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)!
Superior Street, as seen from the roof of the Temple Opera Block. Below is one of the sealed sidewalk elevator hatches.
The great stenciled number on this chute caught my eye.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
An employee lunchroom with every door and window covered in vented steel.
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.
Point me to the blast furnace.
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.
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.
Looking at the top of the Washburn Crosby elevator from a mirrored window in the Guthrie Theater.
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.
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.
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.
In the days before a centralized fire alarm system, coded whistle blasts would warn when and where a fire broke out.
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!
A small stage in one of the barracks.
The pockmarked concrete sign of Substation #2 over the control room that faces the highway.
When it became “Hyde Park Hospital”, this portico was added onto the front.
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.
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.
An abandoned gatehouse bearing the name of the former factory.
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 office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
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.
Unit 4’s lower levels.
The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.
The main gate, as seen in 2005. It hasn’t changed much since then.
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.
Behind a nurse’s station.
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.
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.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
Isabella A (left) and B (right) were built in 1910 and 1913, respectively.
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.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
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.
These buildings were largely used as concentrators for the crushed rock, although I did spy some small mills inside these too.
An old sign directed patients and visitors back to toward the central parts of the hospital.
A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
In the nitrating house.
Somewhere between the grain elevator and the distillery.
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.
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
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.
If you know what BTI stands for, please leave a comment.
A warning sticker on the interior of a dredge once tied to the old dock.
The old gate sign, leaned against one of the terminal elevators.
When ‘men’ meant ‘worker’.
I love that the administration building–almost 100 years old now–still carries the original name.
This building had no identity issues. My chief regret was not spending more time documenting the ghost signs around the complex.
One of the storage bunkers was cracked open. I wonder how effective this heavy door would actually be… I expect, not very.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
My favorite time to be in the brewery was sunrise. That’s the kind of light that made the brewhouse glow.
Silverton’s elevator, pictured here, is still active.
Looking at the ghost sign from a rust-locked cement conveyor that linked the silos with a packing warehouse.
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 rear of engine bay 13… according to the heavily faded sign.
The corner of the original buildings still carry the Lemp logo!
Detail view of one of the fermenting tanks, still set-up for the distillery tours that no doubt took place when there last were such things. Nevertheless, the capacity of this tank multiplied across these all over the distillery floor really shows the power this company once had.
I 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.
ZC was sure proud of his castle!
Bricks from the demolished buildings.
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.
The Peavey logo, before it rusted off and the offices were demolished.
The stage of the theatre still holds hymnals and other vestiges of its time as a church.
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 historical entrance.
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.
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.
A look at another “Belt-o-Vator”. I like the sign.
From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.
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.
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 mine was built with stone, wood, and steel. It’s in good condition.
The Calumet Elevator offices used to be flanked on both sides by rails. Now, only one side has engines running on it.
The back of the mill reads “Red River Milling Company”
For some time, Purina ran a feed service out of the elevator. Inside and outside were signs of its past presence.
The old No Trespassing sign, with the Peavey logo still on it.
Part of the unremodeled hospital, above the Service Building, where employees would stay sometimes.
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.”
Around the corner from the old boiler room.
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.
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.
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.
Model: Devan. Instagram: sextmachine
Below Dock 2 is a set of fire pumps.
One of the occupied buildings in Nevadaville.
The bottom of the elevator in the new foundry.
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.
Much of the mill is wooden–even the larger chutes.
Every timber pillar was numbered for maintenance purposes.
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.
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.
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 bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
A siren near the main road. Is it an air raid siren?
A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
I assume this sign used to sit near the highway that snakes around the mine and town.
This machine was last overhauled in February 1955, and last turned out Crepe silk, probably dress material.
“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 out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
The Dock 5 sign at track level. Probably as an aid to sailors reboarding their vessels.
A door covered in pen graffiti.
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
From my archives–the NorShor as an innocent gentleman’s club, called ‘the NorShor Experience’.
The tunnels were full of bricked-up doorways. I wonder how many rooms under there are totally sealed from the outside world…
This elevator was built in 1922 and was used until the passing rails were removed in the mid-1970s.
A self portrait from more than a decade ago.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
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.
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.
A bumper sticker with the usual tagline. Note the detail on the radiator!
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.
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.
Wintertime is quiet, except for the planes overhead.
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.
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.
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.
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
One of the four fire alarm panels in the power station.
For some time, tugboats were stored next to the elevator.
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 out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
After a religious conversion from actors to projectors, a rebranding was in order.
Candy jar molds, in the far corner of the paint shop.
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.
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 side door for the shop area with ivy crawling toward it.
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.
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 guard shack protecting the Nike launch pad.
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.
Spare parts ready for this building’s reactivation.
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
Behind the main shaft is this familiar industrial sight… a running count of days since the last injury.
The barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
Kurth bears a ghost sign. Recently, its main sign was destroyed by graffiti artists in 2015.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
Standing between pockets 1 and 2. You brought hearing protection, right?
Inside the Beulah elevator were all of the original notices and notices. These are instructions for filling rail cars with flour sacks.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
One thing I like about the oppressive globalist-wrought future is the idea of numerically subdividing spaces; my geek side sort of wants to live in a flat that can be sorted by as Dewey Decimal-like code.
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
A big sign marks where the elevated walkway is severed where Dock 2 used to meet Dock 3, now gone.
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.
Devan setting up his 4×5 camera.
A few of the stalls in the older section of the roundhouse, the noon sky peeking in.
Below the pressure gauges are rows of little pipe fitting drawers.
Carter Color used to occupy this block.
Hales & Hunter sign, as it looks today.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
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.
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.
Here, the concentrated gold (and silver, and zinc, I would guess) would be loaded into trucks bound for the smelter.
“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
A switchboard to control the flow of electricity into the plant from the city and generators.
The boiler doors are beautiful, and feature the name of the smelter and mine company. If you like these, check my article on the Mitchell Yards of Hibbing, MN.
The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
I found a historical photo of this room showing 10-foot high machines with wires hanging by the mile from looms and schematic charts.
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.
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.
The chalkboard in the filtering plant reminds new visitors of the last day.
Note the tiled floor between the bucket conveyors and an old mill.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
Parking strictly forbidden. A sign in front of Cheratte’s former truck shops.
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.
I found a meth lab in this building once. (Yes, I called it in.)
“This way,” then, “No, that way!”
Ektar 100/Mamiya 6. A ghost town near Martinsdale, where the market (pictured) served as the train stop.
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 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.
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.
Although most of the buildings were open and empty, a few carried signs.
Can you imagine workers in a food plant smoking on the job today?
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 corner of most of the factory floors, freight elevators flanked restrooms to leave more central space for machines and their masters.
A chalkboard halfway to the headhouse is untouched since the mill closed. It still has the cheat sheets!
An exit from the concourse.
Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.
I get dirty.
Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.
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 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.
In case one forgot… mounted behind the appropriate valves. Who hasn’t memorized the appropriate valve positions?
The front of the mill reads “Montana Flour Mills Company”
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 old movie theatre sign was sitting right inside the sealed front doors.
2005. Flavored beers are still popular. The flavor concentrates were stored in this bank of fridges.
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
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.
The batch tag specifies some of the technical properties of the silk worked here.
A taste of Superior culture.
The turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
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.