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.
If you look carefully along the side of the slip alongside this image of Cargill B-2, you will see the remains of the crane stops when this was a Hannah coal dock.
The aft lifeboat survived auction, although now all it holds is an emergency ladder to help men who’ve fallen overboard get on deck.
The basements of the barracks were often stone and brick, and many of them were connected by short tunnels.
While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.
The lights of the active docks keep the retired #6 up all night.
A full harbor on a hot summer evening, just after twilight, as seen from atop the castle walls.
Pillsbury from across the Mississippi River and Stone Arch Bridge from the roof of the Washburn Crosby Elevator (aka Gold Medal Flour).
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.
A surprise appearance of the northern lights from one evening.
The top of the giant arched windows facing the Mississippi and the swing bridge.
A bright red light blinks on the end of the abandoned dock to ward off passing boats.
A long exposure in the wind, lit by airport lights.
A 5-minute exposure of the tunnel and stars, and even some of Duluth’s city lights bouncing off the clouds. A single off-camera flash in the tunnel gives the effect of an oncoming train.
Fergus Falls State Hospital. Well, technically moonlight… but a with stars nonetheless! The orange glow from the left and in the rear of the building are exterior lights on associated–former State Hospital–buildings. All other light is from the full moon that evening.
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.
Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.
Hand-shooting 4×5 underground. Must be Kate Hunter.
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
The end of the peninsula where Consolidated D was built, aka General Mills A, used to hold a Northern Pacific freight depot. These are part of the ruins of it.
Island Station, in the middle of the power house, in the middle of a thunder storm. Flapping pipe covers and sheets of ran penetrating one massive arched window and blasting through the other, as winds power through the building from the Mississippi. The sound of the thunder made every length of steel squeak under the pressure.
It’s a straight view from the projection booth to the stage, but hell of a walk. At a fast pace, I think it would take 10 minutes to walk from this spot to the chair. Behind the curtains is a big white screen, so the theatre could be used for either stagework or moving pictures. The two projectors are set up for 3D movies right now–hence the little switch below the window–a Polaroid 3D synchronizer. Cool, huh?
When the lake levels were especially low, the pilings of Dock 3 that are usually underwater were clearly visible between Dock 2 and Dock 4.
Trees like masks.
Looking toward Duluth from the top of a Dock 1 light tower. NP Dock 1 is on the left… an earlier competitor to Allouez. The stars reflect on Lake Superior.
When the dock across the slip loads, the lighting below the otherwise dark ‘5’ can get a little wild.
Looking through the trestle toward the ghost town.
A 16-minute exposure from the roof of an abandoned building shows the aurora borealis and streaking stars.
Below the historic National Guard Armory.
A look upriver at the crane of the Port of Detroit, quiet for the night, and the Ambassador Bridge, always humming with Canadian traffic. Downtown Detroit is beautiful, if nobody told you.
Power House, 2000s
From the roof of the larger power plant’s Building A, Hastings, MN’s lights burn behind the smokestacks.
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
Sidewalks to a boarded barracks, each making the other obsolete in the night.
The glow from the city is bright enough to read by.
A panorama of the dock buildings, before the left one was demolished.
This building had no identity issues. My chief regret was not spending more time documenting the ghost signs around the complex.
A long exposure of the city glow illuminating the roof, highlighting the victorian and gothic influences on the brew house.
A US Army Corps of Engineers tug, tied at the end of the pier before the American Victory was parked here.
At night the city lights blast through the broken windows, casting crazy colors through the off-white interior of the mill.
One of my favorite night views of Fort Snelling’s so-called Upper Post, taken between snowstorms.
Harsh rail yard lighting throws shadows of broken windows against the line of boilers.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
The end of Dock 5 is warped and bent from a rail accident that left some ore cars swinging like a stringy wrecking ball into the end of the superstructure and accompanying stair. The stairs are still navigable, but it wasn’t recommended by the CN workers that were with me.
A 15-frame long exposure panorama, taken shortly before power to the complex was cut.
The moon highlights the contrails over the engine house in the middle of the night. Foreground light painted.
The light towers of Allouez seem romantic compared to the street lights atop Dock 5.
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.
Looking out of the Brewery Creek Drain outfall at night, after a storm had pushed piles of rocks up onto the shore.
Near the guard post protecting the launch pad at the Duluth BOMARC is an orange windsock.
Miller Creek, in one of the wider sections that features a trout (as in the fish) canal in the middle of the drain. Even though it is underground, the fish are able to visit their breeding ponds upstream by swimming through the specially designed tunnel.
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
The Big Dipper brought its friends into view, and the best seat is 80-feet up.
A panoramic view of the Ambassador Bridge, Detroit River and downtown from the roof of the 1925 warehouse. Ready to move to Detroit?
The dock is still lit at night and it casts shadows over the rust-welded ore doors.
A long exposure of the side of the coke ovens, lit by the nearby streetlights.
This building stood on stilts until it was demolished. The top floor handled radio traffic to boats and trains. The bottom floor had locker rooms, records, and a lunchroom.
Peering at Stelco’s abandoned steel rod rolling mill, not demolished. The rectangular on the right in between is the boiler house that heated Stelco.
Far away, you can see the red lights on the steam plant smokestack. To the extreme right is the beginning of the Minneapolis skyline. Paint (where this was taken) and Assembly (where the blue light is) were connected with a long skyway that carried completed trucks to be painted. I assume the device in the foreground burned volatiles from the painting process.
Shadows of distant power lines are carried to the concrete by street lights.
We can lie like sinners
Breathe the air like children
And you could lead and I could follow
All those times are gone
“Duluth” by Trampled by Turtles
Trees by the beautiful Nurse’s Cottage above and behind the Kirkbride. One side looks out over farmland while the other faces the back of the hospital grounds. As of 2014, the city is allowing artists to rent spaces inside.
Looking through the dark door at Shaft 3, when my naked eyes could only make out a staircase lit dimly from above.
Lit by the glow of St. Paul’s West Seventh bars, highlighted by the cool blue of the sleepy section of South Side. This castle-like tower can be seen for miles around town; a Landmark at the brewery that brewed a brew by the that name.
The American Victory next to M, seen late at night.
Looking down the walkway that traces the bottom side of the ore dock.
A street side exposure of the original 1914 section of the orphanage. Turned into black and white to deemphasize all the graffiti across the front steps.
A sizable crane on the corner of the engine house still swings out.
Taken from the rooftop looking toward downtown, a hometown, a river town.
I’m very happy to have caught Marquette before it was completely destroyed. If you’re wondering, it costs about $1,000,000 to demolish and elevator like this, and not that much work for the demo crews.
Looking out of the brewhouse toward the river.
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.
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.
Wintertime is quiet, except for the planes overhead.
The tunnels were full of bricked-up doorways. I wonder how many rooms under there are totally sealed from the outside world…
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.
Water turned the taconite powder into a rusty, slippery paste… everywhere the water pooled up, doubling the beauty from certain special angles.
Enger Tower is an 75 foot stone structure built in 1939. It overlooks the elevators of Rice’s Point that are, for the most part, far older than it.
The turned rail was to prevent runaway cars from going over the end of the dock and into the lake.
While squatting in the power plant a very powerful storm moved over unforgettable, throwing blasts of lightning across the countryside. The plant got a direct hit, in fact, and the sound of the boom reverberating through the turbine hall is something unforgettable.
For a short time, CN mounted flood lights atop the abandoned dock.
The underside of the ore dock in winter. Snow drifts across the dock from the frozen lake.
The BOMARC launch buildings are spaced on a large concrete pad that looks like a parking lot. Out of view are underground pipes for fueling and cooling the rocket motors.
A back-lit tree with the silhouette of a roof spire in the background.