Looking through the dark door at Shaft 3, when my naked eyes could only make out a staircase lit dimly from above.
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…
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
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?
This concrete sections supported a coal tower that loaded the larry.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
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.
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
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.
Just outside of the blast furnace is a series of platforms and catwalks to bring workers to the stoves.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
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.
My friends know that redheads are my greatest weakness.
Next to the pit in the maintenance shop is “The Wall”… where rail workers wrote about interesting happenings at Shoreham.
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
Although the floors are pretty warped, I can’t imagine one could do many tricks off of them.
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.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
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.
The tops of the coke stoves.
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.
All electrical rooms were surrounded by walls, for obvious reasons. Now all the walls are gone, for reasons less obvious.
A typical hallway in the rocket 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.
At an abandoned train repair shop.
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.
Another. Planet. Coal crushers and the coke loading line.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
I’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
On the upper floors where the sunlight is yellow–the color of flour dust, once exposed to the elements.
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”.
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
Downtown and the blight.
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
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.
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.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
The winch that hauled the sea leg, a decide to unload grain from waiting boats and barges.
See http://www.thecarriedeer.com/ for details.
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.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
This is how the warehouse looks today.
The classic Solvay shot. Everyone has it.
A door covered in pen graffiti.
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.
Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.
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 city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.
I really liked the bulky pillars on this outer-ring cottage.
A small machine shop level.
These pools looked into the cribbing below the concrete.
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.
A bird near the old schoolyard.
A machine to cast copper billets.
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
The left cave is the largest of the three, and shows the most evidence of expansion.
The top of the annex was bare except for these holes into the silos below.
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.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
Boards on the window are like rings on a tree, if you know how to read abandonments.
Many outdoor areas of the plant have become unofficial city dumps. The skeleton doesn’t care.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
A retrofitted dust collector stands out from the geometry of the roofline.
In its later years, metal was welded over every door and window on the ground floor.
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.
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.
Death. About two seconds after the explosives were triggered.
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
The sound of water running in the distance.
One of the staircases that connected the lab, the plant, and the offices.
One of the ugly modern staircases.
90% of Brach’s looks like this. Concrete walls, mushroom pillars, and water over the floor.
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.
The main floor of the hospital was crammed with furniture.
A polaroid (FP100c, actually) of the newer grain car dumper.
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
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.
A burned and rusted control panel in the corner of the new hoist room.
On the left, the formula for the sintering mix was written (“mischungszusammenselzung”) to keep track of the jobs.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
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?
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
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.
I follow this advice every day. You should too.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
Squinting from the top floor through the skyway, one can feel small, like they’re in a heavy industrial dollhouse.
It’s a small world… look at it.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
Strange graffiti in a side room. Someone was having fun…
These machines are at least 100 years old.
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 natural reaction with this kind of view.
From the summer a bunch of Australians visited Minnesota.
Looking up the grand stair at the second floor.
Two charmers, I’m sure. This area was a coal pit for the nearby power plant.
The crumbling building barely contained the colors inside of it.
One of the few doors.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
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.
Dora, the pagan god of urban explorers, stood little chance off Alfred Street.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
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.
One last look in the mirror before you turn around and walk onstage…
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.
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
Old parts catalogs litter the floor. The office overlooks empty shelves. Graffiti glue peeling paint in place.
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.
Sunrise in the orphanage… between classrooms and whispers.
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.
The stairs that connect the breakwater and light station (Leica M6/Kodak Ektar).
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
Police tape marks were kids got hurt in the past… probably from falling from the unstable catwalk above.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
Platforms and abandoned outbuildings, as seen in 2005.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
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.
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
Some of the earlier buildings were dressed up with brick facades.
These stairs were probably removed to discourage scrapping and graffiti. Ask me if it worked.
The grain-centric buildings had automatic fire doors.
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.
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 projector booth, above the balcony in the auditorium.
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.
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.
I wonder how polluted that water is.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
2010. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
A matrix panorama of the brewhouse staircase, post-scrapping. So pretty…
Rims where bulbs were, light were motors were, stairs were people were.
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.
A colorful makeshift wall.
Whoever did this: good job. You get it.
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4 looks rough these days. You can tell how high the children of Thunder Bay can throw a rock.
Note the pit is filled in here.
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.
I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.
The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
The long control room overlooks giant caps where equipment was removed long ago.
Watching the sun set behind downtown Detroit is my favorite memory from the building.
You can see almost ever level of the factory from this spot.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
A typical stretch of the assembly line.
The top of the barracks staircase.
Some guerilla art for passing drivers on I-94 East to enjoy. Artist unknown.
Furnace #6; its catwalk and tapway. Note the lever-operated gutter-blockers.
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.
The glow from the city is bright enough to read by.
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 depiction of historic Liège, known for its rivers and hills.
An impressive message for graffiti in a Detroit warehouse, but then again look at these steam pumps. Over-built and under-appreciated.
“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…”
This building is now being used to grow fish.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
…a little close for comfort.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
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.
Furnace #7, as seen from #6’s catwalks. Cue morning fog.
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.
Sleeping bags mark this former courtyard as a crash pad for the local homeless.
A ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Early bird catches the shadow of Battle Mountain blaring across the ghost town.
A theater turned skate park. How did that happen?
Sunbeams under the sintering belt. Support cradles for the wires crossing the factory are falling down.
The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…
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.
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.
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
The old hospital (left) and ugly modern additions (right).
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.
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.
From the boarded-up choir loft above the chapel, minutes after sunrise. Obviously local kids have long had their way with this landmark.
The back of the Lyric, including the offices at the back of the theater.
I like to imagine this as fountain.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
Jef throws open the back door of an alley for the trailing photographers and historians.