Rust undermines the decade old graffiti on the steel bin.
Jef throws open the back door of an alley for the trailing photographers and historians.
In the soft wood of the machine, an employee left their mark.
Note the pit is filled in here.
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.
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 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.
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.
This concrete sections supported a coal tower that loaded the larry.
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
Strange graffiti in a side room. Someone was having fun…
Many outdoor areas of the plant have become unofficial city dumps. The skeleton doesn’t care.
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.
Watching the sun set behind downtown Detroit is my favorite memory from the building.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
A burned and rusted control panel in the corner of the new hoist room.
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
The old hospital (left) and ugly modern additions (right).
When the building switched souls from booze to bread, these contraptions were mounted across the brewhouse floors… they’re not for hops, either.
All electrical rooms were surrounded by walls, for obvious reasons. Now all the walls are gone, for reasons less obvious.
A colorful makeshift wall.
The classic Solvay shot. Everyone has it.
The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…
Whoever did this: good job. You get it.
The back of the Lyric, including the offices at the back of the theater.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
From the boarded-up choir loft above the chapel, minutes after sunrise. Obviously local kids have long had their way with this landmark.
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.
It’s a small world… look at it.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
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
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 Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
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 State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
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.
One of the staircases that connected the lab, the plant, and the offices.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
Between the catwalks of Furnace 6, the molted ore would flow through the chute.
The tops of the coke stoves.
Sleeping bags mark this former courtyard as a crash pad for the local homeless.
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 cut made for the streetcar tunnel. It looks like there is a door in the wall, but it’s an optical illusion.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
Looking up the grand stair at the second floor.
A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
Early bird catches the shadow of Battle Mountain blaring across the ghost town.
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.
One last look in the mirror before you turn around and walk onstage…
The projector booth, above the balcony in the auditorium.
Furnace #6; its catwalk and tapway. Note the lever-operated gutter-blockers.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
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.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
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.
In its later years, metal was welded over every door and window on the ground floor.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
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.
Two signatures complement this gorgeous hand-painted sign. ‘Bowers’ from 1987 and ‘Normal’ from 1982. The blocking on the letters is still visible!
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
The stairs that connect the breakwater and light station (Leica M6/Kodak Ektar).
Squinting from the top floor through the skyway, one can feel small, like they’re in a heavy industrial dollhouse.
Death. About two seconds after the explosives were triggered.
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…
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
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 office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4 looks rough these days. You can tell how high the children of Thunder Bay can throw a rock.
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 up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
A natural reaction with this kind of view.
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.
In what has turned into a kind of industrial courtyard between four ovens some people have posted their tags. X was here.
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
From the catwalks below the hoisting motor in Shaft No. 1.
The roof compromised, rain water rolls down the main stairway.
These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.
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”)
A retrofitted dust collector stands out from the geometry of the roofline.
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
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.
Sunbeams under the sintering belt. Support cradles for the wires crossing the factory are falling down.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
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.
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.
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
I like to imagine this as fountain.
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 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.
Platforms and abandoned outbuildings, as seen in 2005.
The first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
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 small machine shop level.
Next to the pit in the maintenance shop is “The Wall”… where rail workers wrote about interesting happenings at Shoreham.
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?
Police tape marks were kids got hurt in the past… probably from falling from the unstable catwalk above.
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.
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.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
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 concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
Just outside of the blast furnace is a series of platforms and catwalks to bring workers to the stoves.
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
The glow from the city is bright enough to read by.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
…a little close for comfort.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
A depiction of historic Liège, known for its rivers and hills.
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
Another. Planet. Coal crushers and the coke loading line.
A polaroid (FP100c, actually) of the newer grain car dumper.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
A typical stretch of the assembly line.
At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.
I really liked the bulky pillars on this outer-ring cottage.
A rooftop scene.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
Downtown and the blight.
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.
An iron gate separates vaults below the barracks.
Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.
This is how the warehouse looks today.
Two charmers, I’m sure. This area was a coal pit for the nearby power plant.
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.
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.
A bird near the old schoolyard.
Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.
…out of our depth.
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
The top of the barracks staircase.
See http://www.thecarriedeer.com/ for details.
At night the city lights blast through the broken windows, casting crazy colors through the off-white interior of the mill.
A theater turned skate park. How did that happen?
My friends know that redheads are my greatest weakness.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
A ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
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 bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
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.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
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.
The grain-centric buildings had automatic fire doors.
A door covered in pen graffiti.
I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.
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.
Looking through the dark door at Shaft 3, when my naked eyes could only make out a staircase lit dimly from above.
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.
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.
The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
The top of the annex was bare except for these holes into the silos below.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
An impressive message for graffiti in a Detroit warehouse, but then again look at these steam pumps. Over-built and under-appreciated.
I wonder how polluted that water is.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
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.
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.
The back of the mill reads “Red River Milling Company”
A long exposure panorama of Electric Steel and Kurth from the roof of Russell Miller B, days before it was demolished.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At an abandoned train repair shop.
Additional Sacred Heart Building (1949) Collapse, 2012, Courtesy Chris Naffziger @ http://stlouispatina.blogspot.com/2011/12/st-marys-infirmary.html
A machine to cast copper billets.
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.
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.
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.
Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
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.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
On the upper floors where the sunlight is yellow–the color of flour dust, once exposed to the elements.
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
A look down the 1950s foundry building, moments after sunset.
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.
90% of Brach’s looks like this. Concrete walls, mushroom pillars, and water over the floor.
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.
Furnace #7, as seen from #6’s catwalks. Cue morning fog.
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.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
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.