Approaching the tunnel I heard about for so long…
The underground portions of the engine shop were mostly filled in.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
The ice reflects the blue sky on the rust. The sunset blasts through the concrete pillars holding it all up.
Camera: Pentax 67. Film: Kodak Ektar 100.
While the last of the Studebaker production buildings were being demolished, I visited again. Here’s a shot taken shortly after the demolition crew left for the day.
The first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
My favorite time to be in the brewery was sunrise. That’s the kind of light that made the brewhouse glow.
The valley is full of rocky peaks that stand out from the winding creeks, which only truly run after storms. It is a very beautiful place.
This was not always the top of the elevator.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
Two bin signs criss-cross in the North Annex.
I believe these hooks were meant for hanging filters to dry.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
Bayard Sugar Mill, as seen from the old power plant
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
This is what the mine shops look like from the road between Gaastra, MI and Rogers Location (formerly Bates, MI). The community was renamed for the mine, probably under the heavy influence of M.A. Hanna.
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
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 single metal emergency slide rusts away at sunrise.
This ornamental stair is cast iron and used to connect all floors of the Administration building. Now it connects the first and second floor, then the third and fourth floors, with a strange cinder block and drywall barrier separating the new and old sections of the building. Note the insulation on the floor to seal heat into the lower floors that were used as offices until the hospital closed. On the corners of the staircase are lions, on the corners of the suspended section of stair are down-hanging pineapples. Set in the stairs themselves are shield motifs with slate tops.
The workshop sat below the main working floor and had serious power going to it.
Standing on the ruins of the former sister dock, looking back at the soon-to-be-demolished family member. The pilings I stood on for the shot were those of the Chicago and North Western RR #3 which was dismantled in 1960 and used to be 2,040-feet long.
The light next to this acid tank was perfect, thanks to a gaping hole in the roof.
Wintertime is quiet, except for the planes overhead.
Miller Creek, in one of the wider sections that features a trout (as in the fish) canal in the middle of the drain. Even though it is underground, the fish are able to visit their breeding ponds upstream by swimming through the specially designed tunnel.
A self portrait from more than a decade ago.
A damaged roof channeled rain onto the adobe walls, cutting them in half. In the distance, a preserved house and the ruins of the Colmor School.
These concrete blocks were formed to be solid mounts for machinery. All the metal was scrapped in the late 1990s, leaving these modern ruins. Seagulls love them.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
Lockers for the boiler room workers.
2006. A section of the third floor that has changed a lot over the years. Compare to 2015 shot.
Almost all of the doors and windows on the ground floor have been boarded, leaving the ground level very dark.
A super-long exposure of the side of the middle of Daisy Elevator, built in 1927. The oldest silos are closest to the mill and date to 1916. They were expanded toward Superior in 1927 and 1941. The total capacity is about 500,000 bushels.
Sunbeams under the sintering belt. Support cradles for the wires crossing the factory are falling down.
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
Shadows cast by the ropes, counterweights, and backdrops.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
ADM overshadows the Meal Elevator. The cleared area behind is now home to Surley Brewery.
Shadows of the timberwork and cribbing are cast across cracked lake ice. My footprints follow cat tracks.
As photographed from a cement piling for Slip #3 poured in 1935, disconnected from land by erosion. How do I know the date? A pair of steamship engineers carved their initials and ranks into the wet cement!
The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
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.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
An abandoned gatehouse bearing the name of the former factory.
It seemed the only way to get a view of the room was to climb above the mounds of rotting donations, now not even fit to burn.
This was the exterior wall of the roundhouse; engines would have entered on the other side and machinery would line this side, hence the big windows for natural light.
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
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.
Kate in the Atlas E, which is essentially a buried Atlas D. Above is the protective steel blast door.
The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
A late look at the brewhouse, long after the stainless steel tanks were scrapped.
Peering out of the porthole of the light tower, I saw the shadow of the station on the lake.
The control room for the whole of the plant. Sinterband here means one of the sintering lines. Temperatures, gasses, mixtures, speeds, and so on were centrally controlled here.
This gives you a sense for what it looks like to stand on the roof of the main production building at sunset.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
Birch shadows on stone walls… have you been looking at my Christmas list?
The hospital is so self art deco that it seems like a film set!
Fergus Falls State Hospital. Well, technically moonlight… but a with stars nonetheless! The orange glow from the left and in the rear of the building are exterior lights on associated–former State Hospital–buildings. All other light is from the full moon that evening.
My favorite shot of 2011; a rusty mold for a heart-shaped glass candy dish in its natural environment, so to speak.
What looks to be a skip for repairing the dock, in the concrete steeple.
One of two projectors, still set to run old 3D flicks.
A storm passes over BOMARC’s center row of launch buildings. You can clearly see the tracks on which the roof would retract for launch.
As the Barker steamed past the dock and island, the sunset casts the shadow of the Taconite Harbor receiving trestle on the boat. Through the fog, you can see some of the islands that were joined into a breakwater.
A warped mirror in the rock crusher at the rear of the complex.
Without proper pressure, the steering engine was ineffective.
Seven TV sets and not one shows my reflection. I’d also like to point out not two of these are the same.
This is one of the modern nurse’s stations where the last inpatients lived in the mid-2000s. The windows are thick shatterproof plastic. I am unsure why the suspended ceiling is missing.
After demolition in the mid 2000s, this interior door became exterior. I remember walking through the car shed as a teenager. It was a shortcut, if I didn’t get caught.
The meticulously tiled dry house shower floor–cracked by frost.
Partier graffiti dates to when the caves were last open to the public; probably in the 1990s. This tunnel used to horseshoe between the brewery’s ice chute (left) and basement door (right, backfilled). Note the utility tunnel in the upper-right corner as well as the lighting brackets on the ceiling.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
An experimental shaft dug in the 1950s and its Hoist House.
A long exposure of the city glow illuminating the roof, highlighting the victorian and gothic influences on the brew house.
A divot to let more light and air into the building.
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
The hospital was surrounded by walking paths that crisscrossed the front green, as it was called. Part of Kirkbride’s plan was to have ample opportunities for exercise outdoors–fresh air, especially cold fresh air, was thought to have curative properties.
The old truck scale sits in the middle of what was Nettleton Avenue Slip.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
Looking out of Kurth Malt a the neighbors–the silos past Electric Steel are those of the Froedert Malt Company, now gone.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
The fresh snow makes the whole complex look a lot cleaner than it actually is.
The nurse’s station on this floor, a ward still in its original design, featured a half-door where patients could get their medicine. Portra 160.
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.
When the factory’s production line was up for auction, many parts were removed, crated and labeled with big painted numbers to ease their removal by buyers. Not everything sold, however, so not one dark corner of the factory seems without a pile of dislocated industrial junk.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
The elevator near the offices seemed a day’s work away from being operational
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
The dock is still lit at night and it casts shadows over the rust-welded ore doors.
The light masts are there, but it looks like the cables that stretched across the dock with the actual lights have fallen down.
The rumors were true. Success is sweet.
The sun lowered behind the dead flour mill, bending its image upon itself.
When the Mitchell project is complete, I’ll miss the textures on the face of the boiler.
An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.
Algae grows where water flows/From the sawtooth roof/To the mines below/The sun climbs high/But is in no one’s eyes/A wall alone crumbles/It was no suprise
A diesel crane and conveyor belt tripper are the major pieces of equipment that dominate the dock.
The train loading tower (left), and elevators. Check out that giant flagpole/lightning rod.
From factory to skate park to restaurant. This is in the skate park stage. The buildings to the right are demolished now, and in their place are hockey rinks.
Some parts of the doctor’s apartment in the Administration Tower were decidedly upscale. Look at the beautiful ironwork on that sink!
Standing on the fence barricade that used to keep squatters out of the tunnel, the size of the space is impressive. What you see here is the current length of the tunnel; I set up a flashlight at the end to illuminate the concrete wall that is the lower portal.
Harsh rail yard lighting throws shadows of broken windows against the line of boilers.
In the quality assurance labs there is a old safe.
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.
I never knew that all those elementary school balance bar exercises were for a very serious purpose: not falling to one’s death in the event they uncover lost Chicago history.
The primitive chair caught the falling plaster.
My favorite shot from the trip. Later in its life, the plant was converted to burn its own byproducts, but it seems this was designed as a coal hopper.
Standing on the ruins of the burned Northern Pacific RR Freight House. It’s the best place to watch ships move around the harbor. Some things haven’t changed…
Here’s the church, and here’s the steeple; Open the door and see all the people; Here’s the parson going upstairs; Here he is saying his prayers…
A portrait of the second school of McConnell, built in 1937.
On top of the light hoop, 160-feet up, a ship comes into port, ready to load-up. If you look really close, you can see my shadow cast on the dock below, courtesy of the full moon.
This sea leg was installed to unload grain boats. It’s pretty much a big bucket elevator that can be moved and lowered into waiting boats.
The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
In the corner of the foundry, this lunchroom was literally collapsing under one small leak in the roof. Tile by tile the water ate away the ceiling. Note the clock.
Perhaps this office was for a film studio or music producer.
Inside the west portal is a big liquid propane hand warmer, for workers to take the cold off their gloves as they handled the switches and doors of Cramer Tunnel. Mamiya GA645 / Kodak Pro 400
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
These wide spools sit atop the abandoned tracks that lead to the train shed, which was later repurposed into a truck shed.
What you see is not a crack in the floor, but a long vine extending ten feet onto the shop floor, as if reaching in to escape the wind and rain.
This is the far interior of the hotel, where the darkness made the shag carpet seem to move whenever the trees outside swayed. That is to say, constantly.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
The man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.
Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
Grand Army, as seen from a Gilman Tram grade.
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.
“GREETING FROM BEAUTIFUL GARY–WISH YOU WERE HERE!” My postcard shot.
In a protected wing of a launcher are these empty server racks where guidance and control computers were stored.
This is my favorite wallpaper in the whole hotel.
North of the assembly complex is a storage network of earthen and concrete bunkers.
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.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
Where staff could sleep.
The iron holding up the plaster ceiling is rusted to the point the weight of it is bending it right over.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.
I included this image to illustrate the height of the headgrame and the distance between it and the hoist house. Of course, compared with the depth of the mine shaft, this distance is short.
Lost words over the auditorium entrance.
The first floor hallway between conference rooms and the diesel lab at the center of the facility
On the left is the 1907 elevator section and its 1926 expansion is on the right. Interesting how the century-old silos seem to be faring better. Windows provided light to the underground conveyor tunnels, which were used to bring grain out of the silos by gravity.
Energy conserving window plastic does no good when the doors are all open and the heat’s off.
A panorama next to a long abandoned adit. The tram has seen better days.
This old ward, not a victim of remodeling, still has metal screens over the open windows of the doors. It should be obvious why glass were not used.
A bumper sticker with the usual tagline. Note the detail on the radiator!
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.
An alarm panel in the powerpplant, now demolished.
The guts of the dock are connected with a long narrow hallway. Below this section are shops and labs.
The old movie theatre sign was sitting right inside the sealed front doors.
Pipe fittings in little drawers, lit by tea lights.
Far away, you can see the red lights on the steam plant smokestack. To the extreme right is the beginning of the Minneapolis skyline. Paint (where this was taken) and Assembly (where the blue light is) were connected with a long skyway that carried completed trucks to be painted. I assume the device in the foreground burned volatiles from the painting process.
In this section of the Men’s Ward, sealed by brick from lower floors, the room doors had messages painted in their inside–some motivational, some not. I would be interested to hear if anyone knows the backstory of this section. Lighting is natural; it was just after sunset.
Though it’s a little unclear what control station controlled what function, these levers seemed to relate to some of the bigger equipment inside the dredge, such as the trommel.
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
The huge snowfalls of 2011 brought new collapses across the buildings.
When Nopeming was affiliated with local farms, it often slaughtered its own livestock. This is the part of the hospital where food would be prepped, below the stage in the Service Building.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
Sunrise in SEMI. The shadow of Kurth Malt is cast across ADM-Delmar #1. Clouds behind ADM-Delmar #4 light up. It’s cold and the air smells like train grease.
The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.
Blue skies and rust-pocked siding contrast the high-altitude blue sky. By the time I had worked my way back to the tram, it was sunset.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
The vibrant colors clashed with the silent hotel.
A wide view (15mm) of the shadow 4B is casting on 4A. Light leaks because of cheap camera.
A super-shallow depth of field shot on the Leica Summilux.
The cemetery for the old asylum is, sadly, largely unmarked. Only in recent years has there been a real effort to locate and identify the remains there.
The city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.
These aluminum powder kegs were forgotten in storage.
The pits have long since been filled so the roundhouse could be used for storage.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
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 aft lifeboat survived auction, although now all it holds is an emergency ladder to help men who’ve fallen overboard get on deck.
The great entrance to the Service Building shows the detail once present in the old hospital.
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 common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
He had the knees of a stallion. RIP.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.
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.
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.
…a little close for comfort.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
Beautiful details in the plaster moulding have been preserved by the sheer height of this room between the cathedral and auditorium.
It was interesting that, even though storms had carried the wooden walkway that stretched under the dock, these piles of spilled taconite remain where they had dropped.
From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
The top floor’s old-fashioned hospital ways were too much to pass without a photo or two… with the paint falling off the walls it was as if the building was shedding its skin in an effort to become rejuvenated or useful.
A wounded flour mill, muscled into the corner to keep out of the way.
Employee lockers near the stage, Service Building.
Small rooms in the basement of the asylum were seemingly too tiny to be used, even for storage.
The underside of the ore dock in winter. Snow drifts across the dock from the frozen lake.