A big sliding fire door opens onto a train dock.
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.
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.
A wide view (15mm) of the shadow 4B is casting on 4A. Light leaks because of cheap camera.
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
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]
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 iron holding up the plaster ceiling is rusted to the point the weight of it is bending it right over.
The remains of the site radar beside the command building.
A warped mirror in the rock crusher at the rear of the complex.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
The light next to this acid tank was perfect, thanks to a gaping hole in the roof.
2006. A section of the third floor that has changed a lot over the years. Compare to 2015 shot.
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.
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.
Empty equipment racks behind a missile launcher.
A typical building from the expanded starch line.
Dirty filters for some equipment hang, awaiting a purpose.
Days after the long-flooded basement was pumped out. Note the water lines!
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.
Shadows of the timberwork and cribbing are cast across cracked lake ice. My footprints follow cat tracks.
Hand painted fire extinguisher notices and a long room which I strongly suspect was a pattern cutting room.
This gives you a sense for what it looks like to stand on the roof of the main production building at sunset.
The city constructed a wall in the early 2000s to discourage visitors. Note the staircase is cut off, too.
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 crumbling building barely contained the colors inside of it.
In its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…
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.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
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.
When the Mitchell project is complete, I’ll miss the textures on the face of the boiler.
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 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 newer tunnels were fitted with these fluorescent lights, although some skylights (block glass embedded in skywalks) let in some natural light during the day.
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.
The man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.
From the highest roof of Ogvilvie’s, Thunder Bay looks like paradise.
A portrait of the second school of McConnell, built in 1937.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
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.
A late look at the brewhouse, long after the stainless steel tanks were scrapped.
A diesel crane and conveyor belt tripper are the major pieces of equipment that dominate the dock.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
Camera: Pentax 67.
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.
Like a railgun pointed at the Rockies… the boom would direct tailings–junk rock–outside of the dredge pond.
The primitive chair caught the falling plaster.
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.
Shadows cast by the ropes, counterweights, and backdrops.
An experimental shaft dug in the 1950s and its Hoist House.
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.
Beautiful details in the plaster moulding have been preserved by the sheer height of this room between the cathedral and auditorium.
A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
In a protected wing of a launcher are these empty server racks where guidance and control computers were stored.
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.
A tunnel connecting the two larger caves in the hill; those that Jacob vented in the rear. The vents are still extant!
The concrete annex elevator had interesting graffiti. Much of it from the 1980s and 1990s.
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.
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 great entrance to the Service Building shows the detail once present in the old hospital.
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 laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
Shadows of the skylights form a backdrop for rust-welded machines.
The copula where molten metal would pour is on the left. It seems the whole floor was covered in ash in front of it.
Energy conserving window plastic does no good when the doors are all open and the heat’s off.
Not necessarily a children’s room.
Looking across at the Cargill elevator.
Birch shadows on stone walls… have you been looking at my Christmas list?
The side of a launcher, with outbuildings in the background. You can see the tracks where the roof would open before launch.
Glowing observation windows–and someone forgot to lock a patient’s door…
These ruins of buildings recovered acid from the explosives line to be recycled.
Two bin signs criss-cross in the North Annex.
A tunnel between the outside gate and the courtyard shared by the barracks.
The first floor of the Industrial Loft building.
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.
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.
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.
Sunbeams under the sintering belt. Support cradles for the wires crossing the factory are falling down.
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 view of the hallway outside of the auditorium.
Employee lockers near the stage, Service Building.
The railing were jealous of both the bricks and bits, and chose instead to dissolve like this.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
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.
The sun lowered behind the dead flour mill, bending its image upon itself.
My favorite shot of the 17-story Art Deco office tower attached to the train station.
Pipe fittings in little drawers, lit by tea lights.
These wide spools sit atop the abandoned tracks that lead to the train shed, which was later repurposed into a truck shed.
Taken as I drove out of Silverton, CO. One of my favorite landscapes of 2015. Want a print? Email me!
In the quality assurance labs there is a old safe.
A long exposure of the city glow illuminating the roof, highlighting the victorian and gothic influences on the brew house.
“GREETING FROM BEAUTIFUL GARY–WISH YOU WERE HERE!” My postcard shot.
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.
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.
This dock goes between loading bays (see glass brick walls) and the railroad.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
This was not always the top of the elevator.
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.
…a little close for comfort.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
The meticulously tiled dry house shower floor–cracked by frost.
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.
Looking out of Kurth Malt a the neighbors–the silos past Electric Steel are those of the Froedert Malt Company, now gone.
A panorama next to a long abandoned adit. The tram has seen better days.
One of two projectors, still set to run old 3D flicks.
The underside of the ore dock in winter. Snow drifts across the dock from the frozen lake.
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.
In the corner of the former school grounds…
Go on and jump in, if you want, there’s even a ladder to climb out.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
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 coal water power plant stack accompanied the smell of an arson.
The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
Electric Steel’s bins reflect the sunset.
Looking through the washer that is the first stop for the dredgings.
One of a few rolling workbenches to keep the thousands of pulleys, cogs, and belts working properly.
Thunder Bay Elevator, now stands without a headhouse. Around the silos, a few shacks still stand.
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.
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 ice reflects the blue sky on the rust. The sunset blasts through the concrete pillars holding it all up.
The hike to the village is steep. This is looking into the valley from the halfway point.
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.
Looking at the side of 4B from the roof of its car shed.
The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.
The light masts are there, but it looks like the cables that stretched across the dock with the actual lights have fallen down.
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
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.
Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.
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 elevator near the offices seemed a day’s work away from being operational
Small rooms in the basement of the asylum were seemingly too tiny to be used, even for storage.
The workshop sat below the main working floor and had serious power going to it.
Typical bunk rooms in MS-20.
Ruined cars abandoned in the generator hall, long after its namesake was scrapped.
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
Sarah in Miller Creek Drain.
These aluminum powder kegs were forgotten in storage.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
A bumper sticker with the usual tagline. Note the detail on the radiator!
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
An alarm panel in the powerpplant, now demolished.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
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.
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…
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.
The hospital is so self art deco that it seems like a film set!
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.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
Beautiful doors separated the boiler room and the sugar mill. Can you imagine the gracefully curving steps in a power plant today?
I believe these hooks were meant for hanging filters to dry.
Lockers for the boiler room workers.
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
More than half a century of plans rot in the shadows, seemingly useless.
Taken several years before the tornado story when the weather, and the condition of the buildings, were nice.
The Atlas D command building. As Brutalist as it gets.
Everyone loves water towers.
The hoist room, before it was used for storage.
One leg of the headframe meets the hoist house. Two cranes are rusted in place.
The missiles were stored without fuel, to help prevent mishaps. This is the fuel pumping building and one of the tanks.
It’s not hard to see how Germany could turn these into a prison overnight.
The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
The dock is still lit at night and it casts shadows over the rust-welded ore doors.
An abandoned gatehouse bearing the name of the former factory.
The huge snowfalls of 2011 brought new collapses across the buildings.
The old truck scale sits in the middle of what was Nettleton Avenue Slip.
This section retains water and is mostly shaded, so moss has found a way to live in the concrete.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
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.
Kate in the Atlas E, which is essentially a buried Atlas D. Above is the protective steel blast door.
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.
At this junction where Brewery Creek gets a breath of fresh air stands a kid holding a paintbrush: a Banksy (famous graffiti artist) ripoff.
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 self portrait from more than a decade ago.
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 window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
Looking toward a void–formerly a hallway to the mineshaft–now a hole in the ground.
A wounded flour mill, muscled into the corner to keep out of the way.
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.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
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.
Where staff could sleep.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
A divot to let more light and air into the building.
While the stokers are gone, the pipes bringing pulverized coal down were left.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
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.
Looking into the Pool 8 Annex from the original Ogilvie’s elevator.
The iconic outline of a prairie sentinel. Quintessential rural industrial architecture.
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.
Indianapolis’ beautiful downtown is in the distance, past the gas storage tank.
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.
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
The old movie theatre sign was sitting right inside the sealed front doors.
Almost all of the doors and windows on the ground floor have been boarded, leaving the ground level very dark.
I found a face.
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.