The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.
The sun sets in front of a huge concrete building—about four times the size of the power plant. Probably a corn storage bin from an ethanol operation that ran here in the 1980s.
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.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
The light next to this acid tank was perfect, thanks to a gaping hole in the roof.
Chester Creek, where it was forced to dip below the circa-1970s I-35 tunnels.
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 power plant of the Old Crow distillery was mostly original. I didn’t have a tripod, so I had to balance my camera on the equipment there.
The top floor of the Dominion Elevator. Acros 100 on 120.
The superstructure for the sea-leg skyways serves no purpose now… the offices are bricked up, too. Why?
One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
While walking out I snapped this last shot of the sunset drenching the castle-top watertower (staying with the theme), right before the sun dipped below the hill across the stream from which the whiskey was distilled.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
The metallic arms of the missile erector, which would stand rockets over the blast pit in the launch position. Medium Format film–cheap but excellent Fomapan 100 in a Pentax 67.
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
In the nitrating house.
One of the early automated painting booths in the paint plant line.
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.
A side view of the oven pusher from the ground. The tallest coal bunker looks tiny in the distance, though on the scale of the factory it’s practically on top of me as I’m taking the picture.
Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
There were three main stockhouses, two of which still exist, that are filled with tanks like these in addition to Fermentation. Each tank is the size of the city bus and few are left after the 2008-2009 scrapings.
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.
Fall in line, act skinny, watch out for low hanging pipes. Don’t ask me where in the maze this was… 90% of the plant looked like this; vast rooms and catwalks with crisscrossing pipes and valves.
The boiler room has four big boilers in it, which seems like overkill. No wonder this plant could supply power to the works and the town at full capacity!
These tubes would bring cement to the top of the plant for storage in the silos.
One of a few dozen steel bed frames left in the rubble of the collapsing building.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.
This drying house was full of ventilation ducts, broken scales, and insulated carts to haul powder around the line.
What are we to do in an emergency?
2005. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
The only good shot I have of the top of Battery A, in the upper left. Though it seemed to have been disused before its neighbor it had a lot less growth on it.
In what has turned into a kind of industrial courtyard between four ovens some people have posted their tags. X was here.
A wrecked pressure gauge and employee time cards.
The front door to the auditorium.
On the second floor of the kettle building where corn mash was boiled, holes where tanks once sat were everywhere.
Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
Heavy steel doors to isolate the underground magnetic separation mill from Eagle Mine’s main tunnel.
Looking down the kiln line from atop the furnaces.
It was as noisy then as it is colorful now…
Rows of offices under the power plant, which was in the middle of being demolished during my adventure. Despite the snow, this was meant as an interior.
This is an elevator to move mine car loads of sand to the surface for cleaning and eventually glass production. Below is a flooded equipment vault. In front and behind is a loop through the larger tunnels in the mine. The horizontal braces supported electric cables for the mine carts.
This building had its own kitchen, suggesting that it may have been one of the hospitals units within Norwich, such as the tuberculosis hospital.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
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.
A brewmaster’s desk leans beside a long-disused stainless steel kettle. The staircase above goes to another level of kettles, which are visibly older.
This is a typical view of the factory; most of it was long hallways flanked by piles of equipment and access points to maintain them.
Looking from one workhouse at another, with the other residents of Mill Hell falling into place as the distance grows. Across the rail yard you can see Froedert Malt elevator and Calumet.
Gloves hang in the basement of the former quality assurance labs.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
Looking into the tunnel system from below the Women’s Ward. The tunnels were used mostly by staff to move food and laundry.
2010. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
As photographed from a cement piling for Slip #3 poured in 1935, disconnected from land by erosion. How do I know the date? A pair of steamship engineers carved their initials and ranks into the wet cement!
The newer tunnels were fitted with these fluorescent lights, although some skylights (block glass embedded in skywalks) let in some natural light during the day.
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.
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
Storms and waves, focused by the Port of Wisconsin entry have focused the faces to tear-up these boards below.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
A light-painted portrait of one of the few remaining carts that moved everything from fresh eggs to soiled laundry through the tunnels.
The bottom of the grain drier inside ADM-Delmar #1.
Water vapor was collected and condensed to be reused in other processes. Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7
Isabella A (left) and B (right) were built in 1910 and 1913, respectively.
A machine to cast copper billets.
C’mon and grab your friends… we’ll go to very—rusty lands…
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.
A tunnel that brought heat from the power plant to the Hart House. Since that building was demolished, this only served as a fallout shelter. To my knowledge, this was never used to move bodies to the incinerator. That was probably done with a vehicle and the lower entrance to the power station, which did dispose of TB victims for some time.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
These machines circulated water through the powder from the ball mills. Gold and silver is heavier than gravel, so it sinks while the junk rock floats.
Watch your head, say the colors. This side of the plant is apparently still standing and is owned by the city.
A typical shower in the old section of the hospital. It looks a little horrifying in the harsh light of a camera flash on the thousands of little white tiles. One soap holder hadn’t been stolen yet.
Part of the system below Dock 2.
The head distiller could walk out of their office to this balcony and overlook the whole fermentation process in a glance.
The flour mill (rear) and its elevators. The taller elevator was moved here in 1955, when the Harrisons bought it from Federal, who declared it surplus. The smaller elevator replaced an earlier smaller warehouse in 1926. Taken shortly after dawn. This one picture made the drive worth it, for me. Medium Format.
After climbing the elevator shaft to the illusive second level, a new pallet of colors were revealed.
Looking up the Dominion Elevator’s tower. I especially like this picture because it shows how so much of the electrical conduits wound round through the mostly hollow space.
A porcelain basin in the locker room is detached, but shows excellent patina. I hope when the machine shop is repurposed that this can be saved.
Either the company was pulling parts from this evaporator to use as parts for other plants, or the last thing the workers did was to get this machine ready for the next campaign. Either way, plans changed.
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.
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”)
A typical stretch of the assembly line.
Because of the dangers of storing the materials to make explosives as well as the explosives themselves, there were earthen bunkers all across the plant like this.
This volume gauge could be read from 30 feet away, which is useful when the control panels and valves are that far away.
A gateway for St. Louis as seen through a gateway (of sorts) in East St. Louis.
A side view of the floatation level. I found it interesting that there were little ladders and staircases in the mill to help workers get around–this place was not as shoddy as other mills I’ve seen.
This is a great example of a combination rock house; the silos below used to fill trains with ore dropped from mine cars pulled to the top of the structure.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
If there were no other options, operators could climb this ladder from the Communications Room to the surface, after opening two heavy steel hatches, of course.
These ceramic bricks were likely from the fireproof tunnel that connected the elevators.
The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.
SWP4-A on the left and Viterra C on the right in a 90-degree panorama.
There are so many pipes i the factory–I wonder how many people knew where they all went, in the days these machines operated at capacity.
I love when moss grows indoors… one of the little pleasures of exploring abandonments.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
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.
Gold, which has a relatively high mass, would drop through the slats of the sluice boxes as the water flowed over them. Around the dredge were a half dozen radiator pipes to keep the water flowing through the machines.
Without a conveyor belt, this tripper seems lost. The job of this machine was simply to take grains from the moving conveyor belt and eject it into the silos via the chutes on the sides. Note all the dust collection venting added to the machine to suck up any explosive grain dust.
The first step of the filtering process is being spun through this tube.
The side of King that faces the lake is stained yellow-green.
The shed in the front was full of worker supplies–namely goggles and heavy leather gloves. Molten copper isn’t a friendly thing to handle.
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
To run new gutters through the building, some of the plaster walls of the Chateau had to be smashed through.
The old gate sign, leaned against one of the terminal elevators.
Cauterized wounds on the factory floor, where the middle of the newer mill opens up to allow massive equipment. Now the pipes are cut and the equipment is gone.
The mostly-empty distilling room is easy to spot from the outside because of the distinctive round window.
The only door into a large windowless concrete room, probably a storage bin. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
Filters and fans to draw air into the boilers in the second power plant.
A century-old ghost sign for Royal House Flour was preserved after a building is built above and through it! Looking from the north annex elevator toward the headhouse.
The basement of the asylum was a strange place. Take, this fireplace, for instance, in an otherwise barren room. Random cinderblock (left) has created a little room behind the fireplace. To round out the strangeness, a toilet was plumbed into the middle of the space. Note the stone foundations.
One level below where the cotton was nitrated, the fumes must have been powerful. This floor had several massive ventilation fans in its walls.
The elevator works on gravity… this is where a conveyor belt was to move the grain toward the main elevator to be loaded into ships.
A typical large mine tunnel. You can just make out the narrow gauge rail.
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
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
The perfect place to have a post-industrial picnic.
Looking into the Pool 8 Annex from the original Ogilvie’s elevator.
Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.
The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.
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.
Latin; to grow. Root of the English word ‘surge’.
The giant radiators in this casting shop look like a flag to me.
A huge steam pipe snakes between catwalks, through the floors, and toward the condensers, so the water could be recovered and reused.
Looking across a skyway at the dust-collecting funnels, one of the few pieces of equipment that haven’t been completely decimated by time and the elements.
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.
This picture shows the challenges of moving around underground in the base.
Pipes to channel nitrose (think nitro glycerine) infused acid through the building.
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.
Looking up from the industrial courtyard.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
The sound of water running in the distance.
Easier-to-demolish parts of the power plant were torched apart. Catwalks to nowhere meant lots of dead ends.
Lockers for the boiler room workers.
Steam pipes squirm around the stacks.
Look at the floor–do you see the hole? That goes down a lonnnnnng ways.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
Workers would undoubtedly prefer to use the belt manlift on the right.
Observing War City in the midst of an electric storm. This photo is lit almost entirely by lightning.
One of my favorite shots of the headhouse at the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4, with one seagull threading the needle. The socket holes on the frame got blown out thanks to my bad developing, but I like the effect. Arista 100.
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.
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.
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.
Water damage dissolved the ceiling into sludge. Pillars remain, as do the plastic light covers, now on the floor.
Across the walls of the brick repair shop, near where men and machine entered Shaft No. 3, vines, pipes, and graffiti battle unknowingly for visual prominence.
Past the underground repair shop is this cliffside adit.
Without a roof, the bricks were being washed away in the later years of the roundhouse.
A sign of where man met machine.
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.
In the middle of Electric Steel, dust collector vents cross-cross out of sight.
Chester Creek takes many such sliding dives where it empties into Lake Superior.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
Looking up at the network of elevators at the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. Its train shed doors stand open under the void where conveyors should be. You can see where they used to connect on the left and right. The outside of the building is covered in racist graffiti.
Bits and things in a pile in the corner of the smelter, the unsold chunks of industrial history that didn’t sell at an on-site auction before my visit.
At the extreme eastern end of the plant is a bank of modern concrete silos. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
These stairs connected some small main-level offices with one of the main sewing rooms above. Because the roof on this building was strong, it was pretty well preserved–look at those colors. Through the open fire door on the left, though, you can see that the roof has given out.
When it was convenient, the sugar company would pull equipment, even pipes, from one mill for another.
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
The final ball mill in the Chain O’ Mines concentrator. Behind it was a bucket of steel balls.
Blue plastic siding filters the summer sun, giving the otherwise reddish-brown interior a splash of color.
Goop and slop slip to drop in the shame drain.
Under the monster and its teeth.
Water at the bottom of the silo was perfectly clear.
Chester Creek’s lower sections change, demarking decades of change for Superior Street.
These steam powered pumps were integral to the cooling of the meat packing plant next door.
The conveyorway between the on-site grain elevator and mill.
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
The Comm Room’s portals once supported many more conduits.
Next to the generator room is the pump room, which moved steam around the complex.
This sawtooth roof collapsed months later under the weight of an early snow.
This is the crane that would be used to lower extra-heavy bits of copper ore into the fire of the furnace.
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.
A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.
The wrought iron staircase for what was the Consumer’s Brewery Brew House, as indicated by very fine cast landings with the company logo. The staircase is in bad condition; someone had run a forklift or something similar into the bottom in addition to copious vandalism and water damage. Holes in the floor, like in the upper-right corner indicate where stainless steel kettles used to be before they were scrapped.
Sprays of water kept the muddy mixture flowing across the sluices, which filtered out gold particles from gravel and dirty.
A caustic tank in one of the unremodeled brewhouse backrooms.
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.
One of the cupola air intakes, rattled loose by the demolition downstairs, hangs stranded on the second floor. You can see that the floor I’m standing on in this picture used to extend all the way to the right wall. The blue paint on the wall made the climb absolutely worth it.
On the upper floors where the sunlight is yellow–the color of flour dust, once exposed to the elements.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
Jet Lowe is my inspiration.
The rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
I did not take the escape ladder to the surface, but I am told it pops up in the middle of a hill next to the missile silo doors.
Standing atop the dust collector, the factory breaks down into diverging patterns, processes.
The engine room.
ADM-Delmar #1- Maintainance Department. The stainless steel bits are part of the grain dryer added in the 1940s. The workhouse itself (the larger tower) was a dedicated Cleaning House, meaning that grain passed through both these buildings to be rid of dust, dirt and extra moisture before storage. In the foreground is the old ADM locker room and pipe department.
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.
Blast Furnace 7 as seen from the ore yard. Imagine running up those stairs through blast furnace smoke.
This load of lime seems to have been left right where it was loaded.
The many levels of catwalks make for a place where you can look from the ground floor to the roof, about 4 stories up.
Dirty filters for some equipment hang, awaiting a purpose.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
Sunset through a stained window in the headhouse made the floor feel like a heavy industrial Disney movie.
A facade that tells the story of demolition and neglect. The sign on the garage door indicates that if one finds themselves there, that they enter the buildings at their own risk. If only property owners in the US took this philosophy!
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
This picture is lit by a direct lightning strike of the building. It’s impossible to describe the feeling of being in this giant open building the moment it channeled an electric explosion into the earth.
Paint lines were constantly monitored through big windows. Adjustments could be made on the dedicated consoles. This is what most of the painting floor looked like.