Summertime is when Duluth goes to the lakeside to listen to music, visit traveling fairs, and talk to neighbors about the smell of the lake. As seen from the castle walls.
The Osborn Block is the prettiest building you’ve never seen in the Twin Ports.
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
The old way to get to the elevator from the mill.
The rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
Kate in the crow’s next… very shaky by the time she got to it.
The steam plant could be vertically traversed with this one-man belt driven elevator.
This low brick building is interesting to me.
The train loading tower (left), and elevators. Check out that giant flagpole/lightning rod.
Beside the half-demolished Thunder Bay Elevator shops and offices (brick building) are some rusting fishing boats. A little bit of SWP #7 is seen in the upper right.
The corner of Clyde on Michigan Street looked like it had been sealed a long time.
The elevator tower seems to have been built with expansion of the dock in mind.
Furnace #7, as seen from #6’s catwalks. Cue morning fog.
The perfect place to have a post-industrial picnic.
A jankey ladder leads to a platform over a wooden tank. Here’s hoping my usage contributes to jankey being accepted into the dictionary! Thanks, lexicographers.
A sort of blender in a powder line building. The top vent had been removed, so leaves and light fall onto the teeth now.
I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.
Observing War City in the midst of an electric storm. This photo is lit almost entirely by lightning.
A look down the 1950s foundry building, moments after sunset.
One of the prettier Humphry Manlifts in Minneapolis, in my opinion.
Considering the side of Boiler #3’s firebox, where it meets the boiler (between the cylinders). The top piece is where the exhaust is sucked into the chimney, one chimney for each pair of boilers.
A small machine shop level.
An abandoned house at Tilston, MB.
If there was a problem with the conveyor belt, the grain would go out these chutes.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
On the middle level of the Poacher House. For a detailed view of the chart see ‘See Reverse’.
This door used to open at river level, but it has since been built up and sealed with a steel grate. Still, the original doors (with original paint?) stand in the same place. Once they opened to the fresh air, now they are permanently sealed in the tunnels. This is the official entrance for inspecting the mine, hence fiber optic and ladder. Shortly after the plant was demolished, this entire area was resealed and alarmed.
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.
Police tape marks were kids got hurt in the past… probably from falling from the unstable catwalk above.
I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.
Looking through perfectly clear water into an abandoned mine room. My guess is that it contained some pumps to keep the mine dry and equipment related to the elevators.
Although the caves deviated little in their year-round temperature, it was common to use blocks of ice to cool beer immediately before shipment. This is the ruins of the ice chute.
The chapel (left) and surgical suite (straight on) move in an out of view as fog rolls up from the St. Louis River valley.
The powerplant and its dedicated water tower supplied steam for heating and mechanical work.
The pockmarked concrete sign of Substation #2 over the control room that faces the highway.
I’ve been in a lot of different mines. Some on tours, some not. If you pass through Howardsville, Colorado without going on the Old Hundred Mine Tour, you’re missing out. This is what Santiago Tunnel looked like in the 1940s when it was near the end of its life.
Calumet stands at the side of the Union Pacific railyard.
The Peavey logo, before it rusted off and the offices were demolished.
Circa-1960s graffiti. Someone got their ass kicked.
A look at another “Belt-o-Vator”. I like the sign.
A custom ladder to cross conveyor belts on the work floor.
The American Victory next to M, seen late at night.
I did not take the escape ladder to the surface, but I am told it pops up in the middle of a hill next to the missile silo doors.
This side of the mill, which abuts the Great Miami River, is much older than the other side of B Street. You can tell it went through many revisions.
This chair burned in the 2005 arson that gutted this building, which is the oldest on the property.
Only two machines sit on the rails in the roundhouse, both oil cars. It’s not clear whether there’s anything inside either, but they have to have been placed here before 1970, when the turntable outside these numbered doors was removed.
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
The tops of the coke stoves.
A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!
Sunrise in SEMI. The shadow of Kurth Malt is cast across ADM-Delmar #1. Clouds behind ADM-Delmar #4 light up. It’s cold and the air smells like train grease.
This miner locker room has probably never been so clean.
Behind the barge unloader (a Webster for those grain tech nerds out here) that used to extract grain from docked boats. The ladders are fun to climb, even though they get warped and wavy in places. High in the elevator would have been a crane engine that would lift the unloader, packed with a bucket conveyor, while workers would manipulate the direction of the spout with ropes manually. The buckets would rotate, scraping and elevating the grain into the silos above. It’s a rare piece of equipment for the Great Lakes.
Looking out from my perch close to the Kam toward the Ogilvie head house. To the left is a newer concrete annex, probably built in the years it bore the name Saskatchewan Pool 8.
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 metallic arms of the missile erector, which would stand rockets over the blast pit in the launch position. Medium Format film–cheap but excellent Fomapan 100 in a Pentax 67.
Kate in the Atlas E, which is essentially a buried Atlas D. Above is the protective steel blast door.
A brewmaster’s desk leans beside a long-disused stainless steel kettle. The staircase above goes to another level of kettles, which are visibly older.
Chutes from a hundred machines interconnect to more machines and chutes on a dozen factory floors.
Taken just after the sun set over Duluth. Don’t you love that green glow?
Just across the North Dakota border, a rusty Milwaukee Road boxcar sits where it was shoved off the mainline. The grain elevator in the background marks the tracks, which is still used by BNSF.
The steel sea leg is so heavy it requires a huge counterweight that travels the height of the elevator.
Ektar 100/Mamiya 6.
Looking out the window a the foundations of the demolished company homes.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
End of the paint line. After reading Father Action’s excellent-as-always writeup about his adventures here, I was pretty cautious around big spinning alarms. (See http://www.actionsquad.org/fordII1.html)
If there were no other options, operators could climb this ladder from the Communications Room to the surface, after opening two heavy steel hatches, of course.
It’s pretty unusual to find a fireplace like this in the midst of a factory.
One of the only remaining pieces of equipment in the distilling room is this green control panel on a bridge suspended in the middle of it all.
The Hamm-stenciled chairs are all destroyed as far as I know, now, as are the custom ladders built in-house for the company. Taken between the Filter House and Keg Wash House.
I’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
Gulls check in on me while I climb around the roof of one of the train shds of SWP #4. FP-100C.
I believe this is the push car, meaning it would push the charge in the oven out the opposite side into the train car.
Looking at the top of the Washburn Crosby elevator from a mirrored window in the Guthrie Theater.
Sarah below Cascade Park. This space was destroyed when the park flooded.
C’mon and grab your friends… we’ll go to very—rusty lands…
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
The stage had seen some water damage, but it can (and should) be brought back!
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
These machines are at least 100 years old.
Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.
A train idles beside the Calumet offices. Pentax 67 Medium Format
Instead of a pit in the floor, now there is an oversized chessboard here.
These dump cars moved copper ore to the top of the furnaces… it’s about two stories above ground level.
Looking through the trestle toward the ghost town.
Not much to the catwalks.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
The end of the dock, done quickly and cheaply with wood. The towers were for lights, so ships could be loaded at all hours.
Looking out upon Mill City through the lens of FLOUR, highlighted in pink and low clouds. This sign has recently been converted into LED lighting.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
The substation has definite structural issues. Pictured is the sidewalk that connected the plant to the company housing.
The slit in the left wall was where cables stretched between the mineshaft and the hoist, which was mounted here.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
Don’t know what’s heavier… the bricks or shadows.
The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
After a short rainfall douses the mill in downtown Fergus Falls, the river next to the brick walls swells and the sounds of water overtakes the echos of the nearby bars. Reflections are on the foundation of the former distribution and rail building.
The conveyor belt prevented cranes from accessing the left side of the dock, so cranes were mounted to the gantry crane to maintain the ore chutes on the side.
Little has changed inside the mill, but since it was built in 1916, many tanks and ancillary buildings have popped up around it.
This is where the transformers were housed. Note the steel tracks in the floor for moving equipment around the building.
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.
A 24-hour clock that reeks of the 1970s. A ladder stenciled “LTV”–the failed steel company that built this dock. There is more, if you look closer.
Looking down the breakwater from the top of the lighthouse. In the haze, you can see the world’s largest iron ore docks in Allouez Bay.
The depot at the head of town seems to be being disassembled. Behind it is a dead signal where the tracks used to be; they’ve been pulled.
The building in the foreground–the old control booth–was arsoned in 2009.
The old No Trespassing sign, with the Peavey logo still on it.