The ice reflects the blue sky on the rust. The sunset blasts through the concrete pillars holding it all up.
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.
My favorite time to be in the brewery was sunrise. That’s the kind of light that made the brewhouse glow.
Perhaps this office was for a film studio or music producer.
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 sun lowered behind the dead flour mill, bending its image upon itself.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
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.
North of the assembly complex is a storage network of earthen and concrete bunkers.
The underside of the ore dock in winter. Snow drifts across the dock from the frozen lake.
I found a face.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
The old truck scale sits in the middle of what was Nettleton Avenue Slip.
A sharp turn in the coatings department twists the steel out of sight.
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.
A big sliding fire door opens onto a train dock.
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.
Some parts of the doctor’s apartment in the Administration Tower were decidedly upscale. Look at the beautiful ironwork on that sink!
Approaching the tunnel I heard about for so long…
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
A typical hallway in the rocket assembly line.
What looks to be a skip for repairing the dock, in the concrete steeple.
…a little close for comfort.
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.
Small rooms in the basement of the asylum were seemingly too tiny to be used, even for storage.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
This room on the top floor of one of the oldest buildings has seemingly not changed since it was adapted for employee use. Some sections of the hospital were adapted for staff to live in. Paying Patient Ward–where capable patients were separated from wards of the state.
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 Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.
A super-shallow depth of field shot on the Leica Summilux.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
The spiral staircase ends in the basement, where two oil tanks (for the lantern) and a freshwater tank (for the Keeper) were stored. The basement consists of two long arched vaults like this.
Camera: Pentax 67.
Shadows cast by the ropes, counterweights, and backdrops.
Gold, which has a relatively high mass, would drop through the slats of the sluice boxes as the water flowed over them. Around the dredge were a half dozen radiator pipes to keep the water flowing through the machines.
This was one of two skyways that went between production line offices. It’s easy to tell because it’s not reinforced for machinery to travel through it. I also like that it’s a double-decker, so to speak.
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.
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.
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.
An experimental shaft dug in the 1950s and its Hoist House.
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.
On the left is a bathroom, which is why it has the wire mesh over the door; so it could be locked and still be ventilated. On the right side are small double-bed rooms, which still have their heavy wooden doors. More attractive than jail cell doors, but serving the same purpose.
A new loading shed to fill train cars.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
The scale of the grain hoppers helps tell the story of how large Hamm’s was in its day.
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.
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 elevator near the offices seemed a day’s work away from being operational
Looking toward Duluth from the top of a Dock 1 light tower. NP Dock 1 is on the left… an earlier competitor to Allouez. The stars reflect on Lake Superior.
Wintertime is quiet, except for the planes overhead.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
A long exposure of the city glow illuminating the roof, highlighting the victorian and gothic influences on the brew house.
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.
An alarm panel in the powerpplant, now demolished.
What time is it?
The great entrance to the Service Building shows the detail once present in the old hospital.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
A single metal emergency slide rusts away at sunrise.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
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.
The pitch of the roof is more typical for areas with lots of snow—not the border of Ohio and Kentucky. So, I assume this roofline accommodated some equipment inside for trains—note the tracks.
When the Mitchell project is complete, I’ll miss the textures on the face of the boiler.
My favorite shot of 2011; a rusty mold for a heart-shaped glass candy dish in its natural environment, so to speak.
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
Looking through the washer that is the first stop for the dredgings.
One of a few rolling workbenches to keep the thousands of pulleys, cogs, and belts working properly.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
In its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…
Empty equipment racks behind a missile launcher.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
In the middle of Electric Steel, dust collector vents cross-cross out of sight.
The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
The second most important building at Prize Mine.
The steam-powered hoist that pulled ore and dropped men from the mine. Note the hydraulic-operated brake on top with its massive brake pad. Now scrapped.
The meticulously tiled dry house shower floor–cracked by frost.
Energy conserving window plastic does no good when the doors are all open and the heat’s off.
The vibrant colors clashed with the silent hotel.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
“GREETING FROM BEAUTIFUL GARY–WISH YOU WERE HERE!” My postcard shot.
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.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
The first floor hallway between conference rooms and the diesel lab at the center of the facility
An abandoned gatehouse bearing the name of the former factory.
The most pointless, beautiful and nuclear-bomb-proof catwalk I’ve been on to date. It goes between two high levels in its own bottom-lit concrete capsule in the center of the tallest, thickest building. Hang on, we’re riding this one out.
A typical building from the expanded starch line.
The crane on Dock 2, as seen from Dock 4 right after sunset. Notice the old light tower is warped.
Grand Army, as seen from a Gilman Tram grade.
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.
2006. A section of the third floor that has changed a lot over the years. Compare to 2015 shot.
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.
This gives you a sense for what it looks like to stand on the roof of the main production building at sunset.
On the outside of the steel silos and headhouse is a riveted bulge that does not look like the silos. Inside is this elevator, a rudimentary (read: dangerous) and old (read: dangerous) freight elevator.
Where staff could sleep.
The hoist room, before it was used for storage.
Without proper pressure, the steering engine was ineffective.
The American Victory next to M, seen late at night.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
Ruined cars abandoned in the generator hall, long after its namesake was scrapped.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
The missiles were stored without fuel, to help prevent mishaps. This is the fuel pumping building and one of the tanks.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
The train loading tower (left), and elevators. Check out that giant flagpole/lightning rod.
On the boarded-up first floor of the house proper near the door to the chapel, the last pew sites next to a wet box of Bibles.
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.
Sunbeams under the sintering belt. Support cradles for the wires crossing the factory are falling down.
The crumbling building barely contained the colors inside of it.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
A bumper sticker with the usual tagline. Note the detail on the radiator!
The old movie theatre sign was sitting right inside the sealed front doors.
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.
Hand painted fire extinguisher notices and a long room which I strongly suspect was a pattern cutting room.
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.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
The Beeghley was launched in 1958… you can see it unloading limestone here with its retrofitted self-unloader. Update: This ship has been renamed the ‘James L. Oberstar’ after the Minnesota Senator. [Read more on Boardnerd.com here: http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/oberstar.htm]
The dock is still lit at night and it casts shadows over the rust-welded ore doors.
In the quality assurance labs there is a old safe.
While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.
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.
A staircase leads behind three of the dock chutes, seemingly to nowhere. The lower on the left held one end of a string of lights above the dock.
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.
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.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
Employee lockers near the stage, Service Building.
The fresh snow makes the whole complex look a lot cleaner than it actually is.
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
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.
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.
The light next to this acid tank was perfect, thanks to a gaping hole in the roof.
This is my favorite wallpaper in the whole hotel.
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.
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 top floor of the apartment seemed so empty without the furniture that once adorned it. Instead, my eyes were drawn to the worn paths in the floor between the rooms.
Lost words over the auditorium entrance.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
The first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
For reasons unknown, this building’s concrete was designed a little thinly. It reminds me of a Chicago, IL building constructed during WWI when concrete and steel were strictly rationed and many buildings went up with insufficient superstructures. I do not have a build date for this one yet.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
Looking out of Kurth Malt a the neighbors–the silos past Electric Steel are those of the Froedert Malt Company, now gone.
A panorama next to a long abandoned adit. The tram has seen better days.
The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
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.
Kate in the Atlas E, which is essentially a buried Atlas D. Above is the protective steel blast door.
Glowing observation windows–and someone forgot to lock a patient’s door…
From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
The old hotel doesn’t like to show its age. Indeed, if it had a few paint job and soft remodel it would be fit to open–that is, if there was a need for it in this tiny rural New York town.
This was not always the top of the elevator.
The iconic outline of a prairie sentinel. Quintessential rural industrial architecture.
A self portrait from more than a decade ago.
Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.
An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.
The man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.
A view of the hallway outside of the auditorium.
He had the knees of a stallion. RIP.
More than half a century of plans rot in the shadows, seemingly useless.
The coal water power plant stack accompanied the smell of an arson.
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.
A wounded flour mill, muscled into the corner to keep out of the way.
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.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
A typical room in Birtle.
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.
Looking across at the Cargill elevator.
Peering out of the porthole of the light tower, I saw the shadow of the station on the lake.
At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.
A tunnel connecting the two larger caves in the hill; those that Jacob vented in the rear. The vents are still extant!
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.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
Beautiful details in the plaster moulding have been preserved by the sheer height of this room between the cathedral and auditorium.
Looking into the Pool 8 Annex from the original Ogilvie’s elevator.
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.
These ruins of buildings recovered acid from the explosives line to be recycled.
A late look at the brewhouse, long after the stainless steel tanks were scrapped.
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.
The railing were jealous of both the bricks and bits, and chose instead to dissolve like this.
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.
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.
Bayard Sugar Mill, as seen from the old power plant
A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
The BOMARC launch buildings are spaced on a large concrete pad that looks like a parking lot. Out of view are underground pipes for fueling and cooling the rocket motors.
The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
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 city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.
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!
Camera: Pentax 67. Film: Kodak Ektar 100.
Looking toward a void–formerly a hallway to the mineshaft–now a hole in the ground.