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.
Construction in 2014 reveals a lost stone sign.
I found a historical photo of this room showing 10-foot high machines with wires hanging by the mile from looms and schematic charts.
Part of the unremodeled hospital, above the Service Building, where employees would stay sometimes.
An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.
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 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.
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.
A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
To make sure the tourists aren’t scared off, the city painted the side of the elevator with one of its historic names.
Bricks from the demolished buildings.
After a religious conversion from actors to projectors, a rebranding was in order.
Before each warhead was crated, it was inspected.
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.
“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
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
The secret sweet-yet-salty center of the nameless factoryscape. Home base, tuned to rule the AC and turn out Product X at record rates, I’m sure.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.
Spare parts ready for this building’s reactivation.
“The fresh snow mixed indistinguishably from the ashes of the half-demolished power plant.”
A big sign marks where the elevated walkway is severed where Dock 2 used to meet Dock 3, now gone.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
Two bin signs criss-cross in the North Annex.
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!
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.
A sign hanging near the shop office.
This volume gauge could be read from 30 feet away, which is useful when the control panels and valves are that far away.
From my archives–the NorShor as an innocent gentleman’s club, called ‘the NorShor Experience’.
The last time the city sealed this door, they must have been changing out old road signs.
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
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 front of the mill reads “Montana Flour Mills Company”
An old name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
The bottom of the elevator in the new foundry.
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.
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 tunnels were full of bricked-up doorways. I wonder how many rooms under there are totally sealed from the outside world…
These buildings were largely used as concentrators for the crushed rock, although I did spy some small mills inside these too.
Miners at the turn of the century had better taste in typography than the average person does today.
All of the fire alarms had been triggered.
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.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
ZC was sure proud of his castle!
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 most derelict of the old bonded warehouses. Note the barrel elevator on the side of it!
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
Can you imagine workers in a food plant smoking on the job today?
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)!
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
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.
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
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.
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 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 control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
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.
The old No Trespassing sign, with the Peavey logo still on it.
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.
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.
Model: Devan. Instagram: sextmachine
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.
A different kind of tree fort.
Unit 4’s lower levels.
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
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.
Ektar 100/Mamiya 6. A ghost town near Martinsdale, where the market (pictured) served as the train stop.
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.
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 warped floors caught my eye in this room too–a symptom of turning off heat and not patching a leaking roof in the midwest.
The flour mill (rear) and its elevators. The taller elevator was moved here in 1955, when the Harrisons bought it from Federal, who declared it surplus. The smaller elevator replaced an earlier smaller warehouse in 1926. Taken shortly after dawn. This one picture made the drive worth it, for me. Medium Format.
The back of the mill reads “Red River Milling Company”
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.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
The coal extractor swings back and forth, ripping coal from the ground and throwing it on a conveyor belt to be burned a few miles away.
The Sivertson’s sign seems like from a different time. I’ve never seen it lit, but I bet it’s beautiful.
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.
A firedoor dating to the original car barn is roped off, anticipating demolition.
One of the occupied buildings in Nevadaville.
Looking past the Osborn along the side of the Hughitt Slip, where there have always been grain elevators for more than 100 years.
The Peavey logo, before it rusted off and the offices were demolished.
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.
Superior Street, as seen from the roof of the Temple Opera Block. Below is one of the sealed sidewalk elevator hatches.
I couldn’t help but include this ghost sign for a demolished motel…
Looking out of the brewhouse toward the river.
A handmade sign tracks the progress through the current beet campaign. For this factory, it was about 30 years ago. Perhaps the idea was to pit shifts against each other.
The sign that greets visitors to the ghost town of Colmor. Nothing says ‘welcome’ like birdshot.
I like the fading stencil paint.
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.
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 pockmarked concrete sign of Substation #2 over the control room that faces the highway.
Around the corner from the old boiler room.
The back door into the old distillery building. Not castle-like at all, sadly.
A misnomer that stuck.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
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.
I’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
An abandoned gatehouse bearing the name of the former factory.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
Allouez had already suffered one major fire. It didn’t need another–especially under Dock 1’s wooden approach.
Shadows of the trees from the materials yard.
A sign in the desolate cafeteria.
2005. Flavored beers are still popular. The flavor concentrates were stored in this bank of fridges.
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.
At sunrise the fog rose near the solvent recovery line. You can barely read the “XXX” warning.
A comrade lights-up where so many workers apparently congregated to do the same.
The rear of engine bay 13… according to the heavily faded sign.
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.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
Elevator B, used by a local farmer, stands behind an old farm truck at the edge of town.
The stage of the theatre still holds hymnals and other vestiges of its time as a church.
In case one forgot… mounted behind the appropriate valves. Who hasn’t memorized the appropriate valve positions?
Behind a nurse’s station.
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.
Two signatures complement this gorgeous hand-painted sign. ‘Bowers’ from 1987 and ‘Normal’ from 1982. The blocking on the letters is still visible!
Every fitting label in the stock department was cracked, curled, and blank.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
A siren near the main road. Is it an air raid siren?
In the days before a centralized fire alarm system, coded whistle blasts would warn when and where a fire broke out.
“This way,” then, “No, that way!”
My favorite time to be in the brewery was sunrise. That’s the kind of light that made the brewhouse glow.
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
Devan setting up his 4×5 camera.
The front of the Art Deco hospital, complete with Art Deco gears and Crosses of Loraine!
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 elevator works on gravity… this is where a conveyor belt was to move the grain toward the main elevator to be loaded into ships.
A self portrait from more than a decade ago.
An exit from the concourse.
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.
Parking strictly forbidden. A sign in front of Cheratte’s former truck shops.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
An old sign directed patients and visitors back to toward the central parts of the hospital.
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.
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.
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!
Every timber pillar was numbered for maintenance purposes.
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.
An original stencil-brushed sign.
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.
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.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
Hand painted fire extinguisher notices and a long room which I strongly suspect was a pattern cutting room.
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.
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
S&X seen in the background through the fog.
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 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.
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.
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.
Although most of the buildings were open and empty, a few carried signs.
In the nitrating house.
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
An engine on display outside the Montana Territorial Prison in Deer Lodge, MT. This was a typical electric locomotive used by The Milwaukee Road.
The 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.
Fire doors separate the buildings.
The mine was built with stone, wood, and steel. It’s in good condition.
Much of the mill is wooden–even the larger chutes.
A taste of Superior culture.
This building seemed like a pump house or compressor house. It was full of empty concrete mounts.
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.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
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.
The Calumet Elevator offices used to be flanked on both sides by rails. Now, only one side has engines running on it.
For some time, tugboats were stored next to the elevator.
One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.
Solvent pumping buildings, designed to explode upwards rather than outwards in an emergency, are forgotten near the milkweed.
An employee lunchroom with every door and window covered in vented steel.
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
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.
Below the pressure gauges are rows of little pipe fitting drawers.
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.
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’.
The chalkboard in the filtering plant reminds new visitors of the last day.
Candy jar molds, in the far corner of the paint shop.
The cornerstone of the building, in Latin.
This elevator was built in 1922 and was used until the passing rails were removed in the mid-1970s.
A look at another “Belt-o-Vator”. I like the sign.
Note the tiled floor between the bucket conveyors and an old mill.
For some time, Purina ran a feed service out of the elevator. Inside and outside were signs of its past presence.
The old movie theatre sign was sitting right inside the sealed front doors.
Somewhere between the grain elevator and the distillery.
Behind the main shaft is this familiar industrial sight… a running count of days since the last injury.
The clock, which was sold after Amtrak dumped the building, was returned to the Waiting Room in 2005.
A small stage in one of the barracks.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
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.
This bridge over Eagle River is beautiful.
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.
Below Dock 2 is a set of fire pumps.
Point me to the blast furnace.