shadows

Stair Landing

The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.

Detroit Algae

This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.

Five Stacks

I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.

Crack to See From

Glowing observation windows–and someone forgot to lock a patient’s door…

LP Hand Warmer

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

Building 402

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

The Full Distance

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.

Conveyor Blower

Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.

Sunset Behind Dock

The ice reflects the blue sky on the rust. The sunset blasts through the concrete pillars holding it all up.

Laundry

The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.

Nitrating House

The nitrating house was a chemically dangerous place, so it had thick metal and concrete shield for every station right next to an emergency shower.

Twin Room

In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.

Storage Bunker

North of the assembly complex is a storage network of earthen and concrete bunkers.

Third Floor, 2006

2006. A section of the third floor that has changed a lot over the years. Compare to 2015 shot.

Backfill Self-Portrait

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.

Anteroom

Beautiful details in the plaster moulding have been preserved by the sheer height of this room between the cathedral and auditorium.

Room #486, Criminal Ward

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.

Basement Kitchens

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.

Ash Floor Beams

Sunbeams under the sintering belt. Support cradles for the wires crossing the factory are falling down.

Auger Floor

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.

Film: Stems

The old truck scale sits in the middle of what was Nettleton Avenue Slip.

Shop Cabinet

You can see why so few products had bright packaging. If the can here was brown, you’d never see it in a dark wood cabinet.

Water Fountain

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

Old Time Hauler

What looks to be a skip for repairing the dock, in the concrete steeple.

Nurse’s Station

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.

American Crane

A diesel crane and conveyor belt tripper are the major pieces of equipment that dominate the dock.

Cone Room

The scale of the grain hoppers helps tell the story of how large Hamm’s was in its day.

Top Floor

Dirty filters for some equipment hang, awaiting a purpose.

Standing Strong

“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.

Tower, After the Lightning Strike

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.

Static Room

Seven TV sets and not one shows my reflection. I’d also like to point out not two of these are the same.

Ogilvie Elevator Sign

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.

Say Remiss

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.

Curtains

This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.

Basket II

A super-shallow depth of field shot on the Leica Summilux.

Webster & Elevator S

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.

Lost Going Nowhere

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.

Two Hundreds

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.

Gate 5C

It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.

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!

Collapsing Lunchroom

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.

Cracked Wall

I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.

Federal Yukon and Capitol

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…

Boiler Blowers

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

Pitfall

Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.

RP1 Shadows

The missiles were stored without fuel, to help prevent mishaps. This is the fuel pumping building and one of the tanks.

Max Pressure

I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.

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.

Overpowered

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.

Dead-End Bridge

A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.

Silverton, Colorado

Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!

Eagle Mills’ Rusty Fasade

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.

The Adler

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.

Sequence

The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.

Flywheel

The white mark allowed for a manual RPM check on this big steel flywheel on the ground floor. Note how dark the bottom level of the mills is—that’s because all of the equipment is blocking out the light.

Guidance

Empty equipment racks behind a missile launcher.

Ship at Allouez I

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.

Big Dipper and Duluth

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.

Gauges

Below the pressure gauges are rows of little pipe fitting drawers.

Headroom

The rumors were true. Success is sweet.

Holmfield, MB- Harrison Milling

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.

Roundhouse Bay

The pits have long since been filled so the roundhouse could be used for storage.

Pink Room

The vibrant colors clashed with the silent hotel.

20 Person Life Boat

The aft lifeboat survived auction, although now all it holds is an emergency ladder to help men who’ve fallen overboard get on deck.

Launch Buildings

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.

Lockers

Lockers for the boiler room workers.

Old Tanks

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

Mill Controls

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.

Conveyor Bend

A sharp turn in the coatings department twists the steel out of sight.

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.

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.

Female Ward

The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.

As Iron Clyde

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.

Hoists

The hoist room, before it was used for storage.

Cafeteria

The great entrance to the Service Building shows the detail once present in the old hospital.

Industrial Stained Glass

Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.

Westboro Sunset

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.

Coal Bin

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.

Creature – Brahm

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.

Archspace Window

A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.

Railyard Projection

Harsh rail yard lighting throws shadows of broken windows against the line of boilers.

Radome Ruins

The remains of the site radar beside the command building.

Kurth Malting- Sunrise’s Dusty Gaze

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.

Entre

An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.

Found Film

Perhaps this office was for a film studio or music producer.

Brewhouse Levels

A late look at the brewhouse, long after the stainless steel tanks were scrapped.

Oberon, MB

The iconic outline of a prairie sentinel. Quintessential rural industrial architecture.

Rows of Arches

Small rooms in the basement of the asylum were seemingly too tiny to be used, even for storage.

Asylum Aphorisms

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.

Last Chapel Pew

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.

Ghost

The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.

Chutes

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.

Fourth Floor Corridor

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.

9am in the Mine Shops

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

Profile – (C)SUBSTREET

Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.

Nordberg Hoist

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.

School Ruins

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.

Ogilvie’s Complex

The train loading tower (left), and elevators. Check out that giant flagpole/lightning rod.

Shop

The workshop sat below the main working floor and had serious power going to it.

Old Ward

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

Wort Cooler Silhouette

My favorite time to be in the brewery was sunrise. That’s the kind of light that made the brewhouse glow.

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.

Shadow-Boxing in Ashland

The light masts are there, but it looks like the cables that stretched across the dock with the actual lights have fallen down.

Asylum by Starlight

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.

Sleepy Rockford Panorama

This gives you a sense for what it looks like to stand on the roof of the main production building at sunset.

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!

Film: Pozo Mine

Pozo Mine, the most menacing mine building I’ve ever seen. Black and white film, shot with the Fuji GX680, a beast of a camera.

Dominion- Cracked Skylight

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.

Sinterband 3

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.

Vines

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.

Underfoot Underdock

The underside of the ore dock in winter. Snow drifts across the dock from the frozen lake.

Acid Line

These ruins of buildings recovered acid from the explosives line to be recycled.

Shadows of Taconite Harbor on the James R. Barker

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.

Under Fort Liege

A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.

Miller’s Creek

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.

Hallway, or Tunnel?

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

Apartment Corridor

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.

Lift

The elevator near the offices seemed a day’s work away from being operational

Roundhouse WIndows

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.

We Have Arrived

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.

Pimped Rides

Ruined cars abandoned in the generator hall, long after its namesake was scrapped.

Melchoir’s Tunnel

A tunnel connecting the two larger caves in the hill; those that Jacob vented in the rear. The vents are still extant!

Lighthouse Basement

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.

Dan

He had the knees of a stallion. RIP.

Not An Exit

A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.

Main Assembly From Paint Dept

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.

Skylights

Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.

Missile Way

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.

Grand Stair

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.

SWP4- The Monster’s Mouth

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.

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.

Design Library

More than half a century of plans rot in the shadows, seemingly useless.

Banksy Ripoff

At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.

Looking Out A Window at the Starch Works

The layout and design of the buildings reminded me strongly of a brewery or distillery. To the right you can see some of the retrofits by the first lumber company to buy the buildings, in the 1970s.

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.

Evaporator Innards

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.

Cabezon Peak from Guadalupe Mesa

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.

Man Behind the Window

The man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.

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