A self portrait from more than a decade ago.
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.
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.
Employee lockers near the stage, Service Building.
Approaching the tunnel I heard about for so long…
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.
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.
Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.
Before each warhead was crated, it was inspected.
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
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.
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.
The aft lifeboat survived auction, although now all it holds is an emergency ladder to help men who’ve fallen overboard get on deck.
A tunnel connecting the two larger caves in the hill; those that Jacob vented in the rear. The vents are still extant!
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.
One of a few rolling workbenches to keep the thousands of pulleys, cogs, and belts working properly.
The primitive chair caught the falling plaster.
Wintertime is quiet, except for the planes overhead.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
Looking into the Pool 8 Annex from the original Ogilvie’s elevator.
Perhaps this office was for a film studio or music producer.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
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.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
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.
A new loading shed to fill train cars.
The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
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.
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.
A panorama next to a long abandoned adit. The tram has seen better days.
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]
“GREETING FROM BEAUTIFUL GARY–WISH YOU WERE HERE!” My postcard shot.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
The underside of the ore dock in winter. Snow drifts across the dock from the frozen lake.
Thunder Bay Elevator, now stands without a headhouse. Around the silos, a few shacks still stand.
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
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.
An experimental shaft dug in the 1950s and its Hoist House.
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.
A super-shallow depth of field shot on the Leica Summilux.
2006. A section of the third floor that has changed a lot over the years. Compare to 2015 shot.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
The hoist room, before it was used for storage.
This is my favorite wallpaper in the whole hotel.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
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.
Birch shadows on stone walls… have you been looking at my Christmas list?
The light masts are there, but it looks like the cables that stretched across the dock with the actual lights have fallen down.
Lockers for the boiler room workers.
In the quality assurance labs there is a old safe.
Lost words over the auditorium entrance.
The first floor hallway between conference rooms and the diesel lab at the center of the facility
Two bin signs criss-cross in the North Annex.
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.
The guts of the dock are connected with a long narrow hallway. Below this section are shops and labs.
Glowing observation windows–and someone forgot to lock a patient’s door…
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
The copula where molten metal would pour is on the left. It seems the whole floor was covered in ash in front of it.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
I believe these hooks were meant for hanging filters to dry.
Electric Steel’s bins reflect the sunset.
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.
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 dock is still lit at night and it casts shadows over the rust-welded ore doors.
The second most important building at Prize Mine.
Indianapolis’ beautiful downtown is in the distance, past the gas storage tank.
The rumors were true. Success is sweet.
This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.
The man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.
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.
A portrait of the second school of McConnell, built in 1937.
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Beautiful details in the plaster moulding have been preserved by the sheer height of this room between the cathedral and auditorium.
The American Victory next to M, seen late at night.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
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.
Where staff could sleep.
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.
My favorite time to be in the brewery was sunrise. That’s the kind of light that made the brewhouse glow.
Everyone loves water towers.
The scale of the grain hoppers helps tell the story of how large Hamm’s was in its day.
More than half a century of plans rot in the shadows, seemingly useless.
A wounded flour mill, muscled into the corner to keep out of the way.
Sarah in Miller Creek Drain.
The crumbling building barely contained the colors inside of it.
This dock goes between loading bays (see glass brick walls) and the railroad.
The city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.
The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
Energy conserving window plastic does no good when the doors are all open and the heat’s off.
A big sliding fire door opens onto a train dock.
An abandoned gatehouse bearing the name of the former factory.
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.
A view of the hallway outside of the auditorium.
A late look at the brewhouse, long after the stainless steel tanks were scrapped.
The underground portions of the engine shop were mostly filled in.
A divot to let more light and air into the building.
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
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.
Days after the long-flooded basement was pumped out. Note the water lines!
One side of the street is demolished. The other is not.
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 sun lowered behind the dead flour mill, bending its image upon itself.
In the corner of the former school grounds…
A warped mirror in the rock crusher at the rear of the complex.
A typical room in Birtle.
A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old 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.
Hand painted fire extinguisher notices and a long room which I strongly suspect was a pattern cutting room.
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
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.
These wide spools sit atop the abandoned tracks that lead to the train shed, which was later repurposed into a truck shed.
…a little close for comfort.
A wide view (15mm) of the shadow 4B is casting on 4A. Light leaks because of cheap camera.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
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.
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
A long exposure of the city glow illuminating the roof, highlighting the victorian and gothic influences on the brew house.
In the middle of Electric Steel, dust collector vents cross-cross out of sight.
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.
My favorite shot of 2011; a rusty mold for a heart-shaped glass candy dish in its natural environment, so to speak.
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.
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.
A sharp turn in the coatings department twists the steel out of sight.
A bumper sticker with the usual tagline. Note the detail on the radiator!
North of the assembly complex is a storage network of earthen and concrete bunkers.
Small rooms in the basement of the asylum were seemingly too tiny to be used, even for storage.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
ADM overshadows the Meal Elevator. The cleared area behind is now home to Surley Brewery.
Ruined cars abandoned in the generator hall, long after its namesake was scrapped.
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.
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.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
The pits have long since been filled so the roundhouse could be used for storage.
Empty equipment racks behind a missile launcher.
He had the knees of a stallion. RIP.
At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.
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.
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.
Harsh rail yard lighting throws shadows of broken windows against the line of boilers.
What time is it?
Camera: Pentax 67. Film: Kodak Ektar 100.
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.
My favorite shot of the 17-story Art Deco office tower attached to the train station.
Looking toward a void–formerly a hallway to the mineshaft–now a hole in the ground.
A typical hallway in the rocket assembly line.
Grand Army, as seen from a Gilman Tram grade.
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.
An alarm panel in the powerpplant, now demolished.
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 bunk room, minus the bunks.
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
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.
Dirty filters for some equipment hang, awaiting a purpose.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
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.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
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 elevator near the offices seemed a day’s work away from being operational
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.
What looks to be a skip for repairing the dock, in the concrete steeple.
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
Without proper pressure, the steering engine was ineffective.
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
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.
Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.
Below the pressure gauges are rows of little pipe fitting drawers.
The old truck scale sits in the middle of what was Nettleton Avenue Slip.
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 sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
The great entrance to the Service Building shows the detail once present in the old hospital.
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.
Peering out of the porthole of the light tower, I saw the shadow of the station on the lake.
A typical building from the expanded starch line.
Looking out of Kurth Malt a the neighbors–the silos past Electric Steel are those of the Froedert Malt Company, now gone.
I found a face.
Not necessarily a children’s room.
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.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
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.
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 hospital is so self art deco that it seems like a film set!
The railing were jealous of both the bricks and bits, and chose instead to dissolve like this.
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.
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…