pillars

Wilting Refectory

A 180-degree panorama of the first floor of the refectory. I just loved the colors; there’s something about plaster walls that retain the character of a building; they crumble when they die, which is much more graceful than drywall, which drips down into a stinking puddle that looks and smells like a blob of Elmer’s glue.

Dorm Hallway

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

Doors 16 and 17

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.

Find Texture

Much of the plant depended on steam, not only for heat but for mechanical power.

St. Peter’s Migration

Between the ice chute and the back of the north section of the cellars, a little pillar shows where a room used to be. The ceiling’s disintegration has since filled the space, which seems to be the last point of expansion in the cave–this was last carved in the mid-1840s.

Fourth Floor Room

On the top floor of one of the old wards, the slanted roofline makes the this group room more claustrophobic. Portra 160.

Detroit Algae

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

Workshop

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.

Pallet-Filled Building

In the many-windowed metal building, the lumberyard buildings and the abandoned starch works buildings are separated by a thick wall of pallets.

Dominion- Cracked Skylight

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.

Huge Skyway

A number of skyways carried the production line across roads and railroad tracks in and around the plant. An identical skyway to this one was cut off sometime in the past decade (judging by the rust), probably for its steel.

Lighthouse Basement

The spiral staircase ends in the basement, where two oil tanks (for the lantern) and a freshwater tank (for the Keeper) were stored. The basement consists of two long arched vaults like this.

Cone Room

The scale of the grain hoppers helps tell the story of how large Hamm’s was in its day.

Rural Roundhouse – (C)SUBSTREET

A photo from my first trip, although very little has changed in this area of the building except for the level of graffiti. I love skylights, don’t you?

Kabelkanal

Scrappers infamously gutted the factory, but this one green conduit going from the sintering floor all the way to ground level seems to have been spared.

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.

New Brewhouse, 2005

2005. Looking at the brewhouse from the top of the staircase the goes to the tunnels.

Undivided

Before there was a row of double rooms on the left and a common room on the right. Now, in a way, it is all one big common room.

Dining Room

The new dining room is still set up for the Twelve Step meetings that took place here a few years ago.

A Factory Wants

This section of the production floor was constantly dripping. Someone had laid down giant plastic sheeting to attempt to protect the lower floors, but it hasn’t worked.

Sunset During Demolition

While the last of the Studebaker production buildings were being demolished, I visited again. Here’s a shot taken shortly after the demolition crew left for the day.

Max Floorwarp

This is one of the biggest warps I’ve ever found in a wooden factory floor hasn’t broken yet. When you stand on it, it make a very loud popping sound as the boards shift. The poster on the pillar near the left side of the frame advertises recreational boating, presumably to the factory workers who left this floor in the early 1980s.

Mushroom Pillars

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

765pOK704

Coded writing on a pillar in one of the assembly buildings.

Sun-Shined Ice

Science Alert. When the sun strikes an object, that object absorbs some of the infared light in the form of heat. The heat absorbed by the old Soo dock absorbed and radiated that energy to melt off the snow from the ice around it, making it very reflective.

Old Time Hauler

What looks to be a skip for repairing the dock, in the concrete steeple.

Spilled Taconite

It was interesting that, even though storms had carried the wooden walkway that stretched under the dock, these piles of spilled taconite remain where they had dropped.

Greek Columns

This used to be the main entrance of The Orpheum, before Orpheum Garage on Superior Street was converted into a new entrance.

Mills Across the Street

The world’s biggest paper machine was installed here about a century before this photo was taken. The orange in the windows is the brick building across the street–the new part of the plant.

Torn Up Tiles II

Taken in the last few minutes of the day. You can tell by the way that the wall is deteriorating that the windows using to have an arched top!

The Original Tumblr

This might have been part of the Pioneer Pellet Plant. It looks to be a ball mill, which pulverizes ore by spinning it with thousands of ball bearings.

Dump Two

A color study of the rotting donated clothes in the former GB&S Machine Shop.

Hangers On

A pipe bracket seems to have rusted off of the ceiling.

Replaced Planes

This building was responsible for storing and drying the barrels. Compare right.

Balcony

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

Silk Thrower

The porcelain hoops guided the silk threads through the device.

Keg Room

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

Overgrown Pillars

One thing I like to do at Gopher is imagine the shape of the planned buildings based on the partial structures.

Foggy 51

The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…

Fisher Penthouse

Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.

Brewhouse Levels

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

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.

Erekt

The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.

Sisters’ Chapel

This roof hasn’t budged under the weight of snow, instead it just filters-through the light onto the floor.

Say Remiss

For reasons unknown, this building’s concrete was designed a little thinly. It reminds me of a Chicago, IL building constructed during WWI when concrete and steel were strictly rationed and many buildings went up with insufficient superstructures. I do not have a build date for this one yet.

Front Porch

A multi-family home with an attic bedroom. The staircase was unstable, to say the least.

Architecture Takes a Knee

Holes in the roof lead to holes in the plaster and finally holes in the floor. That’s not what gutted the God from this altar, though.

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.

God Loves Lime

In the Lime House, the sunset picked-up the last light of day to make this image. Lime is used in the beet sugar refinement process to reduce the acidity of the beet juice mixture.

Foundry Basement

Below the factory floor is a network of hallways and tunnels, all flooded with water.

Blue Wall

After climbing the elevator shaft to the illusive second level, a new pallet of colors were revealed.

Twohy Offices

The offices, cleared out pending fire inspection. Now it’s full of stuff again.

Kegmaster’s Causeway

A mix of brick and stone construction where the stock house meets the cellars. The caves brought well water to the brewery and drained the refuse away, and the various sewer connections are visible here and tell the story of the company’s expansion above.

Pillar 120

Every timber pillar was numbered for maintenance purposes.

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.

Spring House

Designed by Taylor himself, the spring house was the site of many parties in its day. You can imagine sipping fresh-tapped whiskey here with your Sunday clothes with soft music and the sounds of the river mixing in the background. Note the key-hole-shaped spring hole.

Cheratte Dry Room

This is one of the rooms near Shaft 1 that was converted to be a Dry Room, where workers would wash and change between shifts.

Kate

Two versions of Detroit. One where buildings stand tall and proud, and one where they wilt under the sun. It’s an amazing juxtaposition.

Noisy Columns

Behind the grand staircase is this beautifully preserved hallway with medieval-style arches and vivid paint.

MPE3- Crashed Bucket Conveyors

All of the bucket conveyors crashed on this work floor when their casings were scrapped. Note all of the valves to open the grain flow.

Pool 8 Door

The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.

Foundry Dripmarks

Looking at the casting floor from the roof. In the distance are the copulas where molten metal was poured.

Broken Box

On the scale of the big machine shop, the huge piles of clothing look insignificant.

Curtains

Sliding curtains gave a little privacy to the residents of this room, which looked and felt more medicinal than most of the other multi-patient rooms.

Still Studebaker

Between the room with mold sand and the space where the car’s metal bits would be put together, a pillar is marked as structurally vital.

Stall One Door One

The small door leads to the offices, the large door leads to the shop. My back at this time is to the corrugated steel wall. At the time I wondered why there was just one steel wall, not knowing that 40 years before there was another spot for an engine here. This section of the roundhouse has become a sort of town dump–car seats, cans of paint and tires are piled into its corners.

Sluice Door

The sluice room was surrounded in fine grating. The company would want to finely control when the doors would be opened so the gold could be removed under supervision. No yellow bonus for the working man…

Storm Station

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.

Ryan – (C)SUBSTREET

Model: Ryan. On the second floor between wooden joists and massive, inert lighting is simply nothing but warped wood, stained with crane grease.

One Ear

Standing between pockets 1 and 2. You brought hearing protection, right?

Dock Pillars

The underside of the dock seemed almost like a cathedral to industry with vaulted ceilings.

Underfoot Underdock

The underside of the ore dock in winter. Snow drifts across the dock from the frozen lake.

Second Floor Throwers

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

Mushroom Pillar

When I see this picture, I imagine that I am an ant exploring a mushroom farm.

Gary Methodist

“GREETING FROM BEAUTIFUL GARY–WISH YOU WERE HERE!” My postcard shot.

Office

The office for the maintenance shop was sound-insulated and ventilated.

Teenage Art Gallery

And I forget just why I taste / Oh yeah, I guess it makes me smile / I found it hard, it’s hard to find / Oh well, whatever, never mind (Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”)

Department Sign

I found a historical photo of this room showing 10-foot high machines with wires hanging by the mile from looms and schematic charts.

Devan

Storms and waves, focused by the Port of Wisconsin entry have focused the faces to tear-up these boards below.

Hospital Portico

When it became “Hyde Park Hospital”, this portico was added onto the front.

Kettle Building

This is the building where the corn mash would be boiled in stainless steel kettles, now gone.

Ugly Archway

Part of the Laundry Building with an ugly archway between rooms. Note that even this building had a nurse’s station with shatterproof windows. Laundry was done by supervised patients as part of their Occupational Therapy and the staff took no chances.

Studebaker in HDR

At sunset the light skips from puddle to stagnant puddle across the whole foundry room, playing with the classic sawtooth roof with half-hearted shadows.

Tankless Brewhouse

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

Abandoned News Stand

An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.

Timbering

One of the paper warehouses, with snow blowing across the floors.

Rosemount Stonehenge

Some of the ruins are way off the beaten path… foundations of tank stands and pillars of buildings that never had walls or roofs.

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.

Altar

In its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…

I-Beam Extending Into Basement

Holes were cut into the floor to extract equipment from the basements. it was interesting to see the I-beams extending through all the levels of Studebaker.

Bricked Windows

Windows provided the 250-some workers with fresh air and light, and helped to keep flour dust from building up in the air, helping to prevent explosions. Today, machines control air flow better without windows, so they were bricked.

Grain Sorter

At the top of the elevator was a distribution room to direct the grain onto conveyor belts below.