graffiti

Erekt

The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.

Distrubution Room

All electrical rooms were surrounded by walls, for obvious reasons. Now all the walls are gone, for reasons less obvious.

SWP4- Car Dump (Polaroid)

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.

Broken Dust Pipe

It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.

Sea Leg Motor

The winch that hauled the sea leg, a decide to unload grain from waiting boats and barges.

Mischungszusammenselzung

On the left, the formula for the sintering mix was written (“mischungszusammenselzung”) to keep track of the jobs.

SWP4- Too Many Pool Parties

Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4 looks rough these days. You can tell how high the children of Thunder Bay can throw a rock.

Twelve Steps

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.

Ghost Truck

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.

Say Remiss

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.

Levels

A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.

Machine Stand – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Smoked Ales

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.

Hoist Operator Booth

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.

Annex Work Floor

The top of the annex was bare except for these holes into the silos below.

Outbuilding (Fomapan 100)

Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.

Ghost

The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.

Profile – (C)SUBSTREET

Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.

9am in the Mine Shops

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

SWP4- Offices

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.

Rauchfang

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?

Under Fort Liege

A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.

Palms

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.

ADM-Delmar #4- Mill Hell

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.

Vines in the Workshop

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.

Roof Walk

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.

Inside Gunnell Mine

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.

Upper Vault

A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.

The Original Tumblr

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.

Slagway

Between the catwalks of Furnace 6, the molted ore would flow through the chute.

Gate 5C

It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.

Receiving Room Panorama – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Electric Steel Garden

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.

Red Vignette

In its later years, metal was welded over every door and window on the ground floor.

Just Add Cranes – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Glass Block – (C)SUBSTREET

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…

Blast Walkway

Just outside of the blast furnace is a series of platforms and catwalks to bring workers to the stoves.

A Factory Wants

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.

Backfill Self-Portrait

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.

Stock Office

Old parts catalogs litter the floor. The office overlooks empty shelves. Graffiti glue peeling paint in place.

Waterlogged Logbook

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.

King- Abandoned Scuba Building

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.

Saturation Controls

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.

Ghetto Courtyard

Sleeping bags mark this former courtyard as a crash pad for the local homeless.

Brach’s Interior Corridor

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.

Third Gate

An iron gate separates vaults below the barracks.

Bunker Beam

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.

Fragile Death Trap

To the right is the spiral staircase. This building had a definite “floor problem”.

Skylights

Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.

We Have Arrived

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.

ADM Meal Storage- December Fog

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.

Orphan Chapel

From the boarded-up choir loft above the chapel, minutes after sunrise. Obviously local kids have long had their way with this landmark.

Colorful Night

At night the city lights blast through the broken windows, casting crazy colors through the off-white interior of the mill.

Elevator Door

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!

Low Gain

I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.

Brach’s Headquarters

The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.

Fisher Penthouse

Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.

Back Door

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.

custer had it coming

Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.

Foggy 51

The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…

Blast Furnace Six

Furnace #6; its catwalk and tapway. Note the lever-operated gutter-blockers.

Carved: PAIGE

In the soft wood of the machine, an employee left their mark.

Collapsed Outfall

A ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Sun-Shined Ice

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.

Drain to Scale

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.

Missile Loading Door

This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.

Lost?

The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.

Lyric Offices

The back of the Lyric, including the offices at the back of the theater.

Dock Wall Door

The city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.

IN MINE

A board to track which miners are underground. Low tech, but very effective.

Brewery Creek Waterfall

Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.

Mushroom Pillars

90% of Brach’s looks like this. Concrete walls, mushroom pillars, and water over the floor.

Side of the Coating Line

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.

A Certain Industrial Elegance – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Hoist Room Panorama

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.

Hoist Controls

A burned and rusted control panel in the corner of the new hoist room.

Elevator Pulley

Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.

Stair Problem

These stairs were probably removed to discourage scrapping and graffiti. Ask me if it worked.

Warehouse Elevator – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

From the Old Mill

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.

ADM Labs- LIVE

Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.

Pipe Hangers

Rims where bulbs were, light were motors were, stairs were people were.

Clowns

Strange graffiti in a side room. Someone was having fun…

Shaft No. 3 Hoist Shell

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.

Fort Liege Sign

A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.

Servir

Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.

Art Project

Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.

Swirl – (C)SUBSTREET

Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!

Electric Steel- Bush

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”.

Not An Exit

A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.

Success

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.

Kernel Crusher

When the building switched souls from booze to bread, these contraptions were mounted across the brewhouse floors… they’re not for hops, either.

To Station – To Offices

Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!

Battery Stack

The taller of the two smokestacks on site. Note the crack around its crown.

Elevators

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.

Mountain Sunrise

Early bird catches the shadow of Battle Mountain blaring across the ghost town.

Grain Feeds

I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.

Scuttled Skyway

Squinting from the top floor through the skyway, one can feel small, like they’re in a heavy industrial dollhouse.

Concrete Meets Stone

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.

LP Hand Warmer

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

Launch Lights

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.

Coke Shack

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.

Lost Going Nowhere

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.

Tankless Brewhouse

Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.

Survey

“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…”

Danger Room

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.

Sifters with Manlift

On the upper floors where the sunlight is yellow–the color of flour dust, once exposed to the elements.

Carrie Tower

Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.

Boiler Shop Door – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Treppenflur

One of the staircases that connected the lab, the plant, and the offices.

ADM-Delmar #4- Top of the World

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.

Oven Valves

In what has turned into a kind of industrial courtyard between four ovens some people have posted their tags. X was here.

Detroit Algae

This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.

Grand Staircase

The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.

Stoker Notes

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.

Hot Metal Trench

The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.

GMF Ladder

Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.

Paint Line

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.

Drop-Dead Hoist-House

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.

Oasis

Two charmers, I’m sure. This area was a coal pit for the nearby power plant.

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