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 sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.
One of the early automated painting booths in the paint plant line.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
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.
One thing that made the Eagle Mine unique is the underground mill, left of this picture. As the rocks moved down the mill, they would be turned into finer and finer powder.
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.
The front door to the auditorium.
Although the caves deviated little in their year-round temperature, it was common to use blocks of ice to cool beer immediately before shipment. This is the ruins of the ice chute.
The bottom of the grain drier inside ADM-Delmar #1.
A wide view of the steam pump room, complete with pistons (taken apart for their brass), flywheels (covered in graffiti and rust) and pressure gauges (smashed apart for fun). I guess what I’m trying to say is, I was not disappointed.
A lime auger and massive feet of the lime hopper.
This picture shows the challenges of moving around underground in the base.
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.
Workers would undoubtedly prefer to use the belt manlift on the right.
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.
Filters and fans to draw air into the boilers in the second power plant.
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.
Steam pipes squirm around the stacks.
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.
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.
Lockers for the boiler room workers.
When it was convenient, the sugar company would pull equipment, even pipes, from one mill for another.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
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.
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!
Chester Creek’s lower sections change, demarking decades of change for Superior Street.
The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.
This sawtooth roof collapsed months later under the weight of an early snow.
A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.
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.
Look at the floor–do you see the hole? That goes down a lonnnnnng ways.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
The only door into a large windowless concrete room, probably a storage bin. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.
The final ball mill in the Chain O’ Mines concentrator. Behind it was a bucket of steel balls.
Under the monster and its teeth.
While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.
Dirty filters for some equipment hang, awaiting a purpose.
Sunset through a stained window in the headhouse made the floor feel like a heavy industrial Disney movie.
This drying house was full of ventilation ducts, broken scales, and insulated carts to haul powder around the line.
One level below where the cotton was nitrated, the fumes must have been powerful. This floor had several massive ventilation fans in its walls.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
The conveyor between the shore and Dock 2. Note the gap in the aerial walkway that used to connect Dock 4 to the rest of the complex.
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.
Without a roof, the bricks were being washed away in the later years of the roundhouse.
Next to the generator room is the pump room, which moved steam around the complex.
Days after the long-flooded basement was pumped out. Note the water lines!
Watch your head, say the colors. This side of the plant is apparently still standing and is owned by the city.
Some small candles light one of the few surviving tunnels that once linked buildings on the campus with the steam plant. In winter, it was common for patients to be transported through these to avoid the cold, and during the Cold War these served as nuclear fallout shelters.
The Comm Room’s portals once supported many more conduits.
Chutes connect the bottoms of the silos to a conveyor belt.
2005. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
At the top of the workhouse, dust collection pipes weave through cross-crossing conveyors.
The superstructure for the sea-leg skyways serves no purpose now… the offices are bricked up, too. Why?
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.
The mostly-empty distilling room is easy to spot from the outside because of the distinctive round window.
This load of lime seems to have been left right where it was loaded.
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
Looking up from the ground floor at the various levels of the sugar mill.
Easier-to-demolish parts of the power plant were torched apart. Catwalks to nowhere meant lots of dead ends.
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 sound of water running in the distance.
Chutes from a hundred machines interconnect to more machines and chutes on a dozen factory floors.
Some parts of the doctor’s apartment in the Administration Tower were decidedly upscale. Look at the beautiful ironwork on that sink!
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.
A sign of where man met machine.
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.
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.
The powerhouse was notably older than the rest of the complex. I’m still not sure if it was build just for the cooperage, or whether it preceded it.
Spots of yellow gravel mark gold mines with nothing left on the surface. Is this one of the drainage pipes?
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.
Looking out of Kurth Malt a the neighbors–the silos past Electric Steel are those of the Froedert Malt Company, now gone.
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.
These copulas made the iron for casting.
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”)
This giant gear’s sole purpose was to turn the ship’s single rudder in all conditions.
Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.
A light-painted portrait of one of the few remaining carts that moved everything from fresh eggs to soiled laundry through the tunnels.
Looking up from the industrial courtyard.
A gateway for St. Louis as seen through a gateway (of sorts) in East St. Louis.
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.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
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.
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.
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.
Depending on the position of the valve, flour could be routed from the filtering process back into a mill.
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.
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.
One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
The head distiller could walk out of their office to this balcony and overlook the whole fermentation process in a glance.
I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.
The generator hall of the last power station, as seen from the gantryway.
A caustic tank in one of the unremodeled brewhouse backrooms.
Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.
The engine room.
Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.
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.
These steam powered pumps were integral to the cooling of the meat packing plant next door.
On the second floor of the kettle building where corn mash was boiled, holes where tanks once sat were everywhere.
A ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Chester Creek takes many such sliding dives where it empties into Lake Superior.
Goop and slop slip to drop in the shame drain.
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.
A machine to cast copper billets.
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 into the tunnel system from below the Women’s Ward. The tunnels were used mostly by staff to move food and laundry.
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.
Storms and waves, focused by the Port of Wisconsin entry have focused the faces to tear-up these boards below.
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.
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.
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 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.
The boiler doors are beautiful, and feature the name of the smelter and mine company. If you like these, check my article on the Mitchell Yards of Hibbing, MN.
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 light next to this acid tank was perfect, thanks to a gaping hole in the roof.
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.
This is what it might have looked like if a new Ford descended in the elevator with its headlights on. As seen from the Mississippi side–the opposite portal faces the sand mine.
Blast Furnace 7 as seen from the ore yard. Imagine running up those stairs through blast furnace smoke.
These ceramic bricks were likely from the fireproof tunnel that connected the elevators.
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.
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
I love when moss grows indoors… one of the little pleasures of exploring abandonments.
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.
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.
Blue plastic siding filters the summer sun, giving the otherwise reddish-brown interior a splash of color.
The rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
Halfway up the coal conveyor, covered in coal dust… black streaks of snot. Starting to get good.
The bottom of the stairs leading from the work floor to the cafeteria.
In the upper left of the image you can see where the gas tanks used to be, along with the concentration equipment. Along the bottom you can also see some of the many railroad tracks coming and going from the plant–the ones visible here were incoming tracks that carried in hard coal from the eastern US.
A wrecked pressure gauge and employee time cards.
At the extreme eastern end of the plant is a bank of modern concrete silos. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
Water damage dissolved the ceiling into sludge. Pillars remain, as do the plastic light covers, now on the floor.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
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.
SWP4-A on the left and Viterra C on the right in a 90-degree panorama.
Pipes to channel nitrose (think nitro glycerine) infused acid through the building.
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
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.
A typical stretch of the assembly line.
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.
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.
In the nitrating house.
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.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
One of a few dozen steel bed frames left in the rubble of the collapsing building.
In a strange loft next to the brewhouse are these twin kettles, which seem much older than the main kettles in the brewhouse.
The many levels of catwalks make for a place where you can look from the ground floor to the roof, about 4 stories up.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
The giant radiators in this casting shop look like a flag to me.
Heavy steel doors to isolate the underground magnetic separation mill from Eagle Mine’s main tunnel.
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
This volume gauge could be read from 30 feet away, which is useful when the control panels and valves are that far away.
To run new gutters through the building, some of the plaster walls of the Chateau had to be smashed through.
A typical large mine tunnel. You can just make out the narrow gauge rail.
Observing War City in the midst of an electric storm. This photo is lit almost entirely by lightning.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
Latin; to grow. Root of the English word ‘surge’.
2010. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
The factory was utterly vertical.
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.
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 top floor of the Dominion Elevator. Acros 100 on 120.
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.
Jet Lowe is my inspiration.
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.
Some warnings on the older battery which was visibly older than its eastern counterpart. This set of batteries had no railing between the side of the ovens and a long drop onto railroad tracks… I like this picture because it shows the effects of the heat and corrosive gasses on the area around the ovens.
The side of King that faces the lake is stained yellow-green.
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 shed in the front was full of worker supplies–namely goggles and heavy leather gloves. Molten copper isn’t a friendly thing to handle.
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.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
This building had its own kitchen, suggesting that it may have been one of the hospitals units within Norwich, such as the tuberculosis hospital.
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.
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.
A few from atop the steam gauges along the western wall. The turbines were scrapped quickly after the plant closed, it seemed.
Part of the system below Dock 2.
In the middle of Electric Steel, dust collector vents cross-cross out of sight.
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
So much relies on one thing stacked on top of another thing.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
What are we to do in an emergency?
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
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.
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.
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.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
The perfect place to have a post-industrial picnic.
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 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.
Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.