I’ve written it before, but I like observing the way buildings change in terms of new windows, bricked up doors, and so on, and thinking of how their forms change to reflect the work inside of them.
The meticulously tiled dry house shower floor–cracked by frost.
A little welding art one crosses over near the windlass room.
Two bin signs criss-cross in the North Annex.
This was a living space for the keepers during storms, when it was too dangerous to return to the houses on the point.
In the soft wood of the machine, an employee left their mark.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
Point me to the blast furnace.
A broken window looking through the First Aid Room and into the Control Room in charge of directing grain into ships. You can see one of the large conveyors on the right, clad in green. Chutes and staircases intertwine seemingly randomly through the big empty spaces.
One chute drops grain on a conveyor for storage in the north silo cluster, while another is ready to deposit the flow where the conveyor cannot reach. Instead of engineering the belt to trip in reverse, the silos under the workhouses have their own chutes.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
This is a typical view of the factory; most of it was long hallways flanked by piles of equipment and access points to maintain them.
The flour mill’s interior is really just a system of steel and rubber tubes that crush flour over and over in the gap. This mill was never run off of water power directly, but it used to generate power using the river.
I assume this sign used to sit near the highway that snakes around the mine and town.
One of the early automated painting booths in the paint plant line.
A white star marks the landing between the Keeper’s Quarters (Second Floor) and the radiobeacon and furnace rooms (First Floor).
One of two control towers that reached over the lake. The control panel here was used to move the conveyors over the ship’s hold doors, adjust flow of the taconite, and so on.
On the outside of the steel silos and headhouse is a riveted bulge that does not look like the silos. Inside is this elevator, a rudimentary (read: dangerous) and old (read: dangerous) freight elevator.
In the basement were all the valves to control the flow of municipal steam through the building. This hasty hand letting was beside one such valve, near a carved brick with a name and ‘1934’ under it.
Sunset through a stained window in the headhouse made the floor feel like a heavy industrial Disney movie.
Everything is texture.
A pipe bracket seems to have rusted off of the ceiling.
The King Elevator is connected by a manlift and this spiral staircase. The manlift was down–can you believe it? Note the cool turns in the vertical railings. Arista 100 on 120.
Part of the system below Dock 2.
The coke plant looked more natural through a grimy window.
The steam-powered hoist that pulled ore and dropped men from the mine. Note the hydraulic-operated brake on top with its massive brake pad. Now scrapped.
A closeup of the key to the Dominion (aka Government of Canada) Elevator manlift. That it needed such a guide does not inspire confidence.
A board to track which miners are underground. Low tech, but very effective.
There are so many pipes i the factory–I wonder how many people knew where they all went, in the days these machines operated at capacity.
The basement of the laboratories is the home of the ore grinder. I’m sure it was noisy.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
Looking down at the Port Arthur Ore Dock from Manitoba Pool Elevator #3. The conveyor belts are gone and King Elevator is in the far distance.
One of the many blast doors. Note the plunger to seal off the airflow in the event of an attack or accidental explosion.
The powerplant and its dedicated water tower supplied steam for heating and mechanical work.
The nitrating house was a chemically dangerous place, so it had thick metal and concrete shield for every station right next to an emergency shower.
A manhole cover sealing Clark House Creek below Superior Street.
One of my favorite pictures of the tunnel. I am holding a bike rim and wearing a headlamp. My friend triggered the flash just behind my lower back. The fog is a temperature inversion at the entrance of the tunnel; it was 102 degrees outside of the tunnel and about 50 degrees inside, and humid.
The left wall is stacked high with wooden crates holding spools. Tags hang on machines describing the last batch of silk the mill ever produced.
The power pulley that ran air compressors straight off of the steam plant’s axel.
When the Mitchell project is complete, I’ll miss the textures on the face of the boiler.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
Looking across the ruin-strewn brownfield left from ACME’s operation and demolition.
Part of the 1917 mill that had a little bit of roof left over it–most of this building was open to the sky. The birds loved it, but everything metal was quickly becoming too unstable to walk on.
It’s a mystery to me why this elevator has a Gold Medal Flour ghost sign. You can read it along with its obsolete monikers today.
The chief engineer had many phones. It’s my guess one connects to the pilot house and the other connects to the emergency steerage station that’s mid-deck.
An impressive message for graffiti in a Detroit warehouse, but then again look at these steam pumps. Over-built and under-appreciated.
The control room for Manitoba Pool Elevator #3 was the most modern of any I saw in Thunder Bay. Apparently, 25 men were working on the day this elevator shut down.
Colors of the boiler room.
The oldest part of this mill had a wooden roof that rotted away long ago. Slowly, rust is dulling the edge on every cog left behind.
A long exposure in the crane cab at sunset throws a bit of color into the bleak yellow glows between the windows and car shaker.
Somewhere between the grain elevator and the distillery.
One level below where the cotton was nitrated, the fumes must have been powerful. This floor had several massive ventilation fans in its walls.
A burned and rusted control panel in the corner of the new hoist room.
A furnace control panel, cut off its subordinate before the plant closed, no doubt to be replaced. I like this shot because it shows that many of the smaller machines were engineered by the plant itself.
The middle section of the smokestacks were coal hoppers, and this device would load the coal into the hoppers from the conveyor belt it rode across. The bottom section of the stacks were storage rooms while the very top were, surprise, chimneys for the power plant.
Sour mash had to be fermented before being used for whiskey making. Nearly all bourbon uses it.
In the grungy control room, I found a little slice that was never graffitied.
The belts on these mills have long ben missing.
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 bits with handles are the filters with screens of different sizes. Larger grain particles would be stopped at the top for further reduction via the mills, while the powder at the bottom would be run through another bolter–one of the refinement stages in flour production.
An industrial cart next to an inspection point on the evaporator floor.
These monorails were on a side line to build smaller parts of the Ranger before being attached to the truck itself. Note in the upper right that there’s another conveyor above this section.
Was the last job of this hook to lift the remaining equipment out of the hoist hall? The control boards, giant electric motors and transformers?
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
The power plant of the Old Crow distillery was mostly original. I didn’t have a tripod, so I had to balance my camera on the equipment there.
Unintentional art comes in the form of a beet juice slurry baffle.
A reminder to the manlift riders to get off the belt before they hit their heads on the ceiling. This is the top level of the headhouse, where dust collectors would extract most of the grain bits from the air to reduce risk of explosion.
Grimy windows and the other half of the complex trade interests and stares.