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.
Unloading boats had the option to take on fuel at Taconite Harbor. This building, among other things, pumped fuel to the dock.
The front of the mill reads “Montana Flour Mills Company”
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.
Footprints of houses past; tailings of mines past.
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 neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
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).
The batch tag specifies some of the technical properties of the silk worked here.
“This way,” then, “No, that way!”
I assume this sign used to sit near the highway that snakes around the mine and town.
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
An Old Crow warehouse, formerly federally controlled, near Old Taylor Distillery.
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.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
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 original metal sign over the porticos.
Watching the comings and goings of doctors, nurses and new patients was a mainstay of asylum routine; one can find it easy to imagine pale faces pressed against the block glass windows, staring out at the world moving past them.
A misnomer that stuck.
Elevator B, used by a local farmer, stands behind an old farm truck at the edge of town.
The guard shack protecting the Nike launch pad.
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.
Point me to the blast furnace.
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.
A warning sticker on the interior of a dredge once tied to the old 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.
A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
The back door into the old distillery building. Not castle-like at all, sadly.
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
Candy jar molds, in the far corner of the paint shop.
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.
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 great stenciled number on this chute caught my eye.
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.
Part of the unremodeled hospital, above the Service Building, where employees would stay sometimes.
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.
Laundry chute to the basement, as seen on the top floor.
The Calumet Elevator offices used to be flanked on both sides by rails. Now, only one side has engines running on it.
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.
A sign hanging near the shop office.
Isabella A (left) and B (right) were built in 1910 and 1913, respectively.
Carter Color used to occupy this block.
The beacon was installed in 1938 and removed in the mid-2000s.
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
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 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 the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
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 splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
The front of the Art Deco hospital, complete with Art Deco gears and Crosses of Loraine!
At sunrise the fog rose near the solvent recovery line. You can barely read the “XXX” warning.
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)!
Allouez had already suffered one major fire. It didn’t need another–especially under Dock 1’s wooden approach.
“The fresh snow mixed indistinguishably from the ashes of the half-demolished power plant.”
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!
This elevator was built in 1922 and was used until the passing rails were removed in the mid-1970s.
Every fitting label in the stock department was cracked, curled, and blank.
“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.
The sign room with glass letters, words, and numbers.
I like the fading stencil paint.
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.
Model: Devan. Instagram: sextmachine
Shadows of the trees from the materials yard.
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.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
A bumper sticker with the usual tagline. Note the detail on the radiator!
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.
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.
An abandoned gatehouse bearing the name of the former factory.
The Sivertson’s sign seems like from a different time. I’ve never seen it lit, but I bet it’s beautiful.
Looking at the top of the Washburn Crosby elevator from a mirrored window in the Guthrie Theater.
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 women’s restroom.
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 largest extant structure when I visited.
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 steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
When ‘men’ meant ‘worker’.
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.
This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.
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.
My favorite time to be in the brewery was sunrise. That’s the kind of light that made the brewhouse glow.
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.
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.
The mine was built with stone, wood, and steel. It’s in good condition.
A long exposure panorama of Electric Steel and Kurth from the roof of Russell Miller B, days before it was demolished.
Below the pressure gauges are rows of little pipe fitting drawers.
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.
Spare parts ready for this building’s reactivation.
A taste of Superior culture.
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’.
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.
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.
If you know what BTI stands for, please leave a comment.
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 back of the mill reads “Red River Milling Company”
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
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.
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?
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
A different kind of tree fort.
Power-up to cool down… would have been nice on the hot day I climbed on top of this machine.
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.
A side door for the shop area with ivy crawling toward it.
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.
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…
Hales & Hunter sign, as it looks today.
In an era where smoking was ubiquitous and sexy, smoking stations had to be a part of the job, even at an explosives factory.
The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
Looking at the ghost sign from a rust-locked cement conveyor that linked the silos with a packing warehouse.
To make sure the tourists aren’t scared off, the city painted the side of the elevator with one of its historic names.
Behind a nurse’s station.
This building seemed like a pump house or compressor house. It was full of empty concrete mounts.
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 view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
This bridge over Eagle River is beautiful.
The corner of the original buildings still carry the Lemp logo!
Devan setting up his 4×5 camera.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
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 buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
Although most of the buildings were open and empty, a few carried signs.
A big door into the fire pump room.
Construction in 2014 reveals a lost stone sign.
The cornerstone of the building, in Latin.
Can you imagine workers in a food plant smoking on the job today?
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.
A self portrait from more than a decade ago.
For some time, tugboats were stored next to the elevator.
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.
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.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
Bricks from the demolished buildings.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
Fire doors and penis talk.
Fire doors separate the buildings.
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.
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…
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.
Dominion was acquired by UGG, which designated the elevator ‘M’. Their offices still have safety signage.
The chalkboard in the filtering plant reminds new visitors of the last day.
In case one forgot… mounted behind the appropriate valves. Who hasn’t memorized the appropriate valve positions?
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 laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
This building looked like some sort of office.
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.
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.
After a religious conversion from actors to projectors, a rebranding was in order.
A firedoor dating to the original car barn is roped off, anticipating demolition.
I love that the administration building–almost 100 years old now–still carries the original name.
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.
A small stage in one of the barracks.
Note the tiled floor between the bucket conveyors and an old mill.
The old movie theatre sign was sitting right inside the sealed front doors.
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 tore-up Colorado Southern Railway sign and the majestic (in an industrial sense) Argo Mill. Go. On. The. Tour. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
The house across from the Harris offices were decorated in a unique way.
Vents in the boards over the windows helps prevent mold and animals from getting too crazy inside.
A caustic tank in one of the unremodeled brewhouse backrooms.
Somewhere between the grain elevator and the distillery.
A sign in the desolate cafeteria.
A facade that tells the story of demolition and neglect. The sign on the garage door indicates that if one finds themselves there, that they enter the buildings at their own risk. If only property owners in the US took this philosophy!
The elevator works on gravity… this is where a conveyor belt was to move the grain toward the main elevator to be loaded into ships.
All of the fire alarms had been triggered.
Two signatures complement this gorgeous hand-painted sign. ‘Bowers’ from 1987 and ‘Normal’ from 1982. The blocking on the letters is still visible!
Solvent pumping buildings, designed to explode upwards rather than outwards in an emergency, are forgotten near the milkweed.
Parking strictly forbidden. A sign in front of Cheratte’s former truck shops.
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.
In the days before a centralized fire alarm system, coded whistle blasts would warn when and where a fire broke out.
Looking out of the brewhouse toward the river.
The Peavey logo, before it rusted off and the offices were demolished.
One of the four fire alarm panels in the power station.
One of the storage bunkers was cracked open. I wonder how effective this heavy door would actually be… I expect, not very.
Around the corner from the old boiler room.
These buildings were largely used as concentrators for the crushed rock, although I did spy some small mills inside these too.
A comrade lights-up where so many workers apparently congregated to do the same.
An original stencil-brushed sign.
When it became “Hyde Park Hospital”, this portico was added onto the front.
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.
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
A siren near the main road. Is it an air raid siren?
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
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.
This machine was last overhauled in February 1955, and last turned out Crepe silk, probably dress material.
Kurth bears a ghost sign. Recently, its main sign was destroyed by graffiti artists in 2015.
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.