If it wasn’t for the humming and crackling of the wires, I could believe I had arrived to a post apocalyptic landscape.
Taken from the arm of the pocket loader–note the tree growing out of the conveyor belt. Often where you see old piles of taconite, trees are springing up. The byproducts of the pelletization process break down and make a really fertile mix, especially with all the iron content!
The newer tunnels were fitted with these fluorescent lights, although some skylights (block glass embedded in skywalks) let in some natural light during the day.
The spiral staircase ends in the basement, where two oil tanks (for the lantern) and a freshwater tank (for the Keeper) were stored. The basement consists of two long arched vaults like this.
Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
At sunrise the fog rose near the solvent recovery line. You can barely read the “XXX” warning.
The north side of the plant is modern 60s industrial architecture, meaning massive open spaces with no personality. This mirror is the most interesting thing I could find.
This section of the hospital recently collapsed.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
These tubes would bring cement to the top of the plant for storage in the silos.
In the distance, a semi truck kicks up fresh rain from the highway. As seen from the top of the steel blast door.
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.
A typical large mine tunnel. You can just make out the narrow gauge rail.
The end of one of the scrapped turbines. Judging by the aborted attempt at cutting it in half, the scrappers had some trouble with this one.
Let’s play a game called “FIND THE PIGEON”! There is one bird in this photo of dust collectors atop the King Elevator train shed.
From the bottom of the skyway I looked back, my eyes tracing the vines from the marsh up the smokestacks to the perfect Midwestern sky.
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
Standing where Globe (later, Whitney Bros) Shipyards one did, and observing the red-to-yellow brickwork transition. Like a mullet, it’s all business in the front.
This seems to be the space where upholstery patterns would be drafted. On the table were half-finished notes on a new design.
A floating spiral staircase, one of two, that link the foyer with the lounge and balcony level. Now the balcony level is a small second stage. A panoramic view of Split Rock LIghthouse wraps around the bannisters.
Model: Ryan. On the second floor between wooden joists and massive, inert lighting is simply nothing but warped wood, stained with crane grease.
The stock house tanks were long scrapped for their steel, but what remains gives a sense of what it looked like.
The vibrant colors clashed with the silent hotel.
While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.
A steel powder keg serves as a door prop on the static-proof wood core floor. Note the ‘XXX’ marking to the left of the double door.
Zug Island is a US Steel plant just south of Detroit, and it really lights up the skyline.
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.
The powered lime hopper had a lot of levels.
The lime room was in rough shape, but its colors and textures were like raw gold and oxidized copper.
A social club/restaurant that was likely the place to be late at night.
The basement held a makeshift chapel.
Wind-battered catwalk lights between the shaft house and headframe/rockhouse building.
A light-painted portrait of one of the few remaining carts that moved everything from fresh eggs to soiled laundry through the tunnels.
The crane on Dock 2, as seen from Dock 4 right after sunset. Notice the old light tower is warped.
A typical Chateau wall. Kodak Tri-X 400 in Leica M7.
Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.
Looking from abandoned to active. The end of Dock 6 often has a crane and some shacks on it, as the chutes aren’t used anymore. Instead, conveyors are installed on the land-side of the dock that fill docked vessels, making the end of the dock little more than a breakwater and a place to park repair and recovery equipment.
The end of the dock, done quickly and cheaply with wood. The towers were for lights, so ships could be loaded at all hours.
Lights over the emergency slides. A veritable overgrown city in the background.
This old ward, not a victim of remodeling, still has metal screens over the open windows of the doors. It should be obvious why glass were not used.
I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.
A fireproof room in the basement, perhaps for ammunition storage at one time.
Looking at the concrete headframe from street level. Acros 100 in Pentax 67
Somewhere, Bruce Springsteen is playing while an exceedingly furry man tunes his Ford truck in the driveway of a house he built with his bare hands. This is for that person.
This building is now being used to grow fish.
Worm in the path of raw ore where it would be dumped from rock cars into the silo below.
The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
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.
In a now-demolished building, a skylight begins to separate.
The Dock 5 sign at track level. Probably as an aid to sailors reboarding their vessels.
In case power was lost, this manual signal could direct trains on and off the taconite trestle. Turning the pole would change the color of the light on top and the shape of the metal flags.
Sugar mills have endless numbers of pipes, washers, seals, and flanges to connect all of the equipment. This is where the spare parts were all stored by size and rating.
Note the maps still left on the wall.
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)
That floor isn’t dirt–it’s old rotting grain that’s formed into a sort of moldy mud.
The dock is still lit at night and it casts shadows over the rust-welded ore doors.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
Before the clouds broke, I snapped this profile of the dumping control room and its spiral staircase. These are the colors that I dream in.
Powdered coal would sit in these hoppers before they get mixed with water to make a slurry. Then the mixture is injected into the firebox and ignited to make a coal-powered flamethrower capable of boiling water very quickly.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
Perhaps one side is firmer than the other?
The stage had seen some water damage, but it can (and should) be brought back!
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
Giant ingredient hoppers stand on a concrete floor covered in peeled paint.
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.
There were a few traces of the building’s past, mostly in the doors and floors, some of which still had rails embedded in the concrete. The building could store 174 streetcars inside of its walls.
For a short time, CN mounted flood lights atop the abandoned dock.
The building collapsed except for the back room. The slats of the roof cast lines of light across the floor.
At the top of a skyway that brought fresh-dried cotton into the Nitrating House from the Cotton Dry House. How? Monorail, of course.
One of the few man-sized exterior doors, seemingly with an original frame. Classic arching and beautiful textures–every inch of wall had me drooling. If this engine house was in a metropolitan area, it would have been turned into a $10 million white collar office suite ten years ago.
When the dock across the slip loads, the lighting below the otherwise dark ‘5’ can get a little wild.
Minnesota Power’s Taconite Harbor power station, as seen through the ship loading control room windows.
A panorama of the dock buildings, before the left one was demolished.
Taken from the most forward part of the windlass room to show how the front of the ship opens up from the front wedge. Note the giant anchor chains and foam strapped to the frontmost beam.
Mushroom pillars hold up the dreams of so many, the profits of so few.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
A view of the hallway outside of the auditorium.
A broken signal light that would indicate to incoming engineers and brakemen the status of the dock deck. The streetlight-style lighting is a retrofit; originally the top of the dock would be lit by strings of lights suspended by towers on each side of the deck… a poor system according to the workers at Allouez who had the same lights.
Ceiling light fixtures sit on a broken gurney.
A little ice and snow made work at Taconite Harbor much more dangerous.
Street lights and pavement are some of the obvious signs a town used to be here.
A stern-mounted spotlight and a fleet of former US Army tugs that are still used to break ice and nudge ships into slips.
Water damage dissolved the ceiling into sludge. Pillars remain, as do the plastic light covers, now on the floor.
This strip of lights over where the closed body assembly line would curve around indicated the status of the line in terms of yellow, white, and red lights.
This ornamental stair is cast iron and used to connect all floors of the Administration building. Now it connects the first and second floor, then the third and fourth floors, with a strange cinder block and drywall barrier separating the new and old sections of the building. Note the insulation on the floor to seal heat into the lower floors that were used as offices until the hospital closed. On the corners of the staircase are lions, on the corners of the suspended section of stair are down-hanging pineapples. Set in the stairs themselves are shield motifs with slate tops.
A bleak double room in what used to be the Receiving Hospital, built apart from the Kirkbride to observe incoming patients before they were placed in a ward.
Looking up to the second floor of the Nitrating House, where cotton would be soaked in nitric acid. These brought cotton into the building.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
The end of the dock disappears in the fog.
A row of houses north of Pommenige.
A row of security lights line the roof of the power station.
A familiar scene in Control Tower B, though the microphone has not been used for years.
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
Looking at the tallest part of the plant from a skeletal loading dock. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
The holes were for men to poke reluctant ore with long poles, with the hope that a lucky jab would let the load slide down into the boat below. Now they’re just traps.
This is my favorite wallpaper in the whole hotel.
2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.
Water turned the taconite powder into a rusty, slippery paste… everywhere the water pooled up, doubling the beauty from certain special angles.
This electric Wellman crane was added to extract coal from ships for the power plant that Erie built beside their dock. Now, with the advent of self-unloading boats, it’s been replaced by a funnel and conveyor belt.
Seating in the former top balcony is now front row for a secondary stage above and behind the main house.
The head distiller could walk out of their office to this balcony and overlook the whole fermentation process in a glance.
From inside a painting shed, where heatlamps and a vented roof made sure that the Caddy looked like it was worth the price tag.
This door led to a now-demolished skyway crossing Minnehaha Ave connecting the brewhouse to Fermentation, also demolished.
A long exposure of the launch pad and its dedicated guard shack. In the middle of the base is a tall antenna which was part of the MARS program during the Gulf War. The MARS program helped connect calls between deployed soldiers and their families.
Minecraft reference. This is the backroom of a company that made eyeglasses the old-fashioned way. In fact, some of the lens blanks were even left behind, under the piles of trash on the desks.
This is an elevator to move mine car loads of sand to the surface for cleaning and eventually glass production. Below is a flooded equipment vault. In front and behind is a loop through the larger tunnels in the mine. The horizontal braces supported electric cables for the mine carts.
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.
The note on the left announces that the spindles in the crates are dirty.
In most places, it may seem off for there to be a tunnel door on the top floor of a building, but Ford was that kind of place. This door from the steam plant led into a skyway and tunnel that connected to the main assembly floor.
Looking up the rock house.
With an office like this, the ones food begins to taste more and more like nachos.
Since the foundry went cold, I decided to turn down my color temperature… In the background, a chart showing graphite dispersion is one of the few artifacts left on the foundry floor.
A classic Eveready, borrowed from Herb’s office.
A broken scale in Isabella A, next to an old wood stove.
The control room floats above the top of the dock atop a spiral staircase.
The approach to the dock is rigidly geometric. I always thought its outline was beautiful against the lake that, by contrast, was always moving.
Timbers overlap where mine cars plunged, a strange wooden fence traced the center of the beams.
The top of the docks are so rotten in places that you can see the lake through the boards. In the foreground you can see the controls for the chutes, which work on a clutch.
The “Bentleyville” Christmas tree, part of a winter light show, in storage.
The light towers of Allouez seem romantic compared to the street lights atop Dock 5.
This was taken before the top of the docks really started to rot-out; now this stretch past the crane is distinctly unsafe to cross. Still, you can’t beat the view of Dock #2 winding into the distance, where the approach is chopped-off before the yard used to extend.
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.
Filters and fans to draw air into the boilers in the second power plant.
It was obvious which parts of the hospital were the newest, by their relative utter self destruction. It’s comforting to the Cubical Dwellers, I think, to know that as soon as the power and plumbing are disconnected that all hell will break loose and dismantle their suspended ceilings, drywall boxes and fluorescent suns in no time at all.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
This heavy door opens directly into the missile vault and was used to load and unload the missile erector.
The corner of Clyde on Michigan Street looked like it had been sealed a long time.
Shot on a Pentax 67 in monochrome and toned to match the set. For some time the marquee was lit at night to advertise the fact that the city bought it and planned to apply for credits to repair it.
A nice view of the aurora borealis (“Northern Lights”) strong enough to outshine the industrial lighting at the power plant. The lights in the foreground direct ships discharging coal for the station.
The control room was used through the mid-1990s as the plant was used to stabilize the power grid.
Demolition crews got a taste of this 5-story power plant and decided to take a month-long smoke break. Here’s the bite.
When it became “Hyde Park Hospital”, this portico was added onto the front.
Part of the historical hospital was walled off with glass block.
A gate large enough to accommodate a missile, next to the ruins of the guard shack. Wyoming is the intersection of lonely and beautiful.
Sunrise in the orphanage… between classrooms and whispers.
Mismatched chairs in a patient room.
Fluorescent lights peel back from the walls like caterpillars, rearing up and away from the glare of the sunflower-fans.
A classroom, perhaps from the days when the city owned the building.
Spare parts ready for this building’s reactivation.
This part of the roundhouse was being brought down by rain and gravity.
A dead work truck rusts near an outbuilding. Everything is marked with a code. Modernity.
An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.
Next to the pit in the maintenance shop is “The Wall”… where rail workers wrote about interesting happenings at Shoreham.
A patient room is more intact than others.
The coal crusher (above) and the conveyor (left) to bring the powdered coal to furnace hoppers (right).
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
Cracked gauges have a certain quality that hearkens to movies, I think. One can imagine the gauges going off the scales before dramatically cracking, throwing glass right at the camera. This damage, however, is unfortunate vandalism.
Office manners dictate that one must tip their file drawer back upright once it is knocked through the wall.