Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
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.
Can you imagine workers in a food plant smoking on the job today?
Looking past the Osborn along the side of the Hughitt Slip, where there have always been grain elevators for more than 100 years.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
Miners at the turn of the century had better taste in typography than the average person does today.
“The fresh snow mixed indistinguishably from the ashes of the half-demolished power plant.”
The old No Trespassing sign, with the Peavey logo still on it.
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 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 firedoor dating to the original car barn is roped off, anticipating demolition.
“This way,” then, “No, that way!”
“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.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
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 Peavey logo, before it rusted off and the offices were demolished.
When it became “Hyde Park Hospital”, this portico was added onto the front.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
2005. Flavored beers are still popular. The flavor concentrates were stored in this bank of fridges.
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
In the corner of most of the factory floors, freight elevators flanked restrooms to leave more central space for machines and their masters.
Dominion was acquired by UGG, which designated the elevator ‘M’. Their offices still have safety signage.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
The bottom of the elevator in the new foundry.
An old sign directed patients and visitors back to toward the central parts of the hospital.
This bridge over Eagle River is beautiful.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
Wintertime is quiet, except for the planes overhead.
When ‘men’ meant ‘worker’.
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 splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
Bricks from the demolished buildings.
A siren near the main road. Is it an air raid siren?
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
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 clock, which was sold after Amtrak dumped the building, was returned to the Waiting Room in 2005.
The house across from the Harris offices were decorated in a unique way.
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.
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.
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!
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
Below Dock 2 is a set of fire pumps.
Shadows of the trees from the materials yard.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
A switchboard to control the flow of electricity into the plant from the city and generators.
One of the former sanitorium common rooms. Its interior is at the end of one of the wards and is lined with glass brick.
One of the storage bunkers was cracked open. I wonder how effective this heavy door would actually be… I expect, not very.
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.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
Unit 4’s lower levels.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
The batch tag specifies some of the technical properties of the silk worked here.
A few of the stalls in the older section of the roundhouse, the noon sky peeking in.
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, 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.
A side door for the shop area with ivy crawling toward it.
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.
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 rear of engine bay 13… according to the heavily faded sign.
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.
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
Although most of the buildings were open and empty, a few carried signs.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
The Calumet Elevator offices used to be flanked on both sides by rails. Now, only one side has engines running on it.
One of the prettier Humphry Manlifts in Minneapolis, in my opinion.
Model: Devan. Instagram: sextmachine
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every timber pillar was numbered for maintenance purposes.
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’.
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.
This elevator was built in 1922 and was used until the passing rails were removed in the mid-1970s.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
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.
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.
To make sure the tourists aren’t scared off, the city painted the side of the elevator with one of its historic names.
I’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
The great stenciled number on this chute caught my eye.
Isabella A (left) and B (right) were built in 1910 and 1913, respectively.
Carter Color used to occupy this block.
One of the four fire alarm panels in the power station.
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.
The last time the city sealed this door, they must have been changing out old road signs.
A sign hanging near the shop office.
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.
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.
After a religious conversion from actors to projectors, a rebranding was in order.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
An Old Crow warehouse, formerly federally controlled, near Old Taylor Distillery.
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.
If you know what BTI stands for, please leave a comment.
This building seemed like a pump house or compressor house. It was full of empty concrete mounts.
Behind the main shaft is this familiar industrial sight… a running count of days since the last injury.
The tunnels were full of bricked-up doorways. I wonder how many rooms under there are totally sealed from the outside world…
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
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.
Every fitting label in the stock department was cracked, curled, and blank.
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.
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 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.
Looking out of the brewhouse toward the river.
Silverton’s elevator, pictured here, is still active.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
Construction in 2014 reveals a lost stone sign.
The back of the mill reads “Red River Milling Company”
A big door into the fire pump room.
This machine was last overhauled in February 1955, and last turned out Crepe silk, probably dress material.
This building had no identity issues. My chief regret was not spending more time documenting the ghost signs around the complex.
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?
Vents in the boards over the windows helps prevent mold and animals from getting too crazy inside.
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.
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 case one forgot… mounted behind the appropriate valves. Who hasn’t memorized the appropriate valve positions?
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 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.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
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.
An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.
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.
The turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
The front of the Art Deco hospital, complete with Art Deco gears and Crosses of Loraine!
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
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.
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.
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.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
A sign on the corner of a laboratory remembers.
In the nitrating house.
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 Engine House’s boiler, which would have been fired all day all day, virtually from the day the shop opened until the day it closed.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
I get dirty.
Looking at the top of the Washburn Crosby elevator from a mirrored window in the Guthrie Theater.
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.
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.
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.
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
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.
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
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 office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
At sunrise the fog rose near the solvent recovery line. You can barely read the “XXX” warning.
I love the texture of the rust through the decaying yellow paint.
If you’re an Astra-Zenica representative and want to use this for some magazine ad, I’ll charge you a reasonable $10,000. Email me (ha)!
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.”
My favorite time to be in the brewery was sunrise. That’s the kind of light that made the brewhouse glow.
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.
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.
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.
“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
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 big sign marks where the elevated walkway is severed where Dock 2 used to meet Dock 3, now gone.
Below the pressure gauges are rows of little pipe fitting drawers.
A different kind of tree fort.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
I couldn’t help but include this ghost sign for a demolished motel…
The back door into the old distillery building. Not castle-like at all, sadly.
The sign room with glass letters, words, and numbers.
ZC was sure proud of his castle!
The cornerstone of the building, in Latin.
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.
A long exposure panorama of Electric Steel and Kurth from the roof of Russell Miller B, days before it was demolished.
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.
The historical entrance.
From my archives–the NorShor as an innocent gentleman’s club, called ‘the NorShor Experience’.
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.
The Sivertson’s sign seems like from a different time. I’ve never seen it lit, but I bet it’s beautiful.
Fire doors and penis talk.
The most derelict of the old bonded warehouses. Note the barrel elevator on the side of it!
A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.
The corner of the original buildings still carry the Lemp logo!
A misnomer that stuck.
Around the corner from the old boiler room.
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.
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.
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.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
Solvent pumping buildings, designed to explode upwards rather than outwards in an emergency, are forgotten near the milkweed.
A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
A warning sticker on the interior of a dredge once tied to the old dock.
Note that the back of Stockhouse #4 is missing. A year later, Fermentation was on the ground too.
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.
Hand painted fire extinguisher notices and a long room which I strongly suspect was a pattern cutting room.
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.
Behind a nurse’s station.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
Part of the unremodeled hospital, above the Service Building, where employees would stay sometimes.
It remains unexplained what ‘serious results’ may stem from not reporting an accident, but when labor was cheap and unorganized I doubt anyone asked.
This building looked like some sort of office.