pipes

Basement Bed

One of a few dozen steel bed frames left in the rubble of the collapsing building.

Old Tanks

Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.

The Danger 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.

A Factory Wants

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

Escape Ladder

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.

Decorative Cast Iron Sink

Some parts of the doctor’s apartment in the Administration Tower were decidedly upscale. Look at the beautiful ironwork on that sink!

Battery Run

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.

Grain Feeds

I tried to hide the graffiti from my photos, but sometimes it wasn’t possible.

Trommel

The first step of the filtering process is being spun through this tube.

The Original Tumblr

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

Distilling Room

The mostly-empty distilling room is easy to spot from the outside because of the distinctive round window.

Building 402

Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.

Vines in the Workshop

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.

Old Coke Power House

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.

Collector 4

Pipes to channel nitrose (think nitro glycerine) infused acid through the building.

Lever

Depending on the position of the valve, flour could be routed from the filtering process back into a mill.

Kabelkanal

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

Oven Battery

Blast Furnace 7 as seen from the ore yard. Imagine running up those stairs through blast furnace smoke.

Claw-Foot Tub

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.

Under Dock Two

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.

Slop Drop

Goop and slop slip to drop in the shame drain.

Water Fountain

A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.

Steam Valves

The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.

Dry House Basin

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.

Tunnel Skylight

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.

Nopeming Steam Tunnel

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.

Boiler Blowers

While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.

Marked Doors

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.

Ice Chute Lights

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.

Port Sluice Sprays

Sprays of water kept the muddy mixture flowing across the sluices, which filtered out gold particles from gravel and dirty.

Dust Funnels

Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.

MPE3- Tripper

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.

ADM-Delmar #1- Maintainance Department.

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.

headFrame of Mind

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.

Wiggle

Steam pipes squirm around the stacks.

Basement Fireplace and Toilet

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.

Blue Wall

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

Peeling Pistons – (C)SUBSTREET

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.

Production Floor Clock

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.

Water Dry House

This drying house was full of ventilation ducts, broken scales, and insulated carts to haul powder around the line.

Rudder Controls

This giant gear’s sole purpose was to turn the ship’s single rudder in all conditions.

Waders Where

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.

Tunnel Light

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.

Conveyor Roofs

One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.

Film: Gold Floatation

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

Engine Room by Candle Light

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.

Capacity

Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.

God Loves Lime

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

Plaster Pipe Run

To run new gutters through the building, some of the plaster walls of the Chateau had to be smashed through.

The Freedom – Brahm

A huge steel tank, one of several left over, left over from either the Ashland Oil or Allied Chemical periods.

Ford Motors Mine Elevators

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.

Spare Parts II

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.

Old Ward

Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.

Huron-Portland Cement, Duluth Plant

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!

Two Chairs

The perfect place to have a post-industrial picnic.

Loading Tubes

These tubes would bring cement to the top of the plant for storage in the silos.

Missile Arm (Fomapan 100)

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.

White Shadows

Looking up from the ground floor at the various levels of the sugar mill.

Old Exterior Wall

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.

Made Indy

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.

Mill Tram Doors

Heavy steel doors to isolate the underground magnetic separation mill from Eagle Mine’s main tunnel.

Egomaniac – Brahm

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.

Film: Vapor

Water vapor was collected and condensed to be reused in other processes. Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7

Teenage Art Gallery

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

Car Elevator Portal

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.

Old Kettles

In a strange loft next to the brewhouse are these twin kettles, which seem much older than the main kettles in the brewhouse.

Torched Feeds

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.

LEMP Elevator

Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!

Carrie Tower

Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.

Beet Levels

This volume gauge could be read from 30 feet away, which is useful when the control panels and valves are that far away.

Floatation Floor

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.

Laundry Kit

Looking into the tunnel system from below the Women’s Ward. The tunnels were used mostly by staff to move food and laundry.

Beet Driers

When it was convenient, the sugar company would pull equipment, even pipes, from one mill for another.

Workhouse Pipes

At the top of the workhouse, dust collection pipes weave through cross-crossing conveyors.

Mill Tram

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.

Silo I

At the extreme eastern end of the plant is a bank of modern concrete silos. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.

Ratimis – Brahm

The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.

Balcony

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

Asbestos Alley

This is the crane that would be used to lower extra-heavy bits of copper ore into the fire of the furnace.

Distillery Floor

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.

Steam Downstream

In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.

Biking Past Bunkers

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.

Covered in Coke Dust

Halfway up the coal conveyor, covered in coal dust… black streaks of snot. Starting to get good.

INAAP Lighting Storm

Observing War City in the midst of an electric storm. This photo is lit almost entirely by lightning.

Workshop

Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.

Warehouse Foundations

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.

Autokiln Pipes

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.

Ben

The conveyorway between the on-site grain elevator and mill.

Do Industry

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.

Tunnel Tiles

These ceramic bricks were likely from the fireproof tunnel that connected the elevators.

Yeast Stairs

A caustic tank in one of the unremodeled brewhouse backrooms.

This Way and That

Chutes from a hundred machines interconnect to more machines and chutes on a dozen factory floors.

Paint Control

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.

Offices

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.

Hot Mess

Looking up from the industrial courtyard.

Snaking Stack

A winding flue between the ovens for Furnace 6, capped with sketchy catwalks.

Elements in the Dark

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.

Weekend’s Worth

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.

Avanti Elevator

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.

Oven Valves

In what has turned into a kind of industrial courtyard between four ovens some people have posted their tags. X was here.

ADM-Delmar #4- Head to Head

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.

Time Cards

A wrecked pressure gauge and employee time cards.

Auger

A lime auger and massive feet of the lime hopper.

Distiller Control Panel

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.

Devan

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

Pipe Reference

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.

Schmidt Brew Kettle

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.

Moss

I love when moss grows indoors… one of the little pleasures of exploring abandonments.

Starch Line

On the second floor of the kettle building where corn mash was boiled, holes where tanks once sat were everywhere.

Broken Dust Pipe

It seems like this pipe was made to return dust to the collector in the main workhouse from the annex.

Rock Mill

The final ball mill in the Chain O’ Mines concentrator. Behind it was a bucket of steel balls.

Half Demolished Boilers

Easier-to-demolish parts of the power plant were torched apart. Catwalks to nowhere meant lots of dead ends.

Brewery Creek Waterfall

Brewery Creek Waterfall, somewhere above Duluth. Lit with candles and a small LED panel. To me, it looked like a pipe pouring molten metal.

Lockers

Lockers for the boiler room workers.

Above the Stacks

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.

Train Shed

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!

These Things Fall

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.

Comm Junction

The Comm Room’s portals once supported many more conduits.

Dominion- The Long Way Up

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.

Ogilvie’s Royal Household Ghost Sign

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.

Big Pipe

A huge steam pipe snakes between catwalks, through the floors, and toward the condensers, so the water could be recovered and reused.

Group Shower

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.

Boiler Row

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!

Pump Room

Next to the generator room is the pump room, which moved steam around the complex.

Gas Pump

Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.

Catwalk, Looking Up

The many levels of catwalks make for a place where you can look from the ground floor to the roof, about 4 stories up.

Cloverleaf Smelter Boilers

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.

Hallway, or Tunnel?

The guts of the dock are connected with a long narrow hallway. Below this section are shops and labs.

Poacher House

On the middle level of the Poacher House. For a detailed view of the chart see ‘See Reverse’.

Water Tower

The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.

Sewing Room Stairs

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.

Collapsed Outfall

A ruined culvert near Oregon Creek, behind Old Main, the predecessor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Catwalk Creeping

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.

Westinghouse Stokers

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.

Hanging Duct

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.

Fume Lines

One level below where the cotton was nitrated, the fumes must have been powerful. This floor had several massive ventilation fans in its walls.

Hot Metal Trench

The working end of the blast furnace, where molten metal would flow like lava out of the furnace… a process called ‘tapping’.

Sun-Shined Ice

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

Storm Station

Island Station, in the middle of the power house, in the middle of a thunder storm. Flapping pipe covers and sheets of ran penetrating one massive arched window and blasting through the other, as winds power through the building from the Mississippi. The sound of the thunder made every length of steel squeak under the pressure.

Boiler Intakes

Filters and fans to draw air into the boilers in the second power plant.

Tunnel Cart

A light-painted portrait of one of the few remaining carts that moved everything from fresh eggs to soiled laundry through the tunnels.

Consumer’s Grand Stair

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.

Turbine Room

A few from atop the steam gauges along the western wall. The turbines were scrapped quickly after the plant closed, it seemed.

Revised History

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.

Tank

The light next to this acid tank was perfect, thanks to a gaping hole in the roof.

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