The corner of the original buildings still carry the Lemp logo!
The Osborn Block (front) and the Twohy (rear) at sunset. In the distance, you can almost make out Globe Elevators. One of my favorite photos of 2013.
I found a historical photo of this room showing 10-foot high machines with wires hanging by the mile from looms and schematic charts.
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.
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
I couldn’t help but include this ghost sign for a demolished motel…
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’.
Looking out of the brewhouse toward the river.
A comrade lights-up where so many workers apparently congregated to do the same.
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
A small stage in one of the barracks.
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.
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.
An Old Crow warehouse, formerly federally controlled, near Old Taylor Distillery.
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.
The clock, which was sold after Amtrak dumped the building, was returned to the Waiting Room in 2005.
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.
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.
In the nitrating house.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
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.
An old sign directed patients and visitors back to toward the central parts of the hospital.
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 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.
Shot on a Pentax 67 in monochrome and toned to match the set. For some time the marquee was lit at night to advertise the fact that the city bought it and planned to apply for credits to repair it.
Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.
An old stoker in a power plant that was abandoned long before the mill next to it, by all indications. Sugar mills burned dry beet pulp pellets for fuel.
Allouez had already suffered one major fire. It didn’t need another–especially under Dock 1’s wooden approach.
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.
A self portrait from more than a decade ago.
A sign on the corner of a laboratory remembers.
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.
One of the prettier Humphry Manlifts in Minneapolis, in my opinion.
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.
Behind the main shaft is this familiar industrial sight… a running count of days since the last injury.
After a religious conversion from actors to projectors, a rebranding was in order.
The original metal sign over the porticos.
The historical entrance.
A look at another “Belt-o-Vator”. I like the sign.
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
The boiler doors are beautiful, and feature the name of the smelter and mine company. If you like these, check my article on the Mitchell Yards of Hibbing, MN.
I love that the administration building–almost 100 years old now–still carries the original name.
Power-up to cool down… would have been nice on the hot day I climbed on top of this machine.
This building looked like some sort of office.
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.
Isabella A (left) and B (right) were built in 1910 and 1913, respectively.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
A siren near the main road. Is it an air raid siren?
The last time the city sealed this door, they must have been changing out old road signs.
Candy jar molds, in the far corner of the paint shop.
A cracked sign at dock-level, where loading boats would be tied below the taconite conveyors. All across the surface of the concrete dock were taconite pellets, like slippery little marbles. One wrong step could put a worker in the water, which is a bad, bad place to be.
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.
Hand painted fire extinguisher notices and a long room which I strongly suspect was a pattern cutting room.
I’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
A little catwalk gives access to the most important gauges in the building. Behind them are huge vents and fans. I bet it got steamy in here.
The sign room with glass letters, words, and numbers.
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.
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 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.
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 neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
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.
Two signatures complement this gorgeous hand-painted sign. ‘Bowers’ from 1987 and ‘Normal’ from 1982. The blocking on the letters is still visible!
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
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.
Shadows of the trees from the materials yard.
The back of the mill reads “Red River Milling Company”
A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
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.
A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
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.
Much of the mill is wooden–even the larger chutes.
Before each warhead was crated, it was inspected.
The Peavey logo, before it rusted off and the offices were demolished.
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
A sign hanging near the shop office.
A taste of Superior culture.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
A caustic tank in one of the unremodeled brewhouse backrooms.
“The fresh snow mixed indistinguishably from the ashes of the half-demolished power plant.”
Unit 4’s lower levels.
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.
Each room is painted a different hue, so the light reflecting into the hallway carries those colors. The blue padding on the left is for one of the padded rooms…
A bumper sticker with the usual tagline. Note the detail on the radiator!
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.
Ektar 100/Mamiya 6. A ghost town near Martinsdale, where the market (pictured) served as the train stop.
“This way,” then, “No, that way!”
An employee lunchroom with every door and window covered in vented steel.
The guard shack protecting the Nike launch pad.
The Sivertson’s sign seems like from a different time. I’ve never seen it lit, but I bet it’s beautiful.
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.
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.
One level below where the cotton was nitrated, the fumes must have been powerful. This floor had several massive ventilation fans in its walls.
One of the storage bunkers was cracked open. I wonder how effective this heavy door would actually be… I expect, not very.
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.
A long exposure panorama of Electric Steel and Kurth from the roof of Russell Miller B, days before it was demolished.
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…
A few of the stalls in the older section of the roundhouse, the noon sky peeking in.
At sunrise the fog rose near the solvent recovery line. You can barely read the “XXX” warning.
This machine was last overhauled in February 1955, and last turned out Crepe silk, probably dress material.
An engine on display outside the Montana Territorial Prison in Deer Lodge, MT. This was a typical electric locomotive used by The Milwaukee Road.
The coal extractor swings back and forth, ripping coal from the ground and throwing it on a conveyor belt to be burned a few miles away.
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.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
Note that the back of Stockhouse #4 is missing. A year later, Fermentation was on the ground too.
Around the corner from the old boiler room.
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
From my archives–the NorShor as an innocent gentleman’s club, called ‘the NorShor Experience’.
A misnomer that stuck.
I love the texture of the rust through the decaying yellow paint.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
The sign that greets visitors to the ghost town of Colmor. Nothing says ‘welcome’ like birdshot.
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.
Superior Street, as seen from the roof of the Temple Opera Block. Below is one of the sealed sidewalk elevator hatches.
ZC was sure proud of his castle!
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
When it became “Hyde Park Hospital”, this portico was added onto the front.
Below the pressure gauges are rows of little pipe fitting drawers.
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.
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.
Note the tiled floor between the bucket conveyors and an old mill.
The batch tag specifies some of the technical properties of the silk worked here.
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.
The offices for the Five Roses elevator have long been boarded. To the left you can see the Manitoba Pool Elevator slogan, “Service at Cost”, meaning they would not make profit off farmers and dues.
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
In the women’s restroom.
An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.
This volume gauge could be read from 30 feet away, which is useful when the control panels and valves are that far away.
The cornerstone of the building, in Latin.
“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
With the maintenance door open you can see the buckets on in the vertical conveyor.
Standing between pockets 1 and 2. You brought hearing protection, right?
The old gate sign, leaned against one of the terminal elevators.
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!
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.
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.
The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
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.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
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 bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
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.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
The house across from the Harris offices were decorated in a unique way.
The mine was built with stone, wood, and steel. It’s in good condition.
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
Every fitting label in the stock department was cracked, curled, and blank.
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.
The stage of the theatre still holds hymnals and other vestiges of its time as a church.
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.
Parking strictly forbidden. A sign in front of Cheratte’s former truck shops.
This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.
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.
When the ship loaders were added, a doorway was cut through the metal silo to make a room for the grain handling equipment. Note the dust sensor in the corner of the torch-cut archway.
Vents in the boards over the windows helps prevent mold and animals from getting too crazy inside.
One of the four fire alarm panels in the power station.
I assume this sign used to sit near the highway that snakes around the mine and town.
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.
HDR matrix panorama. Looking from the grain elevators, now doomed, toward the city between the flour mill’s water tower and tile elevator’s neon sign, the old and new economies seem almost united. Yet the financial centers rise in reality to shadow the now-abandoned industry and manufacturing. The way of things, I’m told.
Fire doors and penis talk.
One of the former sanitorium common rooms. Its interior is at the end of one of the wards and is lined with glass brick.
Devan setting up his 4×5 camera.
A sunset shot of the Western Cable Railroad depot in the middle of the Lemp brewery complex, with the malting house in the background. Western used to have an exclusive shipping contract with Lemp.
Miners at the turn of the century had better taste in typography than the average person does today.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
In an era where smoking was ubiquitous and sexy, smoking stations had to be a part of the job, even at an explosives factory.
Below Dock 2 is a set of fire pumps.
The beacon was installed in 1938 and removed in the mid-2000s.
A firedoor dating to the original car barn is roped off, anticipating demolition.
The Dock 5 sign at track level. Probably as an aid to sailors reboarding their vessels.
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.
Looking past the Osborn along the side of the Hughitt Slip, where there have always been grain elevators for more than 100 years.
The rear of engine bay 13… according to the heavily faded sign.
This is one of my favorite images of the year because of the color, light and textures. Someone told me once that the medium of photographers is not film or digital sensors, but rather shadows. This photo is evidence of that.
A big door into the fire pump room.
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?
Behind a nurse’s station.
For some time, tugboats were stored next to 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.
Spare parts ready for this building’s reactivation.
Although most of the buildings were open and empty, a few carried signs.
A warning sticker on the interior of a dredge once tied to the old dock.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
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.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
Zachary Taylor’s very own Scottish castle, spring-side in the Kentucky backcountry. Boarded and waiting, but in surprisingly good condition, considering the decades. I especially love the tower on the right side of the frame.
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
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.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
The top floor of the nitrating house was full of switches and breakers for the operation below, each bearing a label and number. Nowadays everything is printed, but when INAAP was built, all these signs were painted by hand.
An abandoned gatehouse bearing the name of the former factory.
When ‘men’ meant ‘worker’.
Pillsbury from across the Mississippi River and Stone Arch Bridge from the roof of the Washburn Crosby Elevator (aka Gold Medal Flour).
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
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.