In what has turned into a kind of industrial courtyard between four ovens some people have posted their tags. X was here.
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.
A caustic tank in one of the unremodeled brewhouse backrooms.
Chutes from a hundred machines interconnect to more machines and chutes on a dozen factory floors.
This picture shows the challenges of moving around underground in the base.
The engine room.
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.
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 typical stretch of the assembly line.
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
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”)
The bricks routinely fell from the walls, like seeds falling from trees. On a smaller scale, new walls grew from the floors.
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.
After a short rainfall douses the mill in downtown Fergus Falls, the river next to the brick walls swells and the sounds of water overtakes the echos of the nearby bars. Reflections are on the foundation of the former distribution and rail building.
Water damage dissolved the ceiling into sludge. Pillars remain, as do the plastic light covers, now on the floor.
Looking out of Kurth Malt a the neighbors–the silos past Electric Steel are those of the Froedert Malt Company, now gone.
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.
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.
The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.
A sign of where man met machine.
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.
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.
Isabella A (left) and B (right) were built in 1910 and 1913, respectively.
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 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.
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.
Spots of yellow gravel mark gold mines with nothing left on the surface. Is this one of the drainage pipes?
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
Looking up from the ground floor at the various levels of the sugar mill.
Looking into the Pool 8 Annex from the original Ogilvie’s elevator.
A ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
The conveyorway between the on-site grain elevator and mill.
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.
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.
These tubes would bring cement to the top of the plant for storage in the silos.
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.
I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.
This volume gauge could be read from 30 feet away, which is useful when the control panels and valves are that far away.
When it was convenient, the sugar company would pull equipment, even pipes, from one mill for another.
This drying house was full of ventilation ducts, broken scales, and insulated carts to haul powder around the line.
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.
2010. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
These steam powered pumps were integral to the cooling of the meat packing plant next door.
Blue plastic siding filters the summer sun, giving the otherwise reddish-brown interior a splash of color.
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.
A wrecked pressure gauge and employee time cards.
On the middle level of the Poacher House. For a detailed view of the chart see ‘See Reverse’.
A winding flue between the ovens for Furnace 6, capped with sketchy catwalks.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
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 gauges on left of frame are the steam pressure indicators for the various steam-powered components around the ship, like the steering engine and windlass motors. Below the gauges are a case of tiny wooden parts drawers… note the ancient oiling can on the locker near the upper-right corner of the frame.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
Looking up from the industrial courtyard.
While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.
The first step of the filtering process is being spun through this tube.
The mostly-empty distilling room is easy to spot from the outside because of the distinctive round window.
Sprays of water kept the muddy mixture flowing across the sluices, which filtered out gold particles from gravel and dirty.
C’mon and grab your friends… we’ll go to very—rusty lands…
A light-painted portrait of one of the few remaining carts that moved everything from fresh eggs to soiled laundry through the tunnels.
The sound of water running in the distance.
The Comm Room’s portals once supported many more conduits.
Chester Creek’s lower sections change, demarking decades of change for Superior Street.
Gloves hang in the basement of the former quality assurance labs.
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 sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
At the extreme eastern end of the plant is a bank of modern concrete silos. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
The top floor of the Dominion Elevator. Acros 100 on 120.
Observing War City in the midst of an electric storm. This photo is lit almost entirely by lightning.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
The guts of the dock are connected with a long narrow hallway. Below this section are shops and labs.
Look at the floor–do you see the hole? That goes down a lonnnnnng ways.
The skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
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.
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.
Heavy steel doors to isolate the underground magnetic separation mill from Eagle Mine’s main tunnel.
Latin; to grow. Root of the English word ‘surge’.
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.
Lockers for the boiler room workers.
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.
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.
The superstructure for the sea-leg skyways serves no purpose now… the offices are bricked up, too. Why?
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.
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.
The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.
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.
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.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
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.
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.
Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.
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
One of the older buildings on the site, this is an old power house that provided electricity to the plant. I spent some time walking around it and believe it was fired with coal gas but had a diesel backup installed later.
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.
Workers would undoubtedly prefer to use the belt manlift on the right.
On the second floor of the kettle building where corn mash was boiled, holes where tanks once sat were everywhere.
Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.
Jet Lowe is my inspiration.
In a strange loft next to the brewhouse are these twin kettles, which seem much older than the main kettles in the brewhouse.
I love when moss grows indoors… one of the little pleasures of exploring abandonments.
The many levels of catwalks make for a place where you can look from the ground floor to the roof, about 4 stories up.
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.
On the upper floors where the sunlight is yellow–the color of flour dust, once exposed to the elements.
The end of the heating line allowed glass to cool slowly, and thus be stronger.
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.
This load of lime seems to have been left right where it was loaded.
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.
In the middle of Electric Steel, dust collector vents cross-cross out of sight.
2005. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
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.
The perfect place to have a post-industrial picnic.
After climbing the elevator shaft to the illusive second level, a new pallet of colors were revealed.
These ceramic bricks were likely from the fireproof tunnel that connected the elevators.
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.
SWP4-A on the left and Viterra C on the right in a 90-degree panorama.
A few from atop the steam gauges along the western wall. The turbines were scrapped quickly after the plant closed, it seemed.
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 front door to the auditorium.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
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 factory was utterly vertical.
The only door into a large windowless concrete room, probably a storage bin. Kodak Portra 160/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.
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.
The huge snowfalls of 2011 brought new collapses across the buildings.
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.
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.
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.
In the nitrating house.
The bottom of the grain drier inside ADM-Delmar #1.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Pipes to channel nitrose (think nitro glycerine) infused acid through the building.
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.
Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.
Without a roof, the bricks were being washed away in the later years of the roundhouse.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
To run new gutters through the building, some of the plaster walls of the Chateau had to be smashed through.
Past the underground repair shop is this cliffside adit.
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.
Dirty filters for some equipment hang, awaiting a purpose.
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.
This picture tells half the story about the size of half of the complex. For Port Arthur, it’s average, but this would be a fantastically large elevator if it were anywhere else!
Chester Creek, where it was forced to dip below the circa-1970s I-35 tunnels.
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.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
One of a few dozen steel bed frames left in the rubble of the collapsing building.
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
What are we to do in an emergency?
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.
A natural stone floor in Brewery Creek’s upper path has been worn smooth.
Blast Furnace 7 as seen from the ore yard. Imagine running up those stairs through blast furnace smoke.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
Water vapor was collected and condensed to be reused in other processes. Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7
Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.
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.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
Part of the system below Dock 2.
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.
This giant gear’s sole purpose was to turn the ship’s single rudder in all conditions.
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.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
A gateway for St. Louis as seen through a gateway (of sorts) in East St. Louis.
A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.
Next to the generator room is the pump room, which moved steam around the complex.
These copulas made the iron for casting.
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.
This sawtooth roof collapsed months later under the weight of an early snow.
Depending on the position of the valve, flour could be routed from the filtering process back into a mill.
The bottom of the stairs leading from the work floor to the cafeteria.
The giant radiators in this casting shop look like a flag to me.
A typical large mine tunnel. You can just make out the narrow gauge rail.
Filters and fans to draw air into the boilers in the second power plant.
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!
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.
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.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
The light next to this acid tank was perfect, thanks to a gaping hole in the roof.
Steam pipes squirm around the stacks.
A machine to cast copper billets.
Looking down the kiln line from atop the furnaces.
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.
Days after the long-flooded basement was pumped out. Note the water lines!
One of the early automated painting booths in the paint plant line.
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 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.
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
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.
Storms and waves, focused by the Port of Wisconsin entry have focused the faces to tear-up these boards below.
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.
One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.