A wide view (15mm) of the shadow 4B is casting on 4A. Light leaks because of cheap camera.
This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.
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.
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.
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.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.
The aft lifeboat survived auction, although now all it holds is an emergency ladder to help men who’ve fallen overboard get on deck.
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.
The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
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.
An alarm panel in the powerpplant, now demolished.
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…
An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.
An unplanned skylight. It’s unclear why some parts of the building had wooden roofing, while others were highly reinforced with brick.
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.
The fresh snow makes the whole complex look a lot cleaner than it actually is.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
In the middle of Electric Steel, dust collector vents cross-cross out of sight.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
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
Sarah in Miller Creek Drain.
These wide spools sit atop the abandoned tracks that lead to the train shed, which was later repurposed into a truck shed.
From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
This dock goes between loading bays (see glass brick walls) and the railroad.
A panorama next to a long abandoned adit. The tram has seen better days.
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.
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.
A typical building from the expanded starch line.
One side of the street is demolished. The other is not.
What time is it?
More than half a century of plans rot in the shadows, seemingly useless.
Small rooms in the basement of the asylum were seemingly too tiny to be used, even for storage.
The crumbling building barely contained the colors inside of it.
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 common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
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.
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.
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.
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 railing were jealous of both the bricks and bits, and chose instead to dissolve like this.
The dock is still lit at night and it casts shadows over the rust-welded ore doors.
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.
A new loading shed to fill train cars.
A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
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
Lost words over the auditorium entrance.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
An experimental shaft dug in the 1950s and its Hoist House.
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.
A late look at the brewhouse, long after the stainless steel tanks were scrapped.
In the quality assurance labs there is a old safe.
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.
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.
Ruined cars abandoned in the generator hall, long after its namesake was scrapped.
This was not always the top of the elevator.
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.
This is my favorite wallpaper in the whole hotel.
Employee lockers near the stage, Service Building.
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…
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
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.
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 workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
This gives you a sense for what it looks like to stand on the roof of the main production building at sunset.
In its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…
The coal water power plant stack accompanied the smell of an arson.
Looking into the Pool 8 Annex from the original Ogilvie’s elevator.
Looking across at the Cargill elevator.
…a little close for comfort.
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.
A diesel crane and conveyor belt tripper are the major pieces of equipment that dominate the dock.
Perhaps this office was for a film studio or music producer.
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.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
Seven TV sets and not one shows my reflection. I’d also like to point out not two of these are the same.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
The crane on Dock 2, as seen from Dock 4 right after sunset. Notice the old light tower is warped.
A big sliding fire door opens onto a train dock.
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.
Shadows cast by the ropes, counterweights, and backdrops.
A warped mirror in the rock crusher at the rear of the complex.
Days after the long-flooded basement was pumped out. Note the water lines!
A tunnel connecting the two larger caves in the hill; those that Jacob vented in the rear. The vents are still extant!
The first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
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.
In a protected wing of a launcher are these empty server racks where guidance and control computers were stored.
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
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.
An experimental shaft dug in the 1950s and its Hoist House.
Sunbeams under the sintering belt. Support cradles for the wires crossing the factory are falling down.
The great entrance to the Service Building shows the detail once present in the old hospital.
Sunset came fast, and when the good light died inside the Industrial Loft, I walked around the back to find the whole complex glowing.
Beautiful details in the plaster moulding have been preserved by the sheer height of this room between the cathedral and auditorium.
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
Two bin signs criss-cross in the North Annex.
Camera: Pentax 67.
These ruins of buildings recovered acid from the explosives line to be recycled.
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
The missiles were stored without fuel, to help prevent mishaps. This is the fuel pumping building and one of the tanks.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
The old truck scale sits in the middle of what was Nettleton Avenue Slip.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
Thunder Bay Elevator, now stands without a headhouse. Around the silos, a few shacks still stand.
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.
Empty equipment racks behind a missile launcher.
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.
A super-shallow depth of field shot on the Leica Summilux.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
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
Everyone loves water towers.
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 from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
The copula where molten metal would pour is on the left. It seems the whole floor was covered in ash in front of it.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
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 American Victory next to M, seen late at night.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
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.
The workshop sat below the main working floor and had serious power going to it.
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.
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.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
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.
Looking down the walkway that traces the bottom side of the ore dock.
The light masts are there, but it looks like the cables that stretched across the dock with the actual lights have fallen down.
Bayard Sugar Mill, as seen from the old power plant
He had the knees of a stallion. RIP.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
My favorite shot of 2011; a rusty mold for a heart-shaped glass candy dish in its natural environment, so to speak.
Where the drain changes shape from round concrete to arched brick.
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.
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.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.
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.
Dirty filters for some equipment hang, awaiting a purpose.
Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.
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.
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.
When the Mitchell project is complete, I’ll miss the textures on the face of the boiler.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
Some parts of the doctor’s apartment in the Administration Tower were decidedly upscale. Look at the beautiful ironwork on that sink!
The underside of the ore dock in winter. Snow drifts across the dock from the frozen lake.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
These aluminum powder kegs were forgotten in storage.
A single metal emergency slide rusts away at sunrise.
Looking into the half-demolished, half-dismantled conveyor for the sea leg.
Camera: Pentax 67. Film: Kodak Ektar 100.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
The iconic outline of a prairie sentinel. Quintessential rural industrial architecture.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
A wounded flour mill, muscled into the corner to keep out of the way.
I believe these hooks were meant for hanging filters to dry.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
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 guts of the dock are connected with a long narrow hallway. Below this section are shops and labs.
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.
Lockers for the boiler room workers.
Approaching the tunnel I heard about for so long…
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.
The ice reflects the blue sky on the rust. The sunset blasts through the concrete pillars holding it all up.
The rumors were true. Success is sweet.
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.
The train loading tower (left), and elevators. Check out that giant flagpole/lightning rod.
A typical hallway in the rocket assembly line.
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 divot to let more light and air into the building.
Kate in the Atlas E, which is essentially a buried Atlas D. Above is the protective steel blast door.
The pits have long since been filled so the roundhouse could be used for storage.
My favorite shot of the 17-story Art Deco office tower attached to the train station.
I found a face.
The hoist room, before it was used for storage.
The man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.
Hand painted fire extinguisher notices and a long room which I strongly suspect was a pattern cutting room.
Grand Army, as seen from a Gilman Tram grade.
The city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.
2006. A section of the third floor that has changed a lot over the years. Compare to 2015 shot.
It seemed the only way to get a view of the room was to climb above the mounds of rotting donations, now not even fit to burn.
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.
The primitive chair caught the falling plaster.
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 view of the hallway outside of the auditorium.
Almost all of the doors and windows on the ground floor have been boarded, leaving the ground level very dark.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
In the corner of the former school grounds…
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
Shadows of the timberwork and cribbing are cast across cracked lake ice. My footprints follow cat tracks.
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
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.