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.
SFAAP’s iconic smokestacks. You’d notice if you drove past this on the highway.
This ruined skyway looks like it should be at ground level because of the growth, but it’s actually the second floor of the building.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
The view from the larry, looking out at the overgrowing coke oven top. Papers listed the order of the charges for each oven, noting the sticky doors and persistent leaks. Emergency respirators and rescue gear was stored close, as long exposure to emissions from the rusty hatches could make worker pass out on the top of the ovens.
Behind the factory was an old truck, blocked in by overgrown trees on one side and the buildings on the other.
The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
The overgrown offices serve no one at this former Federal Elevator in Snowflake, MB.
There were a few large houses on the Old Crow property where employees would live. The glen had little housing.
The old approach, almost in its entirety as I found it.
The lower floors of King Elevator are scrapped and ruined. Nearly everything that is not concrete has been destroyed. Some time ago it seems that someone built a tarp-roof hovel inside of the ground floor.
The main street of the ghost town is also the maintenance road for the BNSF line that bisects Colmor.
This building seemed like a pump house or compressor house. It was full of empty concrete mounts.
Local kids probably call this the ‘Shootin’ Shack’, judging by its war wounds.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
The Tilston School,built in the late 1960s. In front of it is a memorial and model to the first schoolhouse. This building, however, has been turned into a kind of town dump. The classrooms are filled with mattresses and discarded tires and trash.
A single metal emergency slide rusts away at sunrise.
Lights over the emergency slides. A veritable overgrown city in the background.
The barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
My first picture at Nopeming, sometime around 2004. The same year that the county stopped mowing the lawn.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
It is unclear whether this area was for coal dumping or ore dumping, though the huge dents in the steel plating suggests the latter.
Solvent pumping buildings, designed to explode upwards rather than outwards in an emergency, are forgotten near the milkweed.
I really liked the bulky pillars on this outer-ring cottage.
The coke plant looked more natural through a grimy window.
The playground used to be near the school which is now in ruins.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
The back door into the old distillery building. Not castle-like at all, sadly.
A different kind of tree fort.
Near the old slag dump there are the remains of the pouring buckets that received the molten steel from the US Steel blast furnaces, filled to the brim with pig iron. They must be incredibly heavy!
A midwestern jungle surrounds the meat packing plant.
2015. Exterior of chapel.
Between lines of Number Sixes right after sun rose behind them. This photo shows how extremely lush the grounds are that make getting around in some places impossible.
Regauging is the process wherein barrels are opened and the whiskey is tested in various ways, especially in its alcohol content.
Between the Old Crow and Old Taylor bonded warehouses are some of the fouled barrels, now the only ones left, which were left to rot in the elements. Nearby in a loading bay that has obviously been disused longer than the rest of the property, terra cotta roofing waits in crates.
Blending the explosive ingredients was dangerous. It is no wonder that the blending house had so many emergency slides.
Looking out of the “back door”, where equipment could be lifted into the factory with a crane. The bottom of the coal conveyor can be seen outside.
A truck loading dock for raw materials. Looking at the concrete, you can sort of tell where the rails used to run.
I like to think of this as a giant straw, through which the factory is slowly draining the earth, leaving nothing but reinforced concrete below…
The back of the castle is barely visible through the trees that have grown thick around the walls, making it look so much older.
Pillars among trees… those who inherit the earth will be so confused.
Another. Planet. Coal crushers and the coke loading line.
A panoramic view of the sintering plant’s gas plant (?). Everyone who visits must get a picture of these rusty smokestacks!
The the left, the nitrating line in War City. To the right, War City’s sole suburb, Charlestown, IN.
On the left are rows of dayrooms; on the right is one of two long hallways which connect the two halves of the hospital. The large, center section of the hallway would fit chairs for patients to look out on the gardens. They called it a conservatory. This hallway would be as close as some patients would get to nature.
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
Some of the ruins are way off the beaten path… foundations of tank stands and pillars of buildings that never had walls or roofs.
Those able to work would be compelled to help fix up the facility, grow, harvest, and prepare food for fellow ‘inmates’, or work on vocational skills.
Redlining is the practice of shutting certain races out of neighborhoods, and it is still a big problem today. Such behaviors were a big factor in creating the need for these projects.
An emergency slide to help workers evacuate the blending house in an emergency.
The only door into a large windowless concrete room, probably a storage bin. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
2013. A perfect summer day meets a beautiful old roundhouse on the edge of town.
This is a room where the actual explosive elements were mixed. In the event of an accident, this glass wall would give way before the concrete and thus direct the flames and shockwave away from the rest of the building. In other words, the glass is not just to get a lot of wonderful natural light into the building.
Why the door had to be moved over 2 1/2 feet will remain a mystery.
“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.
Upper Prize Street in Nevadaville earned the nickname ‘dogtown’ when a pack of dogs took over the abandoned houses.
One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.