The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
Every fitting label in the stock department was cracked, curled, and blank.
The Dock 5 sign at track level. Probably as an aid to sailors reboarding their vessels.
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?
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).
Parking strictly forbidden. A sign in front of Cheratte’s former truck shops.
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
This bridge over Eagle River is beautiful.
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.”
Miners at the turn of the century had better taste in typography than the average person does today.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
Superior Street, as seen from the roof of the Temple Opera Block. Below is one of the sealed sidewalk elevator hatches.
For some time, Purina ran a feed service out of the elevator. Inside and outside were signs of its past presence.
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 mine was built with stone, wood, and steel. It’s in good condition.
A firedoor dating to the original car barn is roped off, anticipating demolition.
No, it’s not your Mac’s desktop, it’s a beautiful Lake Superior night. Taken from near the former Pittsburgh and Reading Anthracite Plant. You can see the frame that used to hold the lifeboat that was auctioned in 2006 to the left of the Pilot House.
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.
Construction in 2014 reveals a lost stone sign.
“The fresh snow mixed indistinguishably from the ashes of the half-demolished power plant.”
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
The back door into the old distillery building. Not castle-like at all, sadly.
The old No Trespassing sign, with the Peavey logo still on it.
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
A handmade sign tracks the progress through the current beet campaign. For this factory, it was about 30 years ago. Perhaps the idea was to pit shifts against each other.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
A door covered in pen graffiti.
I found a meth lab in this building once. (Yes, I called it in.)
One of the occupied buildings in Nevadaville.
This machine was last overhauled in February 1955, and last turned out Crepe silk, probably dress material.
A small stage in one of the barracks.
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.
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.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
The front of the mill reads “Montana Flour Mills Company”
In an era where smoking was ubiquitous and sexy, smoking stations had to be a part of the job, even at an explosives factory.
“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
It remains unexplained what ‘serious results’ may stem from not reporting an accident, but when labor was cheap and unorganized I doubt anyone asked.
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.
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.
The chalkboard in the filtering plant reminds new visitors of the last day.
For some time, tugboats were stored next to the elevator.
Solvent pumping buildings, designed to explode upwards rather than outwards in an emergency, are forgotten near the milkweed.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
ZC was sure proud of his castle!
Can you imagine workers in a food plant smoking on the job today?
The stage of the theatre still holds hymnals and other vestiges of its time as a church.
Hales & Hunter sign, as it looks today.
The historical entrance.
A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
Model: Devan. Instagram: sextmachine
A few of the stalls in the older section of the roundhouse, the noon sky peeking in.
Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.
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.
After a religious conversion from actors to projectors, a rebranding was in order.
A big sign marks where the elevated walkway is severed where Dock 2 used to meet Dock 3, now gone.
The barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
Asbestos rope isn’t something you can buy at Home Depot anymore, but it’s fire and heat resistant stuff; great for industrial work, like in a sugar mill.
Ektar 100/Mamiya 6. A ghost town near Martinsdale, where the market (pictured) served as the train stop.
Pillsbury from across the Mississippi River and Stone Arch Bridge from the roof of the Washburn Crosby Elevator (aka Gold Medal Flour).
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
Note the tiled floor between the bucket conveyors and an old mill.
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.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
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.
Vents in the boards over the windows helps prevent mold and animals from getting too crazy inside.
Point me to the blast furnace.
One of the four fire alarm panels in the power station.
The Calumet Elevator offices used to be flanked on both sides by rails. Now, only one side has engines running on it.
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’.
Behind a nurse’s station.
Kodak Tri-X 400, Leica M7. Serious enough to write across the side of the tank, but not serious enough to have a sign made.
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.
The guard shack protecting the Nike launch pad.
One of the storage bunkers was cracked open. I wonder how effective this heavy door would actually be… I expect, not very.
A bumper sticker with the usual tagline. Note the detail on the radiator!
The batch tag specifies some of the technical properties of the silk worked here.
This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.
In case one forgot… mounted behind the appropriate valves. Who hasn’t memorized the appropriate valve positions?
When ‘men’ meant ‘worker’.
Candy jar molds, in the far corner of the paint shop.
A comrade lights-up where so many workers apparently congregated to do the same.
A sign hanging near the shop office.
Wintertime is quiet, except for the planes overhead.
The Harrison flour mill, completed in 1897 and expanded in 1901 and 1902. The tunnel that I am standing on probably transported grain from the elevator to the mill. Medium Format.
A self portrait from more than a decade ago.
Looking at the top of the Washburn Crosby elevator from a mirrored window in the Guthrie Theater.
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.
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.
The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
An employee lunchroom with every door and window covered in vented steel.
Below the pressure gauges are rows of little pipe fitting drawers.
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.
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.
Bricks from the demolished buildings.
The Sivertson’s sign seems like from a different time. I’ve never seen it lit, but I bet it’s beautiful.
The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.
The bottom of the elevator in the new foundry.
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.
An abandoned gatehouse bearing the name of the former factory.
I love that the administration building–almost 100 years old now–still carries the original name.
Footprints of houses past; tailings of mines past.
A misnomer that stuck.
This elevator was built in 1922 and was used until the passing rails were removed in the mid-1970s.
From my archives–the NorShor as an innocent gentleman’s club, called ‘the NorShor Experience’.
One of my favorite signs, informing workers about to descend into the open-top grain bins about basic procedures. This was in ADM-Annex 1 (connected to the cleaning house via skyway), so it will never be seen again, unless the sign lands luckily when the elevator is demolished.
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.
“This way,” then, “No, that way!”
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.
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 office at the end of the dock are two brooms. One is from the last ore train. One is from the last boat.
One of the former sanitorium common rooms. Its interior is at the end of one of the wards and is lined with glass brick.
Elevator B, used by a local farmer, stands behind an old farm truck at the edge of town.
In case power was lost, this manual signal could direct trains on and off the taconite trestle. Turning the pole would change the color of the light on top and the shape of the metal flags.
When it became “Hyde Park Hospital”, this portico was added onto the front.
Because painted signs would not hold up in this spot–in between four ovens that were literally hot enough to melt steel inside. Solution: Cut the pipe labels into the sheet metal. Seems to have worked.
Isabella A (left) and B (right) were built in 1910 and 1913, respectively.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
A squat building with a rail scale. Taken between rain showers in late summer, when I seemed to be the only one at White Pine.
A taste of Superior culture.
I wish I had the equipment then that I have now… I look back at these 10-year-old pictures and can’t ignore all the grain.
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.
The main gate, as seen in 2005. It hasn’t changed much since then.
A different kind of tree fort.
The sign room with glass letters, words, and numbers.
A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.
I’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
The beacon was installed in 1938 and removed in the mid-2000s.
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.
Part of the unremodeled hospital, above the Service Building, where employees would stay sometimes.
Every timber pillar was numbered for maintenance purposes.
Kurth bears a ghost sign. Recently, its main sign was destroyed by graffiti artists in 2015.
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.
Standing between pockets 1 and 2. You brought hearing protection, right?
I found a historical photo of this room showing 10-foot high machines with wires hanging by the mile from looms and schematic charts.
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.
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.
This volume gauge could be read from 30 feet away, which is useful when the control panels and valves are that far away.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
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.
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
An old name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
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.
The pockmarked concrete sign of Substation #2 over the control room that faces the highway.
The back of the mill reads “Red River Milling Company”
An exit from the concourse.
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.
Laundry chute to the basement, as seen on the top floor.
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.
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.
I wish I knew what has become of this great one-of-a-kind sign that used to brag how many days the Clyde Iron factory has gone without a serious accident. Update: It’s hanging in one of the smaller venue spaces behind the bar.
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.
Carter Color used to occupy this block.
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
Safety signs decorated every floor, machine and, yes, door. This message spoke to me for reasons my coworkers will understand; suffice to say, I need to take this message to heart.
The great stenciled number on this chute caught my eye.
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!
In the days before a centralized fire alarm system, coded whistle blasts would warn when and where a fire broke out.
A side door for the shop area with ivy crawling toward it.
The Peavey logo, before it rusted off and the offices were demolished.
This building seemed like a pump house or compressor house. It was full of empty concrete mounts.
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.
Behind the main shaft is this familiar industrial sight… a running count of days since the last injury.
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.
The original metal sign over the porticos.
Below Dock 2 is a set of fire pumps.
The rear of engine bay 13… according to the heavily faded sign.
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
Two signatures complement this gorgeous hand-painted sign. ‘Bowers’ from 1987 and ‘Normal’ from 1982. The blocking on the letters is still visible!
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
An original stencil-brushed sign.
This building had no identity issues. My chief regret was not spending more time documenting the ghost signs around the complex.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
One of the prettier Humphry Manlifts in Minneapolis, in my opinion.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
2005. Flavored beers are still popular. The flavor concentrates were stored in this bank of fridges.
Looking at the ghost sign from a rust-locked cement conveyor that linked the silos with a packing warehouse.
One level below where the cotton was nitrated, the fumes must have been powerful. This floor had several massive ventilation fans in its walls.
The warped floors caught my eye in this room too–a symptom of turning off heat and not patching a leaking roof in the midwest.
I like the fading stencil paint.
This building looked like some sort of office.
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!
S&X seen in the background through the fog.
My first night on Minneapolis’ Lighthouse–now an old picture and distant memory… I still remember the exhilaration and the view of the city off one edge of the roof and the Mississippi River over the other.
Allouez had already suffered one major fire. It didn’t need another–especially under Dock 1’s wooden approach.