In the nitrating house.
A wrecked pressure gauge and employee time cards.
Water damage dissolved the ceiling into sludge. Pillars remain, as do the plastic light covers, now on the floor.
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 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.
Water vapor was collected and condensed to be reused in other processes. Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7
It was as noisy then as it is colorful now…
This volume gauge could be read from 30 feet away, which is useful when the control panels and valves are that far away.
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.
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.
The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.
SWP4-A on the left and Viterra C on the right in a 90-degree panorama.
The end of the heating line allowed glass to cool slowly, and thus be stronger.
A few from atop the steam gauges along the western wall. The turbines were scrapped quickly after the plant closed, it seemed.
The ‘working’ part of the furnaces are about a story above ground level, so the catwalks snake above the tree line.
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.
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.
On the middle level of the Poacher House. For a detailed view of the chart see ‘See Reverse’.
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
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.
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
Without a roof, the bricks were being washed away in the later years of the roundhouse.
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.
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 tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.
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.
A sign of where man met machine.
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.
Looking into the main workhouse from the skyway into the annex elevator. But who care? Look at the colors!
Chutes from a hundred machines interconnect to more machines and chutes on a dozen factory floors.
Standing atop the dust collector, the factory breaks down into diverging patterns, processes.
The many levels of catwalks make for a place where you can look from the ground floor to the roof, about 4 stories up.
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.
Watch your head, say the colors. This side of the plant is apparently still standing and is owned by the city.
Ryan, as seen from the crane ladder.
Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.
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.
The mostly-empty distilling room is easy to spot from the outside because of the distinctive round window.
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!
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded 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.
A typical large mine tunnel. You can just make out the narrow gauge rail.
Looking out of Kurth Malt a the neighbors–the silos past Electric Steel are those of the Froedert Malt Company, now gone.
The front door to the auditorium.
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 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.
Workers would undoubtedly prefer to use the belt manlift on the right.
Dirty filters for some equipment hang, awaiting a purpose.
A huge steam pipe snakes between catwalks, through the floors, and toward the condensers, so the water could be recovered and reused.
At noon, the lower skylights around the shops glow yellow-green, thanks to the flora blooming on the roof above.
Looking into the tunnel system from below the Women’s Ward. The tunnels were used mostly by staff to move food and laundry.
A natural stone floor in Brewery Creek’s upper path has been worn smooth.
It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.
In a strange loft next to the brewhouse are these twin kettles, which seem much older than the main kettles in the brewhouse.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
The old gate sign, leaned against one of the terminal elevators.
A ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
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.
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.
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.
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 elevator works on gravity… this is where a conveyor belt was to move the grain toward the main elevator to be loaded into ships.
This picture shows the challenges of moving around underground in the base.
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.
Standing next to the now-demolished records room.
Looking into the Pool 8 Annex from the original Ogilvie’s elevator.
Blast Furnace 7 as seen from the ore yard. Imagine running up those stairs through blast furnace smoke.
Look at the floor–do you see the hole? That goes down a lonnnnnng ways.
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.
Days after the long-flooded basement was pumped out. Note the water lines!
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.
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.
This building had its own kitchen, suggesting that it may have been one of the hospitals units within Norwich, such as the tuberculosis hospital.
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.
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.
Depending on the position of the valve, flour could be routed from the filtering process back into a mill.
These copulas made the iron for casting.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
After climbing the elevator shaft to the illusive second level, a new pallet of colors were revealed.
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.
The light next to this acid tank was perfect, thanks to a gaping hole in the roof.
Isabella A (left) and B (right) were built in 1910 and 1913, respectively.
I love when moss grows indoors… one of the little pleasures of exploring abandonments.
On the second floor of the kettle building where corn mash was boiled, holes where tanks once sat were everywhere.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is the crane that would be used to lower extra-heavy bits of copper ore into the fire of the furnace.
Looking down the kiln line from atop the furnaces.
Sunset through a stained window in the headhouse made the floor feel like a heavy industrial Disney movie.
The only door into a large windowless concrete room, probably a storage bin. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
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.
A gateway for St. Louis as seen through a gateway (of sorts) in East St. Louis.
The first step of the filtering process is being spun through this tube.
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.
Goop and slop slip to drop in the shame drain.
To run new gutters through the building, some of the plaster walls of the Chateau had to be smashed through.
Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.
The huge snowfalls of 2011 brought new collapses across the buildings.
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 machine to cast copper billets.
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.
At the top of the workhouse, dust collection pipes weave through cross-crossing conveyors.
Looking up from the industrial courtyard.
A great lakes freighter slowly passes SK Wheat Pool 4 with ‘The Sleeping Giant’ in the background. Arista 100.
Lockers for the boiler room workers.
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.
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 superstructure for the sea-leg skyways serves no purpose now… the offices are bricked up, too. Why?
A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.
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.
A caustic tank in one of the unremodeled brewhouse backrooms.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
Spots of yellow gravel mark gold mines with nothing left on the surface. Is this one of the drainage pipes?
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.
The head distiller could walk out of their office to this balcony and overlook the whole fermentation process in a glance.
Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.
When it was convenient, the sugar company would pull equipment, even pipes, from one mill for another.
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.
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.
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.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
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.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
The gulls wait to eat the next load of spilled grain. Arista 100.
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.
The side of King that faces the lake is stained yellow-green.
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.
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 top floor of the Dominion Elevator. Acros 100 on 120.
One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.
Latin; to grow. Root of the English word ‘surge’.
The conveyorway between the on-site grain elevator and mill.
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.
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
The factory was utterly vertical.
A lime auger and massive feet of the lime hopper.
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 engine room.
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.
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.
Pipes to channel nitrose (think nitro glycerine) infused acid through the building.
Looking up from the ground floor at the various levels of the sugar mill.
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.
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.
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.
Water at the bottom of the silo was perfectly clear.
Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.
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!
This sawtooth roof collapsed months later under the weight of an early snow.
The guts of the dock are connected with a long narrow hallway. Below this section are shops and labs.
One of the early automated painting booths in the paint plant line.
A typical stretch of the assembly line.
Under the monster and its teeth.
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.
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 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.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
Sprays of water kept the muddy mixture flowing across the sluices, which filtered out gold particles from gravel and dirty.
Halfway up the coal conveyor, covered in coal dust… black streaks of snot. Starting to get good.
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 giant radiators in this casting shop look like a flag to me.
Easier-to-demolish parts of the power plant were torched apart. Catwalks to nowhere meant lots of dead ends.
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 working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
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.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
The perfect place to have a post-industrial picnic.
Generations of Two Harbors teens smoked their first weed in this abandoned building, in my estimation. Comment if I’m right!
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.
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.
In the middle of Electric Steel, dust collector vents cross-cross out of sight.
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.
What are we to do in an emergency?
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.
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.
A light-painted portrait of one of the few remaining carts that moved everything from fresh eggs to soiled laundry through the tunnels.
A winding flue between the ovens for Furnace 6, capped with sketchy catwalks.
Chester Creek, where it was forced to dip below the circa-1970s I-35 tunnels.
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.
Chester Creek takes many such sliding dives where it empties into Lake Superior.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
The Comm Room’s portals once supported many more conduits.
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.
The rust garden’s brick centerpiece contrasts the muted winter Kentucky palette.
Storms and waves, focused by the Port of Wisconsin entry have focused the faces to tear-up these boards below.
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
Observing War City in the midst of an electric storm. This photo is lit almost entirely by lightning.
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.
These steam powered pumps were integral to the cooling of the meat packing plant next door.
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.
Filters and fans to draw air into the boilers in the second power plant.