From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
A single metal emergency slide rusts away at sunrise.
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.
The light next to this acid tank was perfect, thanks to a gaping hole in the roof.
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.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
“GREETING FROM BEAUTIFUL GARY–WISH YOU WERE HERE!” My postcard shot.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
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.
Shadows of the timberwork and cribbing are cast across cracked lake ice. My footprints follow cat tracks.
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.
In a protected wing of a launcher are these empty server racks where guidance and control computers were stored.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
A warped mirror in the rock crusher at the rear of the complex.
Sarah in Miller Creek Drain.
ADM overshadows the Meal Elevator. The cleared area behind is now home to Surley Brewery.
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.
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.
Without proper pressure, the steering engine was ineffective.
Employee lockers near the stage, Service Building.
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.
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.
What time is it?
Looking out of Kurth Malt a the neighbors–the silos past Electric Steel are those of the Froedert Malt Company, now gone.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
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 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 second most important building at Prize Mine.
An experimental shaft dug in the 1950s and its Hoist House.
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.
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.
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.
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 crumbling building barely contained the colors inside of it.
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.
In the middle of Electric Steel, dust collector vents cross-cross out of sight.
Lockers for the boiler room workers.
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
A new loading shed to fill train cars.
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
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.
Peering out of the porthole of the light tower, I saw the shadow of the station on the lake.
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.
The city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.
Before each warhead was crated, it was inspected.
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.
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.
The vibrant colors clashed with the silent hotel.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
Where staff could sleep.
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.
Bayard Sugar Mill, as seen from the old power plant
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
My favorite shot of 2011; a rusty mold for a heart-shaped glass candy dish in its natural environment, so to speak.
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.
A divot to let more light and air into the building.
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.
The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.
A self portrait from more than a decade ago.
The remains of the site radar beside the command building.
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 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.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
The iron holding up the plaster ceiling is rusted to the point the weight of it is bending it right over.
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.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
Days after the long-flooded basement was pumped out. Note the water lines!
Looking down the walkway that traces the bottom side of the ore dock.
A panorama next to a long abandoned adit. The tram has seen better days.
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 Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
A typical room in Birtle.
Approaching the tunnel I heard about for so long…
2006. A section of the third floor that has changed a lot over the years. Compare to 2015 shot.
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
This dock goes between loading bays (see glass brick walls) and the railroad.
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.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
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.
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.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
These aluminum powder kegs were forgotten in storage.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
More than half a century of plans rot in the shadows, seemingly useless.
Energy conserving window plastic does no good when the doors are all open and the heat’s off.
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.
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.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
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.
Almost all of the doors and windows on the ground floor have been boarded, leaving the ground level very dark.
A tunnel connecting the two larger caves in the hill; those that Jacob vented in the rear. The vents are still extant!
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
Thunder Bay Elevator, now stands without a headhouse. Around the silos, a few shacks still stand.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
The hospital is so self art deco that it seems like a film set!
Beautiful details in the plaster moulding have been preserved by the sheer height of this room between the cathedral and auditorium.
A portrait of the second school of McConnell, built in 1937.
What looks to be a skip for repairing the dock, in the concrete steeple.
Harsh rail yard lighting throws shadows of broken windows against the line of boilers.
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.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
Ruined cars abandoned in the generator hall, long after its namesake was scrapped.
A big sliding fire door opens onto a train dock.
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.
This is my favorite wallpaper in the whole hotel.
These ruins of buildings recovered acid from the explosives line to be recycled.
One of a few rolling workbenches to keep the thousands of pulleys, cogs, and belts working properly.
Some parts of the doctor’s apartment in the Administration Tower were decidedly upscale. Look at the beautiful ironwork on that sink!
The sun lowered behind the dead flour mill, bending its image upon itself.
In the corner of the former school grounds…
The workshop sat below the main working floor and had serious power going to it.
A wide view (15mm) of the shadow 4B is casting on 4A. Light leaks because of cheap camera.
The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
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
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
The man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.
Wintertime is quiet, except for the planes overhead.
The missiles were stored without fuel, to help prevent mishaps. This is the fuel pumping building and one of the tanks.
I found a face.
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
The rumors were true. Success is sweet.
Looking across at the Cargill elevator.
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.
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.
My favorite shot of the 17-story Art Deco office tower attached to the train station.
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.
An experimental shaft dug in the 1950s and its Hoist House.
The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
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.
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.
Shadows cast by the ropes, counterweights, and backdrops.
The iconic outline of a prairie sentinel. Quintessential rural industrial architecture.
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.
Camera: Pentax 67.
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.
Empty equipment racks behind a missile launcher.
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 scale of the grain hoppers helps tell the story of how large Hamm’s was in its day.
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.
The primitive chair caught the falling plaster.
The first floor hallway between conference rooms and the diesel lab at the center of the facility
Electric Steel’s bins reflect the sunset.
This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.
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.
Everyone loves water towers.
An alarm panel in the powerpplant, now demolished.
The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
I didn’t test the rungs, but I bet the view was incredible.
One of two projectors, still set to run old 3D flicks.
A view of the hallway outside of the auditorium.
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.
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.
A light-painted portrait of one of the few remaining carts that moved everything from fresh eggs to soiled laundry through the tunnels.
A wounded flour mill, muscled into the corner to keep out of the way.
Grand Army, as seen from a Gilman Tram grade.
Looking into the Pool 8 Annex from the original Ogilvie’s elevator.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
Looking through the washer that is the first stop for the dredgings.
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.
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.
The exterior of the factory is unassuming
Hand painted fire extinguisher notices and a long room which I strongly suspect was a pattern cutting room.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
Indianapolis’ beautiful downtown is in the distance, past the gas storage tank.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
The railing were jealous of both the bricks and bits, and chose instead to dissolve like this.
The ice reflects the blue sky on the rust. The sunset blasts through the concrete pillars holding it all up.
A late look at the brewhouse, long after the stainless steel tanks were scrapped.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
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.
Below the pressure gauges are rows of little pipe fitting drawers.
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 aft lifeboat survived auction, although now all it holds is an emergency ladder to help men who’ve fallen overboard get on deck.
Typical bunk rooms in MS-20.
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.
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
One side of the street is demolished. The other is not.
The old movie theatre sign was sitting right inside the sealed front doors.
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.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
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.
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.
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.
Looking toward a void–formerly a hallway to the mineshaft–now a hole in the ground.
The great entrance to the Service Building shows the detail once present in the old hospital.
Small rooms in the basement of the asylum were seemingly too tiny to be used, even for storage.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.