shadows

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.

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.

Administration

The first floor hallway between conference rooms and the diesel lab at the center of the facility

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.

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.

Quenching Tower

Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).

Film: Stems

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

Oberon, MB

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

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.

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.

Hoist House

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.

Brewhouse Levels

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

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.

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

Daisy Mill from Tanks

The building behind Daisy was demolished, leaving these tanks and a pointless conveyorway. Now it’s bricked (see over door near right corner of mill) and the tanks are exposed to the elements. There are a few holes in the area that have a healthy drop, so you should avoid the area.

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.

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!

Curtains

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

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…

Have One

My favorite shot of 2011; a rusty mold for a heart-shaped glass candy dish in its natural environment, so to speak.

Tank

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pitfall

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

Third Floor, 2006

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

Under Fort Liege

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

Bunny

Not necessarily a children’s room.

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.

Altar

In its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…

White Pine Mine Ruin

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.

Conveyor Bend

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

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.

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.

Building 402

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

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.

Silo Door

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.

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.

Half-Door at Sunset

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.

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.

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.

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.

Cone Room

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

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.

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.

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!

Server Racks

In a protected wing of a launcher are these empty server racks where guidance and control computers were stored.

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.

Female Ward

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

Basket II

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

Rogers Shops Panorama

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.

Hoists

The hoist room, before it was used for storage.

Mothballing by the Numbers

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.

Old Time Hauler

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

Coffin Quarantine

Kate in the Atlas E, which is essentially a buried Atlas D. Above is the protective steel blast door.

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.

The Original Ward

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.

Tailings Boom I

Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.

Pier B in Mid-Winter

These wide spools sit atop the abandoned tracks that lead to the train shed, which was later repurposed into a truck shed.

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.

Rows of Arches

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

Pool 8 Door

The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.

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.

Laundry

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

Ash Piles

The copula where molten metal would pour is on the left. It seems the whole floor was covered in ash in front of it.

Entre

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

North Face

Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.

Peeling Ceiling

The iron holding up the plaster ceiling is rusted to the point the weight of it is bending it right over.

Design Library

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

Buchannan Blues

The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.

RP1 Shadows

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

Calumet Elevator- 1907 versus 1926

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.

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.

Halfway Up the Mesa

The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.

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.

Lockers

Lockers for the boiler room workers.

Water Fountain

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

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.

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.

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.

Storage Bunker

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

Thunder Bay Elevator

Thunder Bay Elevator, now stands without a headhouse. Around the silos, a few shacks still stand.

James R. Barker III

Shadows of the rusty trestle and cold control towers on the Barker. Workers are preparing to swing over the sides of the boat to help secure her to the Minnesota Power dock.

Repair Cart

One of a few rolling workbenches to keep the thousands of pulleys, cogs, and belts working properly.

Sequence

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

Rail Dock

This dock goes between loading bays (see glass brick walls) and the railroad.

Lost?

The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.

Found Film

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

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.

Radome Ruins

The remains of the site radar beside the command building.

Bold in Blue

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.

Old Tanks

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

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

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!

Detroit Algae

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

Not An Exit

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

Charles M Beeghly

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]

Crack to See From

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

Hallway, or Tunnel?

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

Spilled Taconite

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.

The Three Hundreds

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.

Water Tower

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

Silverton, Colorado

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

Wort Cooler Silhouette

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

Dock Light Shadows

The dock is still lit at night and it casts shadows over the rust-welded ore doors.

Steeple Sunrise

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…

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.

Max Pressure

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

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.

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.

Man Behind the Window

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

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.

Belt Thrower

A wounded flour mill, muscled into the corner to keep out of the way.

Headroom

The rumors were true. Success is sweet.

Safe Lab

In the quality assurance labs there is a old safe.

Dock 2 at Sunset

Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.

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.

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.

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.

Ogilvie’s Complex

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

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.

Acid Line

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

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.

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.

Sunset During Demolition

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.

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.

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.

Boiler Blowers

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

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.

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.

Lift

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

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