of the brewhouse staircase, post-scrapping. So pretty…
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.
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.
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.
Two charmers, I’m sure. This area was a coal pit for the nearby power plant.
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.
Sunbeams under the sintering belt. Support cradles for the wires crossing the factory are falling down.
These stairs were probably removed to discourage scrapping and graffiti. Ask me if it worked.
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.
Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.
The roof compromised, rain water rolls down the main stairway.
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.
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.
2010. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
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.
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.
A typical hallway in the rocket assembly line.
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.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Furnace #6; its catwalk and tapway. Note the lever-operated gutter-blockers.
Rims where bulbs were, light were motors were, stairs were people were.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
The left cave is the largest of the three, and shows the most evidence of expansion.
The bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
This load of lime seems to have been left right where it was loaded.
Platforms and abandoned outbuildings, as seen in 2005.
These machines are at least 100 years old.
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 soft wood of the machine, an employee left their mark.
A rooftop scene.
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…
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
In its later years, metal was welded over every door and window on the ground floor.
One last look in the mirror before you turn around and walk onstage…
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
“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.
One of the few doors.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
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.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
At night the city lights blast through the broken windows, casting crazy colors through the off-white interior of the mill.
Whoever did this: good job. You get it.
I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
Like looking out of an airship.
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.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
I wonder how polluted that water is.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.
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.
To the right is the spiral staircase. This building had a definite “floor problem”.
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.
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 top of the annex was bare except for these holes into the silos below.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Furnace #7, as seen from #6’s catwalks. Cue morning fog.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
A depiction of historic Liège, known for its rivers and hills.
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
My friends know that redheads are my greatest weakness.
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
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.
The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.
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.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
The classic Solvay shot. Everyone has it.
90% of Brach’s looks like this. Concrete walls, mushroom pillars, and water over the floor.
A door covered in pen graffiti.
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 largest extant structure when I visited.
Death. About two seconds after the explosives were triggered.
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.
You can see almost ever level of the factory from this spot.
On the left, the formula for the sintering mix was written (“mischungszusammenselzung”) to keep track of the jobs.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
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.
Copper thieves haven’t left anything behind but the shell.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.
One of the staircases that connected the lab, the plant, and the offices.
I like to imagine this as fountain.
Strange graffiti in a side room. Someone was having fun…
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
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
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.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
Looking up the grand stair at the second floor.
A bird near the old schoolyard.
A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.
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.
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
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 bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
I’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
The tops of the coke stoves.
The grain-centric buildings had automatic fire doors.
These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
This building is now being used to grow fish.
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 “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
The stairs that connect the breakwater and light station (Leica M6/Kodak Ektar).
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.
Harris Machinery rests under snow on the left. Two explorers enjoy the view.
See http://www.thecarriedeer.com/ for details.
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.
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.
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 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.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
The sound of water running in the distance.
Police tape marks were kids got hurt in the past… probably from falling from the unstable catwalk above.
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.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…
It’s a small world… look at it.
Ruined cars abandoned in the generator hall, long after its namesake was scrapped.
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.
Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
The city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.
The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.
I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
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.
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.
Jef throws open the back door of an alley for the trailing photographers and historians.
C’mon, guys. PIck up to trash.
Rust undermines the decade old graffiti on the steel bin.
A theater turned skate park. How did that happen?
Watching the sun set behind downtown Detroit is my favorite memory from the building.
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?
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.
In what has turned into a kind of industrial courtyard between four ovens some people have posted their tags. X was here.
Although the floors are pretty warped, I can’t imagine one could do many tricks off of them.
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4 looks rough these days. You can tell how high the children of Thunder Bay can throw a rock.
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.
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
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.
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
Additional Sacred Heart Building (1949) Collapse, 2012, Courtesy Chris Naffziger @ http://stlouispatina.blogspot.com/2011/12/st-marys-infirmary.html
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
A small machine shop level.
The crumbling building barely contained the colors inside of it.
The back of the mill reads “Red River Milling Company”
All electrical rooms were surrounded by walls, for obvious reasons. Now all the walls are gone, for reasons less obvious.
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
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 splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
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 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.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
An impressive message for graffiti in a Detroit warehouse, but then again look at these steam pumps. Over-built and under-appreciated.
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.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
The glow from the city is bright enough to read by.
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.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
From the catwalks below the hoisting motor in Shaft No. 1.
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
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?
Another. Planet. Coal crushers and the coke loading line.
Spring melt flows down the rusty rock house. In the background is the frame for the shaft.
…a little close for comfort.
Early bird catches the shadow of Battle Mountain blaring across the ghost town.