peeling-paint

Second Floor Throwers

Standing atop the dust collector, the factory breaks down into diverging patterns, processes.

Old Ward

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.

Ringling Depot

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.

Skylights

A view of the hallway outside of the auditorium.

Elevator Shaft

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.

Eighth Floor Warning

This is one of my favorite images of the year because of the color, light and textures. Someone told me once that the medium of photographers is not film or digital sensors, but rather shadows. This photo is evidence of that.

Dept 5157

In the corner of most of the factory floors, freight elevators flanked restrooms to leave more central space for machines and their masters.

Silk Thrower

The porcelain hoops guided the silk threads through the device.

Max Pressure

I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.

Birtle Showers

Group showers in the basement. Most children lived here 10 months out of the year, though some remained year-round.

Coating Section Conveyor

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.

Warehouse Elevator – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Diesel Doors

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.

Killarney, MB

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.

Low Gain

I like to imagine this as an old-timey radio microphone.

Swirl – (C)SUBSTREET

Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!

Keeper’s Station Quarters

This was a living space for the keepers during storms, when it was too dangerous to return to the houses on the point.

Hot Mess

Looking up from the industrial courtyard.

No Parking

Parking strictly forbidden. A sign in front of Cheratte’s former truck shops.

Backordered

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.

Camera Obscura

A hole in one of the boards casts the inverse image of a tree outside across a peeling sanatorium wall.

Old Kitchen, Porta 160

The kitchen in the services building has a beautiful red and white checkered tile floor. Kodak Portra 400 in a Voigtlander Bessa.

Oberon, MB

The iconic outline of a prairie sentinel. Quintessential rural industrial architecture.

Mill Door

Beautiful doors separated the boiler room and the sugar mill. Can you imagine the gracefully curving steps in a power plant today?

Mushroom Pillars

90% of Brach’s looks like this. Concrete walls, mushroom pillars, and water over the floor.

New Morgue

The modern morgue, a replacement for the original morgue which has since been turned into a kitchen area.

Ringling Depot – Door

Stairs and power lines enter the abandoned depot. Shingles slide off the rotten roof. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6

Warhead Storage

This building would store and maintain warheads. It was right next to the launch pad, but the two were separated by a high mound.

View from the Booth

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?

Sterling Drawers

The factory’s first aid room and laboratory. Sure makes me wonder how safe the lab was!

Breached Infirmary

A heavy steel security door, taken right off its hinges. This was likely installed after Grafton State School took over the hospital.

20 Person Life Boat

The aft lifeboat survived auction, although now all it holds is an emergency ladder to help men who’ve fallen overboard get on deck.

Bed Rest

Judging by the bed, this room was used by employees in its later years.

See Reverse

An unmarred chart, printed with the facility name and ready to be sent out to command.

Balcony

The head distiller could walk out of their office to this balcony and overlook the whole fermentation process in a glance.

Mine Evacuation Alarm

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.

Frontier Gas Station Sign

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.

Buckstaff Windows

The side of the oldest building on the property, the former casket factory.

Avanti Elevator

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.

Tunnel Skylight

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.

Female Ward

The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.

Looking Up

Rain and snow has gutted a third of the building. From the ground floor, I could see the sky in some places.

Torn Up Tiles I

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.

11-15-1985

A chalkboard that hasn’t been changed in my lifetime. Not something I expected to find in this engine room closet.

Claw-Foot Tub

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.

Common Room

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.

Cordelia

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.

Government Press

A view of the government presses, with pages of law across the floor covered in footprints.

Player Piano

The women’s ward had a player piano in it, likely a donation.

Saggy Corridor

Looking toward the Female Infirmary Ward from the long, glass, Conservatory hallway.

Panel Overload

The control room was used through the mid-1990s as the plant was used to stabilize the power grid.

Five Stacks

I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.

Distiller Control Panel

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.

Above the Stacks

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.

An Archipelagos and A Chair

The private bathroom for the staff in this building was simple. As blue paint peels away from the yellow undercoat, islands emerge and grow.

Transformer 509-4

A detailed look at the side of one of the thousands of transformer boxes in the war city.

Politics of the Back Bowl

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.

Fourth Floor Frost, Porta 160

A broken roof drain turned the fourth floor into a skating rink. Frost covers every surface. Kodak Portra 400 in Voigtlander Bessa.

Broadway House Lights

“Place Tripod Here” my friends would say. But for me, it’s the money shot. Note the painting around the inside of the skylight.

Medicine Cabinet

A corner of the addition is lined with glass cabinets, formerly filled with beds.

Side of the Coating Line

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.

Marked Doors

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.

Stair Problem

These stairs were probably removed to discourage scrapping and graffiti. Ask me if it worked.

Administration

The first floor hallway between conference rooms and the diesel lab at the center of the facility

Waders Where

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.

Blue Hallway

The second floor of one of the houses is done in bright blue. This building has since been severely vandalized.

ADM Labs- What’s Cooking?

The ADM Quality Assurance Labs haven’t changed much, except for that it has become a common home for the homeless.

Curtains

This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.

Powerlines

The power lines follow the street, down to the mineshaft. Everything revolved around the mine, it seemed.

Substation #2 Window

Ektar 100/Mamiya 6.
Looking out the window a the foundations of the demolished company homes.

Grainy Funnels

Giant ingredient hoppers stand on a concrete floor covered in peeled paint.

Mischungszusammenselzung

On the left, the formula for the sintering mix was written (“mischungszusammenselzung”) to keep track of the jobs.

Records Vault

A fireproof room in the basement, perhaps for ammunition storage at one time.

Fire Bucket

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.

Furniture Party

As if they were planning to move the furniture out of the hospital, it all sits in the main hallway in the ground floor.

Auger Floor

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.

Behind the Blue Door

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.

Peeling Stair I

One of the few windows that escaped steel plating the last time the hospital was sealed tight to let nature roam within.

Door II

A rare door left on the workhouse. The stairs to the left led down into a flooded basement. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.

Third Floor, 2015

2016. A section of the third floor that has changed a lot over the years. Compare to 2006 shot.

Backdoor

Looking out at the abandoned neighborhood around the house.

Third Gate

An iron gate separates vaults below the barracks.

Workers’ Stairs

One of the oldest buildings had a wide central staircase with well worn steps. They were utilitarian and beautiful.

Gothic Yellow

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.

A Certain Industrial Elegance – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Film Rooms

A series of interconnected offices that look like they hadn’t been painted in 40 years.

Boiler Shop Door – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Double-Paned Threats

This used to be one of the office doors, but it’s been removed (apparently without malcontent) and placed in the shop area.

Super Angulon

Hunter’s custom large format rig looks pretty cool, doesn’t it?

Room #486, Criminal Ward

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.

Brewhouse Levels

A late look at the brewhouse, long after the stainless steel tanks were scrapped.

Unintentional Cross of St. Peter

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…

Fermenter Sixteen

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.

Detroit Algae

This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.

Oberon, MB- Field Row

The old offices for the Oberon Elevator are defunct, but seem to be holding up to the brutal prairie snows and winds. Medium Format.

Sacred Heart Sunroom

Fluorescent lights peel back from the walls like caterpillars, rearing up and away from the glare of the sunflower-fans.

Mine Level Indicator

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.

Revised History

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.

Bunny

Not necessarily a children’s room.

Aft

On deck, looking at the door to the engine room.

Servir

Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.

Curved Corridor, Interior

The interior of one of the curved corridors that connect two wards. Note the original floor’s hand-laid tile pattern. Portra 160.

Old Exterior Wall

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.

Monorail in Mono

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.

Keg Room

A high-ceilinged room where kegs would be delivered for cleaning, before they were refilled with fresh booze.

Gust

A breeze and broken window has animated one of the few curtains still hanging in Nopeming as of 2015.

Boxsprings

Artifacts from the days this was a furniture factory and warehouse.

Guacamole Walls

With an office like this, the ones food begins to taste more and more like nachos.

Fourth Floor Corridor

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.

Archspace Window

A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.

Coke Batter B Control

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.

Blast Walkway

Just outside of the blast furnace is a series of platforms and catwalks to bring workers to the stoves.

Commons and Moss

A common room with a big bay window that overlooked the main entrance of the hospital.

Firebox

The pipes in the boiler would be full of water, so the heat in the furnace.

Safety is Slow

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.

Skyway

The old way to get to the elevator from the mill.

Time Lost

Behind the main shaft is this familiar industrial sight… a running count of days since the last injury.

Sifters with Manlift

On the upper floors where the sunlight is yellow–the color of flour dust, once exposed to the elements.

Director’s Office

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.

Dorm Hallway

Water damage dissolved the ceiling into sludge. Pillars remain, as do the plastic light covers, now on the floor.

440 Volts

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.

Vintage X-Ray

A vintage X-Ray machine in the oldest section of the hospital.

Basement

The basement of the ruined Masonic cottage.

In-Mine Hooks

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”.

Red Wall

The back wall of the ballroom, showing water-warped floors.

Machine Stand – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Tankless Brewhouse

Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.

Lunchroom

An employee lunchroom with every door and window covered in vented steel.

Star Landing

A white star marks the landing between the Keeper’s Quarters (Second Floor) and the radiobeacon and furnace rooms (First Floor).

Looking Back from the Altar

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.

Magic Bookshelf

Books in nooks and not getting a look… about the crook with hooks that cooks.

10 Operators 5 Casuals

“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.

Beet Levels

This volume gauge could be read from 30 feet away, which is useful when the control panels and valves are that far away.

Laundry Kit

Looking into the tunnel system from below the Women’s Ward. The tunnels were used mostly by staff to move food and laundry.

Steam Gauges

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.

Worthington Steam Engine

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.

Old Ward

Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.

Gate 5C

It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.

Found Film

Perhaps this office was for a film studio or music producer.

Two Hundreds

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.

Distillery Floor

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.

Turbine Casing

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.

Old Bathroom

An original, minimally remodeled bathroom above the cafeteria reminds us what the whole complex once looked like.

Paint Line

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.

Empty Frame

Someone had helped themselves to one of the safety posters before my visit.

Grand Staircase

The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.

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