Vents in the boards over the windows helps prevent mold and animals from getting too crazy inside.
A look at another “Belt-o-Vator”. I like the sign.
The old No Trespassing sign, with the Peavey logo still on it.
In the days before a centralized fire alarm system, coded whistle blasts would warn when and where a fire broke out.
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 nitrating house.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
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.
Hand painted fire extinguisher notices and a long room which I strongly suspect was a pattern cutting room.
Part of the unremodeled hospital, above the Service Building, where employees would stay sometimes.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
If you know what BTI stands for, please leave a comment.
This machine was last overhauled in February 1955, and last turned out Crepe silk, probably dress material.
The chalkboard in the filtering plant reminds new visitors of the last day.
Kurth bears a ghost sign. Recently, its main sign was destroyed by graffiti artists in 2015.
I found a historical photo of this room showing 10-foot high machines with wires hanging by the mile from looms and schematic charts.
A comrade lights-up where so many workers apparently congregated to do the same.
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.
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 great stenciled number on this chute caught my eye.
One of the storage bunkers was cracked open. I wonder how effective this heavy door would actually be… I expect, not very.
“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
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.
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 turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
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.
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.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
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.
In case one forgot… mounted behind the appropriate valves. Who hasn’t memorized the appropriate valve positions?
A siren near the main road. Is it an air raid siren?
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.
Every timber pillar was numbered for maintenance purposes.
Construction in 2014 reveals a lost stone sign.
A different kind of tree fort.
The Calumet Elevator offices used to be flanked on both sides by rails. Now, only one side has engines running on it.
To make sure the tourists aren’t scared off, the city painted the side of the elevator with one of its historic names.
Power-up to cool down… would have been nice on the hot day I climbed on top of this machine.
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.
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.
After a religious conversion from actors to projectors, a rebranding was in order.
Carter Color used to occupy this block.
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.”
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
The batch tag specifies some of the technical properties of the silk worked here.
The bottom of the elevator in the new foundry.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
These buildings were largely used as concentrators for the crushed rock, although I did spy some small mills inside these too.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
A firedoor dating to the original car barn is roped off, anticipating demolition.
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.
An exit from the concourse.
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.
This building looked like some sort of office.
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.
One of the occupied buildings in Nevadaville.
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.
From my archives–the NorShor as an innocent gentleman’s club, called ‘the NorShor Experience’.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
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 tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
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.
A misnomer that stuck.
For some time, Purina ran a feed service out of the elevator. Inside and outside were signs of its past presence.
Only two machines sit on the rails in the roundhouse, both oil cars. It’s not clear whether there’s anything inside either, but they have to have been placed here before 1970, when the turntable outside these numbered doors was removed.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
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.
2005. Flavored beers are still popular. The flavor concentrates were stored in this bank of fridges.
I like the fading stencil paint.
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.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
Allouez had already suffered one major fire. It didn’t need another–especially under Dock 1’s wooden approach.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Much of the mill is wooden–even the larger chutes.
Looking toward Fort William (Western) Elevator from the top of Superior Elevator. Fort William is bordered on the south and east by this wide, winding railyard. Note the pretty and quaint brick offices of the Western.
The barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
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.
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
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 end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
The main gate, as seen in 2005. It hasn’t changed much since then.
With the maintenance door open you can see the buckets on in the vertical conveyor.
This was my first view of Harris Machinery’s property… it was strange to find what looked like a ghost town five minutes from downtown Minneapolis!
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.
The rear of engine bay 13… according to the heavily faded sign.
In an era where smoking was ubiquitous and sexy, smoking stations had to be a part of the job, even at an explosives factory.
Footprints of houses past; tailings of mines past.
One of the four fire alarm panels in the power station.
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.
Looking at the top of the Washburn Crosby elevator from a mirrored window in the Guthrie Theater.
When ‘men’ meant ‘worker’.
Shadows of the trees from the materials yard.
This building had no identity issues. My chief regret was not spending more time documenting the ghost signs around the complex.
An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.
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.
I love that the administration building–almost 100 years old now–still carries the original name.
A few of the stalls in the older section of the roundhouse, the noon sky peeking in.
This building seemed like a pump house or compressor house. It was full of empty concrete mounts.
Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.
An engine on display outside the Montana Territorial Prison in Deer Lodge, MT. This was a typical electric locomotive used by The Milwaukee Road.
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.
Fire doors and penis talk.
Laundry chute to the basement, as seen on the top floor.
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.
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.
Note the tiled floor between the bucket conveyors and an old mill.
Wintertime is quiet, except for the planes overhead.
The most derelict of the old bonded warehouses. Note the barrel elevator on the side of it!
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.
The front of the Art Deco hospital, complete with Art Deco gears and Crosses of Loraine!
Bricks from the demolished buildings.
The original metal sign over the porticos.
The Dock 5 sign at track level. Probably as an aid to sailors reboarding their vessels.
Detail view of one of the fermenting tanks, still set-up for the distillery tours that no doubt took place when there last were such things. Nevertheless, the capacity of this tank multiplied across these all over the distillery floor really shows the power this company once had.
I couldn’t help but include this ghost sign for a demolished motel…
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.
Isabella A (left) and B (right) were built in 1910 and 1913, respectively.
A sign in the desolate cafeteria.
An abandoned gatehouse bearing the name of the former factory.
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.
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’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
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 name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
One level below where the cotton was nitrated, the fumes must have been powerful. This floor had several massive ventilation fans in its walls.
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’.
A self portrait from more than a decade ago.
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.
Around the corner from the old boiler room.
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.
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
I found a meth lab in this building once. (Yes, I called it in.)
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
I get dirty.
I love the texture of the rust through the decaying yellow paint.
One of the prettier Humphry Manlifts in Minneapolis, in my opinion.
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 fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
Superior Street, as seen from the roof of the Temple Opera Block. Below is one of the sealed sidewalk elevator hatches.
A side door for the shop area with ivy crawling toward it.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
Miners at the turn of the century had better taste in typography than the average person does today.
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.
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.
An old sign directed patients and visitors back to toward the central parts of the hospital.
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.
A big sign marks where the elevated walkway is severed where Dock 2 used to meet Dock 3, now gone.
Note that the back of Stockhouse #4 is missing. A year later, Fermentation was on the ground too.
The pockmarked concrete sign of Substation #2 over the control room that faces the highway.
This bridge over Eagle River is beautiful.
A long exposure panorama of Electric Steel and Kurth from the roof of Russell Miller B, days before it was demolished.
Pillsbury from across the Mississippi River and Stone Arch Bridge from the roof of the Washburn Crosby Elevator (aka Gold Medal Flour).
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
The stage of the theatre still holds hymnals and other vestiges of its time as a church.
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
This elevator was built in 1922 and was used until the passing rails were removed in the mid-1970s.
The Peavey logo, before it rusted off and the offices were demolished.
The mine was built with stone, wood, and steel. It’s in good condition.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
Looking out of the brewhouse toward the river.
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
I assume this sign used to sit near the highway that snakes around the mine and town.
The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
In the women’s restroom.
An Old Crow warehouse, formerly federally controlled, near Old Taylor Distillery.
Although most of the buildings were open and empty, a few carried signs.
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.
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 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).
Behind a nurse’s station.
Looking past the Osborn along the side of the Hughitt Slip, where there have always been grain elevators for more than 100 years.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
ZC was sure proud of his castle!
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
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.
One of the former sanitorium common rooms. Its interior is at the end of one of the wards and is lined with glass brick.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
Candy jar molds, in the far corner of the paint shop.
The clock, which was sold after Amtrak dumped the building, was returned to the Waiting Room in 2005.
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.
Silverton’s elevator, pictured here, is still active.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
Point me to the blast furnace.
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.
Parking strictly forbidden. A sign in front of Cheratte’s former truck shops.
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.
The old gate sign, leaned against one of the terminal elevators.
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.
Fake Fact: The term ‘stovetop hat’ was coined by Island Station’s architect while trying to explain why he wanted to put the steel chimney on the station. ‘Live Here’ was part of the advertising when the building was host to artist lofts. They weren’t kidding.
Looking at the ghost sign from a rust-locked cement conveyor that linked the silos with a packing warehouse.