graffiti

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.

Carrie Tower

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

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.

Mural

A depiction of historic Liège, known for its rivers and hills.

Gilman Labs

The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.

Huge Skyway

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.

Skylights

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

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.

Collapsed Outfall

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

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.

M2 – (C)SUBSTREET

The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.

Dock Wall Door

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

Teenage Art Gallery

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”)

Slagway

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

Office Hallway

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.

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.

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.

Broken Dust Pipe

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

Concrete Plug

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.

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.

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.

Grain Feeds

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

Not An Exit

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

Blast Walkway

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

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.

Capacity

Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.

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.

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’.

Lost?

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

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.

Dripping Rock Chute

Spring melt flows down the rusty rock house. In the background is the frame for the shaft.

Red Vignette

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

Erekt

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

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.

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.

Lyric Offices

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

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.

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.

Selby Tunnel Portal

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?

Cheratte Shaft No. 3

Looking through the dark door at Shaft 3, when my naked eyes could only make out a staircase lit dimly from above.

Missile Loading Door

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

Pipe Hangers

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

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…

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.

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.

Stack Poof

Death. About two seconds after the explosives were triggered.

Still Studebaker

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.

Mine Cart Shop

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.

Oven Valves

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

Treppenflur

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

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.

Gate 5C

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

Sea Leg Motor

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

Pimped Rides

Ruined cars abandoned in the generator hall, long after its namesake was scrapped.

Third Gate

An iron gate separates vaults below the barracks.

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.

SWP4- The Monster’s Mouth

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.

Open Silos

Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.

Shaft No. 1 Hoisting Motor

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.

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.

Servir

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

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.

Carved: PAIGE

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

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.

Crating Building

The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.

Backstage

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.

Ghost

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

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…

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.

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.

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.

Shaft No. 1 Tower

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.

Firedoor

Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!

Fragile Death Trap

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

Hoist Controls

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

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?

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.

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.

Under Fort Liege

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

Colorful Night

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

Mountain Sunrise

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

Old Ward

Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.

Graffiti on the Blacksmith’s Door-(C)SUSBTREET.org

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.

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.

ADM-Delmar #1- Skyway Demolished

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.

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.

Swirl – (C)SUBSTREET

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

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.

Fort Liege Sign

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

Twin Caves

The left cave is the largest of the three, and shows the most evidence of expansion.

Scuttled Skyway

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

Stock Office

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

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.

Art Project

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

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.

Pools

These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.

Grand Staircase

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

GMF Ladder

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

Clowns

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

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”.

Low Gain

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

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.

Parking Lot

The parking lot is in better condition than most of the complex. The left building is the lab.

Love You

The classic Solvay shot. Everyone has it.

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.

Interurban Tourguide

Jef throws open the back door of an alley for the trailing photographers and historians.

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.

Tankless Brewhouse

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

ADM Labs- LIVE

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

Skyway

The exterior of the factory is unassuming

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.

Oasis

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

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

Stack Windows

The bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.

Stair Problem

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

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.

Mushroom Pillars

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

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.

Ghetto Courtyard

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

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