A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
A sign on the corner of a laboratory remembers.
The Peavey logo, before it rusted off and the offices were demolished.
Candy jar molds, in the far corner of the paint shop.
An abandoned gatehouse bearing the name of the former factory.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the 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.
The pockmarked concrete sign of Substation #2 over the control room that faces the highway.
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 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.
This machine was last overhauled in February 1955, and last turned out Crepe silk, probably dress material.
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
A firedoor dating to the original car barn is roped off, anticipating demolition.
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.
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.
Somewhere between the grain elevator and the distillery.
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.
Elevator B, used by a local farmer, stands behind an old farm truck at the edge of town.
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.
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.
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.
The back of the mill reads “Red River Milling Company”
From my archives–the NorShor as an innocent gentleman’s club, called ‘the NorShor Experience’.
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
“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.
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.
Every fitting label in the stock department was cracked, curled, and blank.
Note the tiled floor between the bucket conveyors and an old mill.
The original metal sign over the porticos.
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.
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’.
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.
Dominion was acquired by UGG, which designated the elevator ‘M’. Their offices still have safety signage.
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
Looking past the Osborn along the side of the Hughitt Slip, where there have always been grain elevators for more than 100 years.
In an era where smoking was ubiquitous and sexy, smoking stations had to be a part of the job, even at an explosives factory.
Fire doors separate the buildings.
The turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
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.
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 clock, which was sold after Amtrak dumped the building, was returned to the Waiting Room in 2005.
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 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.
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
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.
Looking at the top of the Washburn Crosby elevator from a mirrored window in the Guthrie Theater.
It remains unexplained what ‘serious results’ may stem from not reporting an accident, but when labor was cheap and unorganized I doubt anyone asked.
The sign that greets visitors to the ghost town of Colmor. Nothing says ‘welcome’ like birdshot.
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.
An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
Footprints of houses past; tailings of mines past.
I found a meth lab in this building once. (Yes, I called it in.)
Kansas is known for tornados. Think ‘Wizard of Oz’. That, considered with the fact that the workers were surrounded by bombs and bomb making materials called for lots of earthen shelters, just in case.
The old No Trespassing sign, with the Peavey logo still 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 switchboard to control the flow of electricity into the plant from the city and generators.
ZC was sure proud of his castle!
The back door into the old distillery building. Not castle-like at all, sadly.
I couldn’t help but include this ghost sign for a demolished motel…
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
The great stenciled number on this chute caught my eye.
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.
Laundry chute to the basement, as seen on the top floor.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
One of the four fire alarm panels in the power station.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
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.
Looking out of the brewhouse toward the river.
“This way,” then, “No, that way!”
This elevator was built in 1922 and was used until the passing rails were removed in the mid-1970s.
Carter Color used to occupy this block.
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.
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.
A self portrait from more than a decade ago.
In the corner of most of the factory floors, freight elevators flanked restrooms to leave more central space for machines and their masters.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
The barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
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.
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 batch tag specifies some of the technical properties of the silk worked here.
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.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
All of the fire alarms had been triggered.
For some time, tugboats were stored next to the elevator.
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.
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.
Note that the back of Stockhouse #4 is missing. A year later, Fermentation was on the ground too.
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.
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
At sunrise the fog rose near the solvent recovery line. You can barely read the “XXX” warning.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
The mine was built with stone, wood, and steel. It’s in good condition.
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.
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?
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.
Unit 4’s lower levels.
Part of the unremodeled hospital, above the Service Building, where employees would stay sometimes.
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 headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
I love that the administration building–almost 100 years old now–still carries the original name.
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.
Can you imagine workers in a food plant smoking on the job today?
A sign hanging near the shop office.
The Sivertson’s sign seems like from a different time. I’ve never seen it lit, but I bet it’s beautiful.
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.
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…
Bricks from the demolished buildings.
A few of the stalls in the older section of the roundhouse, the noon sky peeking in.
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.
Silverton’s elevator, pictured here, is still active.
The corner of the original buildings still carry the Lemp logo!
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.
One of the prettier Humphry Manlifts in Minneapolis, in my opinion.
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.
Behind a nurse’s station.
A misnomer that stuck.
A comrade lights-up where so many workers apparently congregated to do the same.
A long exposure panorama of Electric Steel and Kurth from the roof of Russell Miller B, days before it was demolished.
The cornerstone of the building, in Latin.
Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.
Allouez had already suffered one major fire. It didn’t need another–especially under Dock 1’s wooden approach.
A big door into the fire pump room.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
Although most of the buildings were open and empty, a few carried signs.
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 front of the mill reads “Montana Flour Mills Company”
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
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.
Inside the Beulah elevator were all of the original notices and notices. These are instructions for filling rail cars with flour sacks.
An original stencil-brushed sign.
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
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!
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!
The beacon was installed in 1938 and removed in the mid-2000s.
From the street, it’s clear that almost every window and door had boards over it, but not every building had a roof. Silly priorities.
A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.
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.
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.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
Isabella A (left) and B (right) were built in 1910 and 1913, respectively.
I’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
The main gate, as seen in 2005. It hasn’t changed much since then.
The bottom of the elevator in the new foundry.
I like the fading stencil paint.
A taste of Superior culture.
Solvent pumping buildings, designed to explode upwards rather than outwards in an emergency, are forgotten near the milkweed.
I get dirty.
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.
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 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 warning sticker on the interior of a dredge once tied to the old dock.
Before each warhead was crated, it was inspected.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
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.
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?
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.
Power-up to cool down… would have been nice on the hot day I climbed on top of this machine.
In the days before a centralized fire alarm system, coded whistle blasts would warn when and where a fire broke out.
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.
Kurth bears a ghost sign. Recently, its main sign was destroyed by graffiti artists in 2015.
The sign room with glass letters, words, and numbers.
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
It is unclear when the ‘Superior Warehouse Company’ sign was put up, but it was likely around 1916-1917, when maps indicate it served as a dry goods warehouse, operated by Twohy-Eimon Mercantile Company. The Sivertson sign was likely added in the mid-1980s. In this image I tried to preserve the colors the bricks turn at sunset.
Every timber pillar was numbered for maintenance purposes.
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.
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.
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
Hales & Hunter sign, as it looks today.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
The historical entrance.
Around the corner from the old boiler room.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
Miners at the turn of the century had better taste in typography than the average person does today.
After a religious conversion from actors to projectors, a rebranding was in order.
One of the former sanitorium common rooms. Its interior is at the end of one of the wards and is lined with glass brick.
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.
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.
This building looked like some sort of office.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
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.
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.
The most derelict of the old bonded warehouses. Note the barrel elevator on the side of it!
A door covered in pen graffiti.
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.
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.