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.
The pipes in the boiler would be full of water, so the heat in the furnace.
Safety signs decorated every floor, machine and, yes, door. This message spoke to me for reasons my coworkers will understand; suffice to say, I need to take this message to heart.
I get dirty.
The hole in the floor, I like to joke, is a not-so-sneaky trap for the photographers creeping to get a close-up of the amazing peeling paint. I somehow escaped this snare, however, to warn the rest… perhaps you.
A view of the government presses, with pages of law across the floor covered in footprints.
Fermenters and mixing tanks fill this brewing room. The lighting is all natural, and is partially owed to a crumbling wall letting the sunset blast the interior in almost perfect profile.
One of the clusters of elevators. Doors would open on both sides so that vehicles could be moved through them if necessary. There is only one set of stairs in the whole building.
With an office like this, the ones food begins to taste more and more like nachos.
The secret sweet-yet-salty center of the nameless factoryscape. Home base, tuned to rule the AC and turn out Product X at record rates, I’m sure.
Ektar 100/Mamiya 6. A ghost town near Martinsdale, where the market (pictured) served as the train stop.
I love the big old industrial windows.
A bumper sticker with the usual tagline. Note the detail on the radiator!
The back wall of the ballroom, showing water-warped floors.
Artifacts from the days this was a furniture factory and warehouse.
The giant cog is missing on this machine, which turned a sugar slurry intro crystals. Green-blue stained glass makes the rusty machine glow in aquamarine.
Miners would sit in this room before going into the mine. The boards on the right indicated whether every single miner was “in” or “out”.
Books in nooks and not getting a look… about the crook with hooks that cooks.
Looking into the tunnel system from below the Women’s Ward. The tunnels were used mostly by staff to move food and laundry.
The middle section of the smokestacks were coal hoppers, and this device would load the coal into the hoppers from the conveyor belt it rode across. The bottom section of the stacks were storage rooms while the very top were, surprise, chimneys for the power plant.
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.
A breeze and broken window has animated one of the few curtains still hanging in Nopeming as of 2015.
The old offices for the Oberon Elevator are defunct, but seem to be holding up to the brutal prairie snows and winds. Medium Format.
A common room with a big bay window that overlooked the main entrance of the hospital.
For some time, Purina ran a feed service out of the elevator. Inside and outside were signs of its past presence.
If you know what BTI stands for, please leave a comment.
My favorite of the turtles in the basement mural. Mr. Fade Out.
The second floor of one of the houses is done in bright blue. This building has since been severely vandalized.
The women’s ward had a player piano in it, likely a donation.
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.
The private bathroom for the staff in this building was simple. As blue paint peels away from the yellow undercoat, islands emerge and grow.
On the left is a bathroom, which is why it has the wire mesh over the door; so it could be locked and still be ventilated. On the right side are small double-bed rooms, which still have their heavy wooden doors. More attractive than jail cell doors, but serving the same purpose.
The organ and bits of glass that have lost their way. Try not to see the upside-down wooden cross dangling from the stained-glass-crown on the church’s front side. Of course, it’s to keep the loose panes from falling out onto the road in wind, but at the same time…
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
A switchboard to control the flow of electricity into the plant from the city and generators.
Mismatched chairs in a patient room.
Someone had helped themselves to one of the safety posters before my visit.
An iron gate separates vaults below the barracks.
On the top floor of the former casket building is the finishing line for the coating section; on this section the final spray of plastic would hit the wood before a small furnace would seal the plastic permanently to the surface, making it more resilient, I assume.
A sign on the corner of a laboratory remembers.
A leftover swatch remembers the last fabric sewn here.
These stairs were probably removed to discourage scrapping and graffiti. Ask me if it worked.
I like the fading stencil paint.
Ektar 100/Mamiya 6.
Looking out the window a the foundations of the demolished company homes.
One of the prettier Humphry Manlifts in Minneapolis, in my opinion.
On deck, looking at the door to the engine room.
This volume gauge could be read from 30 feet away, which is useful when the control panels and valves are that far away.
Spare parts ready for this building’s reactivation.
Just outside of the blast furnace is a series of platforms and catwalks to bring workers to the stoves.
The side of the oldest building on the property, the former casket factory.
A rare door left on the workhouse. The stairs to the left led down into a flooded basement. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
Fire doors and penis talk.
An employee lunchroom with every door and window covered in vented steel.
The end of the monorail in the nitrating house.
Peeling paint reveals the room numbers of the past.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
On the left, the formula for the sintering mix was written (“mischungszusammenselzung”) to keep track of the jobs.
The giant radiators in this casting shop look like a flag to me.
This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.
The first floor hallway between conference rooms and the diesel lab at the center of the facility
Why the elevator cars were removed or who removed them is unclear to me, but I do hope they still exist somewhere outside of a Honda frame. Judging from the decorations heaped on the doors and their frames, the cars themselves must have been beautiful.
Hand painted fire extinguisher notices and a long room which I strongly suspect was a pattern cutting room.
90% of Brach’s looks like this. Concrete walls, mushroom pillars, and water over the floor.
Judging by the bed, this room was used by employees in its later years.
The head distiller could walk out of their office to this balcony and overlook the whole fermentation process in a glance.
Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
The porcelain hoops guided the silk threads through the device.
A detailed look at the side of one of the thousands of transformer boxes in the war city.
A chalkboard that hasn’t been changed in my lifetime. Not something I expected to find in this engine room closet.
One of the only extant assembly line tracks in the body painting department. No photographer leaves Fisher 21 without capturing some version of this spot; hope you like mine.
Looking up from the industrial courtyard.
A crack in a window in a wall. What’s this doing here?
The second floor in the smaller house, which was a bit smaller than the Head Keeper’s house.
As if they were planning to move the furniture out of the hospital, it all sits in the main hallway in the ground floor.
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
Fire buckets did not have flat bottoms so they could never be used for other buckety tasks, and were thus always handy in an actual fire.
A fireproof room in the basement, perhaps for ammunition storage at one time.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
A little catwalk gives access to the most important gauges in the building. Behind them are huge vents and fans. I bet it got steamy in here.
Kat’s pretty cool.
The top of the barracks staircase.
The interior of one of the curved corridors that connect two wards. Note the original floor’s hand-laid tile pattern. Portra 160.
A closeup of a flour chute.
Fluorescent lights peel back from the walls like caterpillars, rearing up and away from the glare of the sunflower-fans.
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.
An original, minimally remodeled bathroom above the cafeteria reminds us what the whole complex once looked like.
This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.
The depot of Ringling is a very lonely looking building and there are many holes in its roof. There are no signs on it whatsoever.
The ADM Quality Assurance Labs haven’t changed much, except for that it has become a common home for the homeless.
This is one of my favorite doorways (yes, I have favorites) for a few reasons: 1.) You can see how the once-arched door has been squared-off for rectangular doors to fit; 2.) you can see one complete historic door and one ruined door, and the chain that used to hold them together before someone kicked-out the security, and; 3.) I like the texture of the bricks and design of the radiators in the room beyond–the blacksmith shop. Just do.
A Merrill Piano from Boston, in the Recreation Room of the Front Dorm.
Giant ingredient hoppers stand on a concrete floor covered in peeled paint.
A typical narrow hallway at Birtle.
A corner of the addition is lined with glass cabinets, formerly filled with beds.
From inside a painting shed, where heatlamps and a vented roof made sure that the Caddy looked like it was worth the price tag.
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
Hunter’s custom large format rig looks pretty cool, doesn’t it?
This used to be one of the office doors, but it’s been removed (apparently without malcontent) and placed in the shop area.
The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
On the upper floors where the sunlight is yellow–the color of flour dust, once exposed to the elements.
Beautiful doors separated the boiler room and the sugar mill. Can you imagine the gracefully curving steps in a power plant today?
2016. A section of the third floor that has changed a lot over the years. Compare to 2006 shot.
Spare blankets still sit in the bottom of the dresser drawer.
The modern morgue, a replacement for the original morgue which has since been turned into a kitchen area.
A typical room in Birtle.
One of the oldest buildings had a wide central staircase with well worn steps. They were utilitarian and beautiful.
A defunct UGG elevator in Killarney, not far from where the Harrisons (of Holmfield, MB and Harrison Milling) once operated a small elevator. Medium Format.
A white star marks the landing between the Keeper’s Quarters (Second Floor) and the radiobeacon and furnace rooms (First Floor).
The bottom of the elevator in the new foundry.
The old men’s ward is an example of what the hospital resembled before part of the complex was modernized. Small rooms, light switches outside the door, small observation windows set into heavy wood. If you ask me, though, the tile work across the floors is the most spectacular.
The top floor’s old-fashioned hospital ways were too much to pass without a photo or two… with the paint falling off the walls it was as if the building was shedding its skin in an effort to become rejuvenated or useful.
Everything is texture.
The old way to get to the elevator from the mill.
I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.
A circular common room in one of the original parts of the hospital. When the asylum was especially crowded, this would be filled with patient beds, too. It’s very strange that this floor was not tiled like the other common rooms. It makes me wonder if especially dangerous patients were kept in this ward; those who could not be trusted to not extract and sharpen the ceramic tiles. Portra 160.
The new steel door of the diesel car shops, built in 1948 and used through the 1960s, as seen from the service pit. On the top of the photograph you can see the exhaust vent.
She’s a charmer.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
This was a living space for the keepers during storms, when it was too dangerous to return to the houses on the point.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
A one-of-a-kind installation in Armour’s otherwise gutted engine house.
The aft lifeboat survived auction, although now all it holds is an emergency ladder to help men who’ve fallen overboard get on deck.
East Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
These stairs lead to the balcony.
Water damage dissolved the ceiling into sludge. Pillars remain, as do the plastic light covers, now on the floor.
An unmarred chart, printed with the facility name and ready to be sent out to command.
Ready for some science? Strap-in and get your goggles.
A heavy steel security door, taken right off its hinges. This was likely installed after Grafton State School took over the hospital.
Taken while standing on the torn outline of a scrapped altar. With my back to the faded outlines of men, books and the Holy Grail, the room seems much lighter.
Frontier Gas is a former (?) gas station chain. Chain O’ mines reused a scrapped sign to mark their mill. Under the paint you can barely make out: GLORY HOLE GOLD MILL.
Rain and snow has gutted a third of the building. From the ground floor, I could see the sky in some places.
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.
Ceiling light fixtures sit on a broken gurney.
Tunnels interconnected all of the complex, carrying power, steam, laundry and food throughout the hospital. This is a typical causeway that would have been very busy when the hospital was operating. In some places, signs still point to defunct areas of the hospital.
The east side of the boiler shop sported a platform with a control booth and heavy machine mounts. Note the door that replaces the lower section of stairs for explorers.
Group showers in the basement. Most children lived here 10 months out of the year, though some remained year-round.
Every floor of the main hospital buildings had its own bathrooms. They often make obvious the fact that these buildings were intentionally built as permanent structures. Even a century after they were built, and several decades of total neglect, they were in fabulous condition.
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
The main shaft’s cable spooled with bird castings belies the fact that lives used to dangle from its steel-wound strength. Arrows on the circles would indicate the mine level the cars were currently at.
When boiling beet juice accidentally spills from the gas-fired tanks two feet away, you better be wearing some of these, or bye-bye legs.
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.
A series of interconnected offices that look like they hadn’t been painted in 40 years.
A high-ceilinged room where kegs would be delivered for cleaning, before they were refilled with fresh booze.
Peering into a remote office at Manitoba Wheat Pool #3. Someone left their to-do list behind.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
The kitchen in the services building has a beautiful red and white checkered tile floor. Kodak Portra 400 in a Voigtlander Bessa.
Work never done.
A hole in one of the boards casts the inverse image of a tree outside across a peeling sanatorium wall.
A vintage X-Ray machine in the oldest section of the hospital.
Perhaps this office was for a film studio or music producer.
Stairs and power lines enter the abandoned depot. Shingles slide off the rotten roof. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
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 entry point for the painting shed on the top floor. Cars would have a few feet in between them before they entered. Separate sheds would prime and add color.
A view of the hallway outside of the auditorium.
The iconic outline of a prairie sentinel. Quintessential rural industrial architecture.
Standing atop the dust collector, the factory breaks down into diverging patterns, processes.
An insurance office.
The grain-centric buildings had automatic fire doors.
Power-up to cool down… would have been nice on the hot day I climbed on top of this machine.
‘Consumers Brewery’ set in the brewhouse staircase.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
Inside a guard shack.
On the Turbine Room floor, one old steam pump still remains, ready to pressurize steam pipes with the hot stuff throughout the car shops and boilers.
An old nurse’s station (you can tell because of the half-door with table) with torn-up tiles. Notice through the curved doorway that even the ceiling has a curvature.
Parking strictly forbidden. A sign in front of Cheratte’s former truck shops.
I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.
In the barracks.
Behind the main shaft is this familiar industrial sight… a running count of days since the last injury.
This building would store and maintain warheads. It was right next to the launch pad, but the two were separated by a high mound.
Part of the grain drier system in ADM #1 crawls up the side of the building like a steel vine.
The basement of the ruined Masonic cottage.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
The shaft house, where hydraulic steel doors allowed or denied entry into the mine shaft. Overhead is a light and alarm. If it sounds, the mine is being evacuated, and you best not go in and best stay the hell out of the way. Locals dump tires here, now.
Looking toward the Female Infirmary Ward from the long, glass, Conservatory hallway.
The wings of the church had a lot more water damage than the rest. The organ on the balcony was in decent condition when I arrived.
“Place Tripod Here” my friends would say. But for me, it’s the money shot. Note the painting around the inside of the skylight.
This floor of the workhouse had corkscrew conveyors–big augers–in the floor to move material around. Most of the walls that were metal were missing, leaving the concrete structure and open doors.
“Ballistite is a smokeless propellant made from two high explosives, nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine. It was developed and patented by Alfred Nobel in the late 19th century.” -Wikipedia.
I couldn’t help but include this ghost sign for a demolished motel…
The control room was used through the mid-1990s as the plant was used to stabilize the power grid.
Chicago-made fire door.
Not necessarily a children’s room.
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.
Colors of the boiler room.
The factory’s first aid room and laboratory. Sure makes me wonder how safe the lab was!
A close-up look at the distressed, but beautiful, staircase in the brewhouse.
The elevator is stuck between floors.
The only way to get to the second floor–since demolition crews punched-out the staircases and ladders leading upwards–was to climb this elevator shaft. In the lower-left corner is a blower for the foundry furnaces.
The power lines follow the street, down to the mineshaft. Everything revolved around the mine, it seemed.
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.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
Because painted signs would not hold up in this spot–in between four ovens that were literally hot enough to melt steel inside. Solution: Cut the pipe labels into the sheet metal. Seems to have worked.
In this photo you see three lives of Lyric: 1.) The Art Deco murals showing the Vaudeville background; 2.) The suspended ceiling put in when the building was converted for film; 3.) The explorers, photographers and others who worked in and on the building before its final demolition.
A closeup of the finely-carved seats in the house, presumably original to the Sattler. There are not too many of these in this kind of condition. If you have a better name for this figure than Cordelia, leave a comment.
In the corner of most of the factory floors, freight elevators flanked restrooms to leave more central space for machines and their masters.
The railing were jealous of both the bricks and bits, and chose instead to dissolve like this.
A decaying door of the Medical Director for the unit. Because this is from one of the outbuildings and not Administration, I doubt that this was the Medical Director of Norwich State Hospital’s office.
In the middle of one of the outlying cottages, perhaps the Masonic Cottage–it was too damaged to tell, really–are these pair of skinny doors that led from patient rooms to a common area with rotting shag carpet.