Sleeping bags mark this former courtyard as a crash pad for the local homeless.
One last look in the mirror before you turn around and walk onstage…
At an abandoned train repair shop.
The left cave is the largest of the three, and shows the most evidence of expansion.
90% of Brach’s looks like this. Concrete walls, mushroom pillars, and water over the floor.
The projector booth, above the balcony in the auditorium.
Don Crist ’83. Brick Graffiti Series.
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 roof compromised, rain water rolls down the main stairway.
Early bird catches the shadow of Battle Mountain blaring across the ghost town.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
From the boarded-up choir loft above the chapel, minutes after sunrise. Obviously local kids have long had their way with this landmark.
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.
“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…”
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
The main floor of the hospital was crammed with furniture.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
This building is now being used to grow fish.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
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.
Another. Planet. Coal crushers and the coke loading line.
One of the ugly modern staircases.
At night the city lights blast through the broken windows, casting crazy colors through the off-white interior of the mill.
Jef throws open the back door of an alley for the trailing photographers and historians.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
A depiction of historic Liège, known for its rivers and hills.
The glow from the city is bright enough to read by.
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
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…
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
Spring melt flows down the rusty rock house. In the background is the frame for the shaft.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
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.
A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
…out of our depth.
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.
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.
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.
An iron gate separates vaults below the barracks.
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.
I’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
The grain-centric buildings had automatic fire doors.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
A polaroid (FP100c, actually) of the newer grain car dumper.
Many outdoor areas of the plant have become unofficial city dumps. The skeleton doesn’t care.
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.
The crumbling building barely contained the colors inside of it.
Copper thieves haven’t left anything behind but the shell.
A typical stretch of the assembly line.
I follow this advice every day. You should too.
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 company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
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.
A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.
I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
On the left, the formula for the sintering mix was written (“mischungszusammenselzung”) to keep track of the jobs.
Next to the pit in the maintenance shop is “The Wall”… where rail workers wrote about interesting happenings at Shoreham.
I wonder how polluted that water is.
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.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
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.
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 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.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
Looking through the dark door at Shaft 3, when my naked eyes could only make out a staircase lit dimly from above.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
Sunrise in the orphanage… between classrooms and whispers.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
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 tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
A machine to cast copper billets.
The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
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.
All electrical rooms were surrounded by walls, for obvious reasons. Now all the walls are gone, for reasons less obvious.
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.
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.
Squinting from the top floor through the skyway, one can feel small, like they’re in a heavy industrial dollhouse.
Whoever did this: good job. You get it.
Two charmers, I’m sure. This area was a coal pit for the nearby power plant.
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.
Rust undermines the decade old graffiti on the steel bin.
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.
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
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
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
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.
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
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.
Rims where bulbs were, light were motors were, stairs were people were.
A ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Reflections of graffiti during spring melt.
A matrix panorama of the brewhouse staircase, post-scrapping. So pretty…
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.
A bird near the old schoolyard.
Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.
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”.
Between the catwalks of Furnace 6, the molted ore would flow through the chute.
Two signatures complement this gorgeous hand-painted sign. ‘Bowers’ from 1987 and ‘Normal’ from 1982. The blocking on the letters is still visible!
A door covered in pen graffiti.
The top of the barracks staircase.
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 tops of the coke stoves.
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 main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
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.
Furnace #6; its catwalk and tapway. Note the lever-operated gutter-blockers.
Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
A theater turned skate park. How did that happen?
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.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
Strange graffiti in a side room. Someone was having fun…
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.
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.
An impressive message for graffiti in a Detroit warehouse, but then again look at these steam pumps. Over-built and under-appreciated.
The stairs that connect the breakwater and light station (Leica M6/Kodak Ektar).
A burned and rusted control panel in the corner of the new hoist room.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
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.
My friends know that redheads are my greatest weakness.
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 really liked the bulky pillars on this outer-ring cottage.
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 back of the mill reads “Red River Milling Company”
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.
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
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.
Old parts catalogs litter the floor. The office overlooks empty shelves. Graffiti glue peeling paint in place.
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.
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.
One of the few doors.
The long control room overlooks giant caps where equipment was removed long ago.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
To the right is the spiral staircase. This building had a definite “floor problem”.
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?
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree 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.
The winch that hauled the sea leg, a decide to unload grain from waiting boats and barges.
Downtown and the blight.
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.
Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.
A natural reaction with this kind of view.
Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.
See http://www.thecarriedeer.com/ for details.
…a little close for comfort.
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…
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.
The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.
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.
A small machine shop level.
The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.
These machines are at least 100 years old.
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.
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
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.
Like looking out of an airship.
Looking up the grand stair at the second floor.
Harris Machinery rests under snow on the left. Two explorers enjoy the view.
This concrete sections supported a coal tower that loaded the larry.
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.
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.
Furnace #7, as seen from #6’s catwalks. Cue morning fog.
A colorful makeshift wall.
A long exposure panorama of Electric Steel and Kurth from the roof of Russell Miller B, days before it was demolished.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
Although the floors are pretty warped, I can’t imagine one could do many tricks off of them.
In its later years, metal was welded over every door and window on the ground floor.
This is how the warehouse looks today.
In the soft wood of the machine, an employee left their mark.
I like to imagine this as fountain.
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
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.
A rooftop scene.
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
The top of the annex was bare except for these holes into the silos below.
C’mon, guys. PIck up to trash.
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.
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.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
The back of the Lyric, including the offices at the back of the theater.
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
Watching the sun set behind downtown Detroit is my favorite memory from the building.
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.