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.
Don Crist ’83. Brick Graffiti Series.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
From the boarded-up choir loft above the chapel, minutes after sunrise. Obviously local kids have long had their way with this landmark.
I’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
A typical stretch of the assembly line.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
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.
The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
My friends know that redheads are my greatest weakness.
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.
One of the staircases that connected the lab, the plant, and the offices.
The city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.
Furnace #7, as seen from #6’s catwalks. Cue morning fog.
Rims where bulbs were, light were motors were, stairs were people were.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
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.
See http://www.thecarriedeer.com/ for details.
Although the floors are pretty warped, I can’t imagine one could do many tricks off of them.
A rooftop scene.
…a little close for comfort.
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.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
An impressive message for graffiti in a Detroit warehouse, but then again look at these steam pumps. Over-built and under-appreciated.
One last look in the mirror before you turn around and walk onstage…
I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.
The tops of the coke stoves.
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.
Early bird catches the shadow of Battle Mountain blaring across the ghost town.
Downtown and the blight.
In its later years, metal was welded over every door and window on the ground floor.
From the catwalks below the hoisting motor in Shaft No. 1.
Next to the pit in the maintenance shop is “The Wall”… where rail workers wrote about interesting happenings at Shoreham.
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.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
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.
The main floor of the hospital was crammed with furniture.
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 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.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
A depiction of historic Liège, known for its rivers and hills.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
A small machine shop level.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
Note the pit is filled in here.
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.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
Furnace #6; its catwalk and tapway. Note the lever-operated gutter-blockers.
A ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
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.
This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.
The back of the Lyric, including the offices at the back of the theater.
On the upper floors where the sunlight is yellow–the color of flour dust, once exposed to the elements.
It’s a small world… look at it.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
Harris Machinery rests under snow on the left. Two explorers enjoy the view.
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
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”.
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
Platforms and abandoned outbuildings, as seen in 2005.
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.
Another. Planet. Coal crushers and the coke loading line.
Looking up the grand stair at the second floor.
At night the city lights blast through the broken windows, casting crazy colors through the off-white interior of the mill.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
Between the catwalks of Furnace 6, the molted ore would flow through the chute.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
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.
Rust undermines the decade old graffiti on the steel bin.
The roof compromised, rain water rolls down the main stairway.
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.
Squinting from the top floor through the skyway, one can feel small, like they’re in a heavy industrial dollhouse.
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.
Police tape marks were kids got hurt in the past… probably from falling from the unstable catwalk above.
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
“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…”
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
A typical hallway in the rocket assembly line.
One of the ugly modern staircases.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
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.
Strange graffiti in a side room. Someone was having fun…
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.
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.
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
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.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
This is how the warehouse looks today.
Just outside of the blast furnace is a series of platforms and catwalks to bring workers to the stoves.
Many outdoor areas of the plant have become unofficial city dumps. The skeleton doesn’t care.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
The stairs that connect the breakwater and light station (Leica M6/Kodak Ektar).
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
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.
Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.
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
90% of Brach’s looks like this. Concrete walls, mushroom pillars, and water over the floor.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
Spring melt flows down the rusty rock house. In the background is the frame for the shaft.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Copper thieves haven’t left anything behind but the shell.
The Clipper was one of the most popular Packards, but its production was cut short by WWII. Had they produced the car instead of Rolls Royce plane engines I imagine there would might be driving a Packard today, rather than a Ford.
The glow from the city is bright enough to read by.
A look down the 1950s foundry building, moments after sunset.
The old hospital (left) and ugly modern additions (right).
The left cave is the largest of the three, and shows the most evidence of expansion.
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.
At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.
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 matrix panorama of the brewhouse staircase, post-scrapping. So pretty…
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.
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 sound of water running in the distance.
A polaroid (FP100c, actually) of the newer grain car dumper.
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.
A door covered in pen graffiti.
The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
Like looking out of an airship.
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
A machine to cast copper billets.
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.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
I like to imagine this as fountain.
I follow this advice every day. You should too.
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.
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.
A retrofitted dust collector stands out from the geometry of the roofline.
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.
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
A long exposure panorama of Electric Steel and Kurth from the roof of Russell Miller B, days before it was demolished.
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.
Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.
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.
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.
This building is now being used to grow fish.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
The winch that hauled the sea leg, a decide to unload grain from waiting boats and barges.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
Dora, the pagan god of urban explorers, stood little chance off Alfred Street.
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
Additional Sacred Heart Building (1949) Collapse, 2012, Courtesy Chris Naffziger @ http://stlouispatina.blogspot.com/2011/12/st-marys-infirmary.html
The grain-centric buildings had automatic fire doors.
Death. About two seconds after the explosives were triggered.
Looking through a launcher doorway at an outbuilding… the fire truck garage, if I recall correctly. Fomapan medium format in Pentax 67.
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
2010. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
A colorful makeshift wall.
Looking through the dark door at Shaft 3, when my naked eyes could only make out a staircase lit dimly from above.
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
On the left, the formula for the sintering mix was written (“mischungszusammenselzung”) to keep track of the jobs.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
This concrete sections supported a coal tower that loaded the larry.
A board to track which miners are underground. Low tech, but very effective.
A burned and rusted control panel in the corner of the new hoist room.
One of the few doors.
The crumbling building barely contained the colors inside of it.
These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
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.
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 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.
An iron gate separates vaults below the barracks.
Watching the sun set behind downtown Detroit is my favorite memory from the building.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
Sleeping bags mark this former courtyard as a crash pad for the local homeless.
I wonder what this guy is thinking, walking through the complex.
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.
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.
When the building switched souls from booze to bread, these contraptions were mounted across the brewhouse floors… they’re not for hops, either.
The classic Solvay shot. Everyone has it.
Two charmers, I’m sure. This area was a coal pit for the nearby power plant.
The projector booth, above the balcony in the auditorium.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
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 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.
These machines are at least 100 years old.
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
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.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
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 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.
…out of our depth.