graffiti

Ghetto Courtyard

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

Twin Caves

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

Mushroom Pillars

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

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.

Mountain Sunrise

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

Grand Staircase

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

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.

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.

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…”

Firedoor

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

Brach’s Headquarters

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

Fort Liege Sign

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

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.

Colorful Night

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

Interurban Tourguide

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

Crating Building

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

Mural

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

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.

Servir

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

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…

Dripping Rock Chute

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

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.

Not An Exit

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

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.

Capacity

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

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.

Third Gate

An iron gate separates vaults below the barracks.

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.

Tire Dump

Many outdoor areas of the plant have become unofficial city dumps. The skeleton doesn’t care.

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 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.

Gilman Labs

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

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.

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.

Low Gain

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

Lost?

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

Mischungszusammenselzung

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

The Wall

Next to the pit in the maintenance shop is “The Wall”… where rail workers wrote about interesting happenings at Shoreham.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Open Silos

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

Art Project

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

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.

Under Fort Liege

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

Ghost

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

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.

Distrubution Room

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

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.

Scuttled Skyway

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

Oasis

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

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.

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.

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

Upper Vault

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Pipe Hangers

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

Collapsed Outfall

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

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.

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.

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”.

Slagway

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

Blast Furnace Six

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

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.

Skyway

The exterior of the factory is unassuming

Clowns

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

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.

Pools

These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.

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.

Hoist Controls

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

Old Ward

Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.

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.

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.

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.

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.

King- Ruined Office

A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.

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.

Stock Office

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

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.

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.

Control Room

The long control room overlooks giant caps where equipment was removed long ago.

Fragile Death Trap

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

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?

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.

Sea Leg Motor

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

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.

Carrie Tower

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

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.

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…

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.

Battery Stack

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

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.

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’.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Broken Dust Pipe

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

Red Vignette

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

Carved: PAIGE

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

Tankless Brewhouse

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

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.

Entre

An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.

Annex Work Floor

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

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.

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.

Lyric Offices

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

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.

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