This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
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.
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.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
Beautiful details in the plaster moulding have been preserved by the sheer height of this room between the cathedral and auditorium.
A typical hallway in the rocket assembly line.
ADM overshadows the Meal Elevator. The cleared area behind is now home to Surley Brewery.
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.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
Looking across at the Cargill elevator.
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.
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 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.
A self portrait from more than a decade ago.
One side of the street is demolished. The other is not.
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.
Sunbeams under the sintering belt. Support cradles for the wires crossing the factory are falling down.
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 pits have long since been filled so the roundhouse could be used for storage.
Below the pressure gauges are rows of little pipe fitting drawers.
Not necessarily a children’s room.
The iron holding up the plaster ceiling is rusted to the point the weight of it is bending it right over.
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.
These aluminum powder kegs were forgotten in storage.
Glowing observation windows–and someone forgot to lock a patient’s door…
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 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.
Everyone loves water towers.
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.
Grain is taken from the bottom of the silos through a conveyor in a tunnel. These blowers keep the air in the tunnel fresh.
In its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
Sarah in Miller Creek Drain.
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
An alarm panel in the powerpplant, now demolished.
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.
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.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
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.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
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.
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.
Grand Army, as seen from a Gilman Tram grade.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
The iconic outline of a prairie sentinel. Quintessential rural industrial architecture.
The hospital is so self art deco that it seems like a film set!
A long exposure of the city glow illuminating the roof, highlighting the victorian and gothic influences on the brew house.
Shadows of the timberwork and cribbing are cast across cracked lake ice. My footprints follow cat tracks.
Days after the long-flooded basement was pumped out. Note the water lines!
What time is it?
The rumors were true. Success is sweet.
The fresh snow makes the whole complex look a lot cleaner than it actually is.
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.
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…
The old truck scale sits in the middle of what was Nettleton Avenue Slip.
The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.
Energy conserving window plastic does no good when the doors are all open and the heat’s off.
Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.
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.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
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.
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.
Hand painted fire extinguisher notices and a long room which I strongly suspect was a pattern cutting room.
The coal water power plant stack accompanied the smell of an arson.
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 first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
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.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
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.
This dock goes between loading bays (see glass brick walls) and the railroad.
The second most important building at Prize Mine.
The light next to this acid tank was perfect, thanks to a gaping hole in the roof.
The scale of the grain hoppers helps tell the story of how large Hamm’s was in its day.
The dock is still lit at night and it casts shadows over the rust-welded ore doors.
Lockers for the boiler room workers.
More than half a century of plans rot in the shadows, seemingly useless.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
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.
“GREETING FROM BEAUTIFUL GARY–WISH YOU WERE HERE!” My postcard shot.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
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.
A panorama next to a long abandoned adit. The tram has seen better days.
The missiles were stored without fuel, to help prevent mishaps. This is the fuel pumping building and one of the tanks.
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.
Looking toward a void–formerly a hallway to the mineshaft–now a hole in the ground.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
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 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.
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.
Empty equipment racks behind a missile launcher.
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.
A wide view (15mm) of the shadow 4B is casting on 4A. Light leaks because of cheap camera.
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.
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.
Looking through the washer that is the first stop for the dredgings.
A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
What looks to be a skip for repairing the dock, in the concrete steeple.
Seven TV sets and not one shows my reflection. I’d also like to point out not two of these are the same.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
A super-shallow depth of field shot on the Leica Summilux.
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
Two bin signs criss-cross in the North Annex.
The American Victory next to M, seen late at night.
In the corner of the former school grounds…
In the quality assurance labs there is a old safe.
Beautiful doors separated the boiler room and the sugar mill. Can you imagine the gracefully curving steps in a power plant today?
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.
Kate in the Atlas E, which is essentially a buried Atlas D. Above is the protective steel blast door.
The aft lifeboat survived auction, although now all it holds is an emergency ladder to help men who’ve fallen overboard get on deck.
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!
An abandoned gatehouse bearing the name of the former factory.
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 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.
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…
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Small rooms in the basement of the asylum were seemingly too tiny to be used, even for storage.
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.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
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.
A typical room in Birtle.
The primitive chair caught the falling plaster.
Typical bunk rooms in MS-20.
This was not always the top of the elevator.
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.
The guts of the dock are connected with a long narrow hallway. Below this section are shops and labs.
A portrait of the second school of McConnell, built in 1937.
Peering out of the porthole of the light tower, I saw the shadow of the station on the lake.
Looking into the Pool 8 Annex from the original Ogilvie’s elevator.
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.
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
My favorite shot of the 17-story Art Deco office tower attached to the train station.
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.
Shadows cast by the ropes, counterweights, and backdrops.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
Indianapolis’ beautiful downtown is in the distance, past the gas storage tank.
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 underside of the ore dock in winter. Snow drifts across the dock from the frozen lake.
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.
I found a face.
Birch shadows on stone walls… have you been looking at my Christmas list?
While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.
Lost words over the auditorium entrance.
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.
Employee lockers near the stage, Service Building.
…a little close for comfort.
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.
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.
A light-painted portrait of one of the few remaining carts that moved everything from fresh eggs to soiled laundry through the tunnels.
Some parts of the doctor’s apartment in the Administration Tower were decidedly upscale. Look at the beautiful ironwork on that sink!
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
My favorite shot of 2011; a rusty mold for a heart-shaped glass candy dish in its natural environment, so to speak.
Camera: Pentax 67.
A tunnel connecting the two larger caves in the hill; those that Jacob vented in the rear. The vents are still extant!
This gives you a sense for what it looks like to stand on the roof of the main production building at sunset.
The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
One of two projectors, still set to run old 3D flicks.
Where staff could sleep.
North of the assembly complex is a storage network of earthen and concrete bunkers.
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
Camera: Pentax 67. Film: Kodak Ektar 100.
Ruined cars abandoned in the generator hall, long after its namesake was scrapped.
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
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.
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]
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.
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.
A divot to let more light and air into the building.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
This is my favorite wallpaper in the whole hotel.
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 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.
One of a few rolling workbenches to keep the thousands of pulleys, cogs, and belts working properly.
The old movie theatre sign was sitting right inside the sealed front doors.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
Looking out of Kurth Malt a the neighbors–the silos past Electric Steel are those of the Froedert Malt Company, now gone.
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.
I believe these hooks were meant for hanging filters to dry.
The crane on Dock 2, as seen from Dock 4 right after sunset. Notice the old light tower is warped.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
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.
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.
The copula where molten metal would pour is on the left. It seems the whole floor was covered in ash in front of it.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
Electric Steel’s bins reflect the sunset.