A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
Two steel hoppers supported by counterweights and springs, which were used to weigh incoming grain loads before being deposited in the silos beneath this floor. Garner is another way to say “big measuring tank”, if you were wondering. I fell in love with all the tubes and chutes on this floor.
This corner of the building was the coal room, used to feed the two big boilers inside. The steam equipment has been replaced with electric, so this section may not have changed much in the past decades.
Standing on a caustic tank with my head out a roof hatch, I look at the sign of the last brand to be produced here.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
A side door for the shop area with ivy crawling toward it.
This building had no identity issues. My chief regret was not spending more time documenting the ghost signs around the complex.
Spare parts ready for this building’s reactivation.
The front of the Art Deco hospital, complete with Art Deco gears and Crosses of Loraine!
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
Laundry chute to the basement, as seen on the top floor.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
Looking at the ghost sign from a rust-locked cement conveyor that linked the silos with a packing warehouse.
Looking past the Osborn along the side of the Hughitt Slip, where there have always been grain elevators for more than 100 years.
A misnomer that stuck.
A facade that tells the story of demolition and neglect. The sign on the garage door indicates that if one finds themselves there, that they enter the buildings at their own risk. If only property owners in the US took this philosophy!
The control room for Manitoba Pool Elevator #3 was the most modern of any I saw in Thunder Bay. Apparently, 25 men were working on the day this elevator shut down.
Footprints of houses past; tailings of mines past.
Different doors for different vehicles, I would guess. White Pine Mine used tire-based vehicles, rather than track-based, making it pretty different than other mines I’ve been to.
I’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
The old movie theatre sign was sitting right inside the sealed front doors.
Shelves in in the coloring department, where hundreds of different mixer lids are splashed with hardened glass dyes. Color thanks to a yellow-tinted skylight.
Power-up to cool down… would have been nice on the hot day I climbed on top of this machine.
The Western Elevator’s old moniker looks over Fort William (the neighborhood). Snow falls over Mount McKay in the background. This elevator is still active… the only active elevator in Fort William proper.
The corner of the original buildings still carry the Lemp logo!
“But everyone I used to know was either dead or in prison
So I came back to Minneapolis this time I think I’m gonna stay” -Tom Waits
The Peavey logo, before it rusted off and the offices were demolished.
The back door into the old distillery building. Not castle-like at all, sadly.
Frontier Gas is a former (?) gas station chain. Chain O’ mines reused a scrapped sign to mark their mill. Under the paint you can barely make out: GLORY HOLE GOLD MILL.
I assume this sign used to sit near the highway that snakes around the mine and town.
“This way,” then, “No, that way!”
It’s a straight view from the projection booth to the stage, but hell of a walk. At a fast pace, I think it would take 10 minutes to walk from this spot to the chair. Behind the curtains is a big white screen, so the theatre could be used for either stagework or moving pictures. The two projectors are set up for 3D movies right now–hence the little switch below the window–a Polaroid 3D synchronizer. Cool, huh?
Part of a vintage neon sign. I hope it’s been preserved–it reminds me of the sign that hung over my grandfather’s tv sales and repair shop in small town Minnesota.
The batch tag specifies some of the technical properties of the silk worked here.
The UP gets a lot of snow, making exploring its old mines a special challenge in the winter. The snow is more than 6 feet deep in this picture, and firm enough to walk on.
A tore-up Colorado Southern Railway sign and the majestic (in an industrial sense) Argo Mill. Go. On. The. Tour. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
Silverton’s elevator, pictured here, is still active.
The beacon was installed in 1938 and removed in the mid-2000s.
S&X seen in the background through the fog.
The sign room with glass letters, words, and numbers.
Watching the comings and goings of doctors, nurses and new patients was a mainstay of asylum routine; one can find it easy to imagine pale faces pressed against the block glass windows, staring out at the world moving past them.
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.
Looking from the powerhouse across to the old Electrical Assembly side of the plant that manufactured products like thermostats. Most of the complex is connected by skyway and tunnel systems.
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
The historical entrance.
The old No Trespassing sign, with the Peavey logo still on it.
One thing I like about the oppressive globalist-wrought future is the idea of numerically subdividing spaces; my geek side sort of wants to live in a flat that can be sorted by as Dewey Decimal-like code.
A siren near the main road. Is it an air raid siren?
Lit by the glow of St. Paul’s West Seventh bars, highlighted by the cool blue of the sleepy section of South Side. This castle-like tower can be seen for miles around town; a Landmark at the brewery that brewed a brew by the that name.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
Behind the main shaft is this familiar industrial sight… a running count of days since the last injury.
Hales & Hunter sign, as it looks today.
Superior Street, as seen from the roof of the Temple Opera Block. Below is one of the sealed sidewalk elevator hatches.
From the street, it’s clear that almost every window and door had boards over it, but not every building had a roof. Silly priorities.
Thick glass windows allow workers to check the beet juice levels in this steel tank. You can tell by the reinforcement that it had a lot of liquid and had to hold against immense pressure. Kodak Tri-X 400/Leica M7.
Pillsbury from across the Mississippi River and Stone Arch Bridge from the roof of the Washburn Crosby Elevator (aka Gold Medal Flour).
Funny how sensitive modern English speakers have become to gendered language. I doubt the workers here–almost all female–were offended by this posting for ‘Workmen’s Compensation’.
Point me to the blast furnace.
The view from the larry, looking out at the overgrowing coke oven top. Papers listed the order of the charges for each oven, noting the sticky doors and persistent leaks. Emergency respirators and rescue gear was stored close, as long exposure to emissions from the rusty hatches could make worker pass out on the top of the ovens.
In the nitrating house.
Between lines of Number Sixes right after sun rose behind them. This photo shows how extremely lush the grounds are that make getting around in some places impossible.
Between the Old Crow and Old Taylor bonded warehouses are some of the fouled barrels, now the only ones left, which were left to rot in the elements. Nearby in a loading bay that has obviously been disused longer than the rest of the property, terra cotta roofing waits in crates.
Inside the Beulah elevator were all of the original notices and notices. These are instructions for filling rail cars with flour sacks.
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.
When it became “Hyde Park Hospital”, this portico was added onto the front.
It remains unexplained what ‘serious results’ may stem from not reporting an accident, but when labor was cheap and unorganized I doubt anyone asked.
I found a historical photo of this room showing 10-foot high machines with wires hanging by the mile from looms and schematic charts.
When ‘men’ meant ‘worker’.
A door covered in pen graffiti.
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
In the office at the end of the dock are two brooms. One is from the last ore train. One is from the last boat.
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
Unit 4’s lower levels.
The guard shack protecting the Nike launch pad.
In an era where smoking was ubiquitous and sexy, smoking stations had to be a part of the job, even at an explosives factory.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
The turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
An engine on display outside the Montana Territorial Prison in Deer Lodge, MT. This was a typical electric locomotive used by The Milwaukee Road.
Every elevator has sets of these conveyor switches. Grain comes down through the top chute and the bottom chute rotates to move the flow onto various belts around the plant by gravity. The cross belt is another switch and the bridge belt brings the flow to the other half of the elevator.
Workers in the basement tunnels had to communicate with the workhouse operators 100 feet above and vice versa. Alarms and bells were installed to signal trouble over the sound of the elevator machinery.
My favorite time to be in the brewery was sunrise. That’s the kind of light that made the brewhouse glow.
The Calumet Elevator offices used to be flanked on both sides by rails. Now, only one side has engines running on it.
Some warnings on the older battery which was visibly older than its eastern counterpart. This set of batteries had no railing between the side of the ovens and a long drop onto railroad tracks… I like this picture because it shows the effects of the heat and corrosive gasses on the area around the ovens.
Every timber pillar was numbered for maintenance purposes.
The main stage and the retired (and in this instance, scrambled) marquee that will be repaired and reinstalled above Superior Street. A former manager of the building I used to photograph Nopeming with told me that the letters for the Art Deco tower are stored somewhere in the NorShor to this day, but I did not see them (and frankly, I doubt it).
A decaying door of the Medical Director for the unit. Because this is from one of the outbuildings and not Administration, I doubt that this was the Medical Director of Norwich State Hospital’s office.
The sign that greets visitors to the ghost town of Colmor. Nothing says ‘welcome’ like birdshot.
Although most of the buildings were open and empty, a few carried signs.
In the days before a centralized fire alarm system, coded whistle blasts would warn when and where a fire broke out.
It was obvious which parts of the hospital were the newest, by their relative utter self destruction. It’s comforting to the Cubical Dwellers, I think, to know that as soon as the power and plumbing are disconnected that all hell will break loose and dismantle their suspended ceilings, drywall boxes and fluorescent suns in no time at all.
Around the corner from the old boiler room.
One of my favorite signs. I imagine something like this happened when it was put up: “Wow, that’s a big sign.” “Yeah, you’re going to be putting it up in the elevator at the service door.” “Have you thought of may locking the door?” “What?” “You know, lock it so that there’s no risk, sign aside, of us going through and falling to our death.” “Shut up and just install the damn sign.”
A broken window looking through the First Aid Room and into the Control Room in charge of directing grain into ships. You can see one of the large conveyors on the right, clad in green. Chutes and staircases intertwine seemingly randomly through the big empty spaces.
Isabella A (left) and B (right) were built in 1910 and 1913, respectively.
These buildings were largely used as concentrators for the crushed rock, although I did spy some small mills inside these too.
The mine was built with stone, wood, and steel. It’s in good condition.
Before developers saw to cut and cut the flour mills inside Pillsbury, they stood at the ready beside various purposeful chutes the traversed the floors of between sorters. These machines were belt-driven by the power of Pillsbury’s Mississippi headraces and turbines, the force of which notoriously shook the building’s foundations themselves. The wheels would change the grade of the flour, or the size of the dust produced from crushing the kernels.
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.
Dominion was acquired by UGG, which designated the elevator ‘M’. Their offices still have safety signage.
In the basement were all the valves to control the flow of municipal steam through the building. This hasty hand letting was beside one such valve, near a carved brick with a name and ‘1934’ under it.
Looking into the Argo Tunnel at its Idaho Springs portal. I was hoping to see tracks and a steel door, but found a busy crew of environmental workers installing a pipe between the bulkhead and new water plant.
The secret sweet-yet-salty center of the nameless factoryscape. Home base, tuned to rule the AC and turn out Product X at record rates, I’m sure.
A stencil instructs the first and third shifts to ask security for access. Security was out during all my visits, except one mishap where a strung-out local chased me with a truck. Having spent a decade exploring the U.P., I was not caught off guard.
The shaft house, where hydraulic steel doors allowed or denied entry into the mine shaft. Overhead is a light and alarm. If it sounds, the mine is being evacuated, and you best not go in and best stay the hell out of the way. Locals dump tires here, now.
Miners at the turn of the century had better taste in typography than the average person does today.
A sign on the corner of a laboratory remembers.
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
The chalkboard in the filtering plant reminds new visitors of the last day.
A sign hanging near the shop office.
For some time, Purina ran a feed service out of the elevator. Inside and outside were signs of its past presence.
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 employee lunchroom with every door and window covered in vented steel.
Canal Park (see bridge) and some of old downtown, formerly Duluth City Hall and Police Department (center-left). At least one star has appeared in the sky…
In the corner of most of the factory floors, freight elevators flanked restrooms to leave more central space for machines and their masters.
A passing cloud almost looks like a puff of smoke from the trimmed smokestack of Consolidated D. In the lower corner you can see a little Stonehenge that someone with a sense of humor and heavy equipment built.
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
Below Dock 2 is a set of fire pumps.
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.
Looking out upon Mill City through the lens of FLOUR, highlighted in pink and low clouds. This sign has recently been converted into LED lighting.
Vents in the boards over the windows helps prevent mold and animals from getting too crazy inside.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
One of the four fire alarm panels in the power station.
Solvent pumping buildings, designed to explode upwards rather than outwards in an emergency, are forgotten near the milkweed.
Looking up the hill from the rooftop of the Temple Opera Block. The downtown casino (left) looks far closer to its original use as a Sears Roebuck department store than it does today. Behind it is the blighted Carter Hotel, one of many abandoned buildings near the former Orpheum.
The bits with handles are the filters with screens of different sizes. Larger grain particles would be stopped at the top for further reduction via the mills, while the powder at the bottom would be run through another bolter–one of the refinement stages in flour production.
An Old Crow warehouse, formerly federally controlled, near Old Taylor Distillery.
Construction in 2014 reveals a lost stone sign.
I love the texture of the rust through the decaying yellow paint.
A look at another “Belt-o-Vator”. I like the sign.
Wintertime is quiet, except for the planes overhead.
I like the fading stencil paint.
A different kind of tree fort.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
At sunrise the fog rose near the solvent recovery line. You can barely read the “XXX” warning.
In the women’s restroom.
In case one forgot… mounted behind the appropriate valves. Who hasn’t memorized the appropriate valve positions?
The back of the mill reads “Red River Milling Company”
An old name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
A taste of Superior culture.
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
Barrels were prepared across the street, then moved across the road with a special conveyor, seen crashed here. This is down the road from Old Taylor, and was probably a part of the Old Crow operation.
A big door into the fire pump room.
The north side of the plant is modern 60s industrial architecture, meaning massive open spaces with no personality. This mirror is the most interesting thing I could find.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
Bricks from the demolished buildings.
The great stenciled number on this chute caught my eye.
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
An original stencil-brushed sign.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
The cornerstone of the building, in Latin.
The rear of engine bay 13… according to the heavily faded sign.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
This building seemed like a pump house or compressor house. It was full of empty concrete mounts.
The Brown Hotel still stands, but has recently gone out of business again. One of the nice things about historic buildings in New Mexico, though, is things tend to stay around a lot longer than if they were subjected to lots of rain and snow. It will probably be reopened eventually.
I love that the administration building–almost 100 years old now–still carries the original name.
Looking at ADM-1 from beside ADM-4, back when ADM-4 had a train shed and ADM-1 had a skyway. In the thick woods beneath the skyway was a long time homeless camp… most of its residents were very friendly.
The house across from the Harris offices were decorated in a unique way.
Kansas is known for tornados. Think ‘Wizard of Oz’. That, considered with the fact that the workers were surrounded by bombs and bomb making materials called for lots of earthen shelters, just in case.
The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
From my archives–the NorShor as an innocent gentleman’s club, called ‘the NorShor Experience’.
A firedoor dating to the original car barn is roped off, anticipating demolition.
From Main Street, looking straight up at the A Mill, only the silence makes one think that nobody’s still inside, grinding grain into Pillsbury’s Best.
“Ballistite is a smokeless propellant made from two high explosives, nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine. It was developed and patented by Alfred Nobel in the late 19th century.” -Wikipedia.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
Inside the office was a small furnace and a collection of mechanical belts. You can see “SERVICE AT COST” and “POOL 168” in the background.
A big sign marks where the elevated walkway is severed where Dock 2 used to meet Dock 3, now gone.
I found a meth lab in this building once. (Yes, I called it in.)
The largest extant structure when I visited.
The original metal sign over the porticos.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
General Mills bought Consolidated Elevator’s “D” in 1943 and renamed it “A,” though no additional elevators have followed from that firm to date. Visible on the right is the first annex, built along with the elevator in 1909.
Parking strictly forbidden. A sign in front of Cheratte’s former truck shops.
The Sivertson’s sign seems like from a different time. I’ve never seen it lit, but I bet it’s beautiful.
Fire doors separate the buildings.
Global Trading remarked the building in the mid-60s, but far above the door is the old ‘Detroit Shipbuilding’ paint, though it’s faint nowadays.
Fire doors and penis talk.
A small stage in one of the barracks.
A caustic tank in one of the unremodeled brewhouse backrooms.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
Hand painted fire extinguisher notices and a long room which I strongly suspect was a pattern cutting room.
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
A century-old ghost sign for Royal House Flour was preserved after a building is built above and through it! Looking from the north annex elevator toward the headhouse.
A sign in the desolate cafeteria.
If you know what BTI stands for, please leave a comment.
Ektar 100/Mamiya 6. A ghost town near Martinsdale, where the market (pictured) served as the train stop.
One of the occupied buildings in Nevadaville.
Four A.M. was the best time to be on the main assembly line. This was about shortly after most of the machinery was removed.
Two bin signs criss-cross in the North Annex.
In the Lime House, the sunset picked-up the last light of day to make this image. Lime is used in the beet sugar refinement process to reduce the acidity of the beet juice mixture.
Candy jar molds, in the far corner of the paint shop.
The elevator works on gravity… this is where a conveyor belt was to move the grain toward the main elevator to be loaded into ships.