Peeling paint reveals the room numbers of the past.
In the ward for the criminally insane, this door was the most-worn. Nail scratches mark the area around the peep hole, the wood is gouged everywhere from thrown chairs and hard kicks, and a ominous blood-colored stain is visible where it dripped in the second inset from the bottom. Aside from the damage, the coloring in this section was very vibrant, though it was probably little reprieve for those who had to work here.
A handmade sign tracks the progress through the current beet campaign. For this factory, it was about 30 years ago. Perhaps the idea was to pit shifts against each other.
Work never done.
Shelves in in the coloring department, where hundreds of different mixer lids are splashed with hardened glass dyes. Color thanks to a yellow-tinted skylight.
Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.
A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.
One of the many small treasures hiding in the mill…
Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
#67, one of the only lockers that is not crunched to the point it refuses to open. In the corner of the small office area.
An insurance office.
A closeup of the now-scrapped steel chute.
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
A closeup of a flour chute.
In the mine offices, hooks and a board with numbers was the system to keep track of who was in the mine and who was safe.
My favorite time to be in the brewery was sunrise. That’s the kind of light that made the brewhouse glow.
These machines had embossed metal numbers marking their ends.
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
Thousands of tags in a supply closet. Each has lots its meaning.
Watching the comings and goings of doctors, nurses and new patients was a mainstay of asylum routine; one can find it easy to imagine pale faces pressed against the block glass windows, staring out at the world moving past them.
Before developers saw to cut and cut the flour mills inside Pillsbury, they stood at the ready beside various purposeful chutes the traversed the floors of between sorters. These machines were belt-driven by the power of Pillsbury’s Mississippi headraces and turbines, the force of which notoriously shook the building’s foundations themselves. The wheels would change the grade of the flour, or the size of the dust produced from crushing the kernels.
An alarm panel in the powerpplant, now demolished.
Pillars painted red indicated firefighting supplies. Fire was a very common enemy of early rail facilities, and many roundhouses burned down because of a combination of dry wood, hot, fire-breathing machinery and countless oil-saturated surfaces.
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
Every timber pillar was numbered for maintenance purposes.
The control room for the whole of the plant. Sinterband here means one of the sintering lines. Temperatures, gasses, mixtures, speeds, and so on were centrally controlled here.
Sprays of water kept the muddy mixture flowing across the sluices, which filtered out gold particles from gravel and dirty.
Fantastic brick graffiti piece by a Duluthian in 1933! Is the stick drawing of a horse? Feel free to weigh in.
Unit 4’s lower levels.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
Miscellaneous math and strange instructions remain all across the shipment section walls. Sadly, this section likely fell into disrepair before the others.
Where workers’ pay would be doled out and collected.
These copulas made the iron for casting.
With the maintenance door open you can see the buckets on in the vertical conveyor.
Typical bunk rooms in MS-20.
When the Mitchell project is complete, I’ll miss the textures on the face of the boiler.
This building seemed like a pump house or compressor house. It was full of empty concrete mounts.
Candy jar molds, in the far corner of the paint shop.
Looking into the Pool 8 Annex from the original Ogilvie’s elevator.
The texture of the cracking poured concrete ore pocket is somewhere between stone and driftwood.
One of the four fire alarm panels in the power station.
The top floor of the nitrating house was full of switches and breakers for the operation below, each bearing a label and number. Nowadays everything is printed, but when INAAP was built, all these signs were painted by hand.
Looking across the catwalk behind the ore chutes, when they were up, and at the top of the ore chutes during loading.
Power-up to cool down… would have been nice on the hot day I climbed on top of this machine.
Without proper pressure, the steering engine was ineffective.
Goals for 1980, still tacked onto the wall.
All of the fire alarms had been triggered.
Looking into the Argo Tunnel at its Idaho Springs portal. I was hoping to see tracks and a steel door, but found a busy crew of environmental workers installing a pipe between the bulkhead and new water plant.
In the grungy control room, I found a little slice that was never graffitied.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
If you know what BTI stands for, please leave a comment.
Jars like these were used to measure the volume of fluid pumped out of TB patients’ lungs.
Some of the internal staircases were fitted with cages that wound round down the stairs to deter suicidal patients from taking a dive.
Many of the higher floors were more or less demolished–usually more. These would have been condos had ‘The Arcade’ project come to fruition. Now there are simply wide open floors punctuated only by pillars and meaningless hallways.
2005. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
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.
An original stencil-brushed sign.
The Dock 5 sign at track level. Probably as an aid to sailors reboarding their vessels.
Much of the milling equipment predated the mill itself, so I would not be surprised if this particular machine really dates to 1860.
Two bin signs criss-cross in the North Annex.
A wimpy crane by most standards, only suitable for moving around parts of steam turbines.
An old name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
This machine was last overhauled in February 1955, and last turned out Crepe silk, probably dress material.
A broken-down wooden grain chute.
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 scale of the grain hoppers helps tell the story of how large Hamm’s was in its day.
A sign hanging near the shop office.
On first impression it might look like a funky mailbox, but trust me on this one; it’s a flour bolter chute. In flour milling, “bolting” means sifting the flour through successively smaller screens.
Because there’s no Port-a-John underground.
The top floor of the Dominion Elevator. Acros 100 on 120.
A sign of where man met machine.
Part of the unremodeled hospital, above the Service Building, where employees would stay sometimes.
An old stoker in a power plant that was abandoned long before the mill next to it, by all indications. Sugar mills burned dry beet pulp pellets for fuel.
The old crane swung on windier days over the Worthington Steam Pump. This is probably last used to disassemble the antique generators, which are all now gone.
Allouez had already suffered one major fire. It didn’t need another–especially under Dock 1’s wooden approach.
The ’59’ is just a reference to that work station. Unfortunately the scrappers beat me to this machine–there was not much left besides the 2-ton shell and this control panel.
A primitive intercom system connected the various wards to their respective nurse’s stations. They looked hand-made and likely originated, in part, in the FFSH carpentry shop. They were often placed high, like this one, to be out of patient reach.
The roof of the elevator was partly lit naturally with six big skylights. The less electricity pumped into a grain elevator, the less chance of a grain dust explosion.
The curving corridors flanking the Administration Tower are especially ornate, though the prison-like door betrays the real purpose of the building.
An Old Crow warehouse, formerly federally controlled, near Old Taylor Distillery.
A clicky-flippy clock is having some kind of malfunction.
Local kids probably call this the ‘Shootin’ Shack’, judging by its war wounds.
Most of the gauges on the control panels were broken.
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
A few of the stalls in the older section of the roundhouse, the noon sky peeking in.
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.
Standing between pockets 1 and 2. You brought hearing protection, right?
The corners of these buildings are inscribed by a century of bored rail workers and delivery drivers. Pictured is the southeast corner of the Twohy, which is typical of mercantiles.
Peering into a remote office at Manitoba Wheat Pool #3. Someone left their to-do list behind.
Looking down range. You can tell where most of the rounds hit by the dark marks in the wall.
I found a historical photo of this room showing 10-foot high machines with wires hanging by the mile from looms and schematic charts.
Note the tiled floor between the bucket conveyors and an old mill.
Scrawls on the side of the beams of the ‘Pipe Shop;.
Thick glass windows allow workers to check the beet juice levels in this steel tank. You can tell by the reinforcement that it had a lot of liquid and had to hold against immense pressure. Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7.
This building was 99 years old when it was demolished for the coal mine.
One of thousands in the complex. Part of a series of photographs where I capture the number “13” in industrial settings.
The ice reflects the blue sky on the rust. The sunset blasts through the concrete pillars holding it all up.
The Engine House’s boiler, which would have been fired all day all day, virtually from the day the shop opened until the day it closed.
Leather shoes in a supply closet. They seem to me men’s shoes.
This building looked like some sort of office.
The great stenciled number on this chute caught my eye.
The rear of engine bay 13… according to the heavily faded sign.
The individual ovens are skinny to allow even and fast heating of the whole interior. Numbers are cut into signs because no paint could withstand the heat or corrosive emissions from the coking process.
These long curved corridors connected the wards. Locked doors on both of their ends were a security and comfort feature. Sounds and people would be sealed in their respective wards, as the hallways would act like beautiful airlocks; they were so long that it was unlikely that doors would be open on both sides at the same time. Portra 160.
Detail view of one of the fermenting tanks, still set-up for the distillery tours that no doubt took place when there last were such things. Nevertheless, the capacity of this tank multiplied across these all over the distillery floor really shows the power this company once had.
The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
Different doors for different vehicles, I would guess. White Pine Mine used tire-based vehicles, rather than track-based, making it pretty different than other mines I’ve been to.
The chalkboard in the filtering plant reminds new visitors of the last day.
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.
No wonder the factory shut down; everyone was scheduled to work 9 to 5 and the clock’s broken! (In all seriousness, this is/used to be a beautiful timepiece, especially for a utilitarian factory like this.
The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…
Pipes to channel nitrose (think nitro glycerine) infused acid through the building.
Carvings on the back of a barracks building.
In the nurses’ dormitories, beds, couches and chairs still sit. It’s unclear whether these are remnants of the homeless shelter in the 80s or the actual nurses.
Don Crist ’83. Brick Graffiti Series.
Presumably, in a nuclear blast the antenna would be blown flat and pop back up, allowing communication even after a near-direct hit.
Scrappers tried to take this steel pulley out of Fisher, but it proved too heavy.
“W.N 7-30-86”. Brick Graffiti Series.
A shipment board for customers that may or may not exist anymore. Let’s assume any of the products made here are probably on backorder.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
A detailed look at the side of one of the thousands of transformer boxes in the war city.
Park Insurance Agency is no longer in business, nor would you be able to dial that phone number.
This miner locker room has probably never been so clean.
Compressors and turbines over the Eagle River.
Atop Elevator ‘M’, formerly Cargill ‘O’.
Hard to find your seat when it doesn’t know its own name.
In the nitrating house.
Peeling paint reveals the room numbers of the past. Kodak Trix-400 on Canon T40.
A whiteboard in the quiet turbine room lays it all out… you should sell.
After crushing, these machines would float lighter material to the surface of the water, where it would be skimmed and discarded. Gold and silver laden stone would sink to the bottom, where it was collected for the next stage of processing. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
When the factory’s production line was up for auction, many parts were removed, crated and labeled with big painted numbers to ease their removal by buyers. Not everything sold, however, so not one dark corner of the factory seems without a pile of dislocated industrial junk.
Gary Methodist was a filmset for Transformers 3 in 2010.
Asbestos rope isn’t something you can buy at Home Depot anymore, but it’s fire and heat resistant stuff; great for industrial work, like in a sugar mill.
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.
North of the assembly complex is a storage network of earthen and concrete bunkers.
A bank of vertical filing cabinets, probably dating to National Guard days.
Vines are finding their way into the roundhouse.
An engine on display outside the Montana Territorial Prison in Deer Lodge, MT. This was a typical electric locomotive used by The Milwaukee Road.