signs

Bldg 253

This building seemed like a pump house or compressor house. It was full of empty concrete mounts.

Max Pressure

I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.

Workmen’s Compensation

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’.

Radio Stereo

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.

Unsafe Dock Conditions

A big sign marks where the elevated walkway is severed where Dock 2 used to meet Dock 3, now gone.

Old Ward

Heavy wood doors for keeping people in.

Enough to Hang By

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.

Milwaukee Road E70 (Ektar 120)

An engine on display outside the Montana Territorial Prison in Deer Lodge, MT. This was a typical electric locomotive used by The Milwaukee Road.

Brach’s Headquarters

The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.

Hospital Portico

When it became “Hyde Park Hospital”, this portico was added onto the front.

ADM-Delmar #4- Belt Spider

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.

Elevator Shaft

The tallest dock structure is an equipment elevator that connects the many dock levels.

Steam Gauges

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.

As Iron Clyde

From factory to skate park to restaurant. This is in the skate park stage. The buildings to the right are demolished now, and in their place are hockey rinks.

MPE3- 3 Ship

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.

Ogilvie’s- Ship Gallery Arch (Arista 100)

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.

Whiskey Barrels and Terra Cotta

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.

Institutional Prism

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…

Holmfield, MB- Harrison Mill

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.

LEMP Elevator

Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!

Sign of Intruders

The last time the city sealed this door, they must have been changing out old road signs.

Distillery Door

The back door into the old distillery building. Not castle-like at all, sadly.

Branding

To make sure the tourists aren’t scared off, the city painted the side of the elevator with one of its historic names.

Best Flour Panorama

The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.

Fe(r)mentation

Note that the back of Stockhouse #4 is missing. A year later, Fermentation was on the ground too.

Side Door

A side door for the shop area with ivy crawling toward it.

Retired Marquee

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).

Family Visitation Room

One of the former sanitorium common rooms. Its interior is at the end of one of the wards and is lined with glass brick.

Calumet Elevator- Coal Room Door

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.

Dept 9136

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.

Dominion- Offices

Dominion was acquired by UGG, which designated the elevator ‘M’. Their offices still have safety signage.

Be C- Watch You- Step

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.

Railroad Depot

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.

Sinterband 3

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.

Ogilvie Elevator Sign

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.

The Three Hundreds

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.

Swinging Light

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.

Canal Park from Temple Opera’s Roof

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…

Four Sisters Generator

One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.

From the Guthrie

Looking at the top of the Washburn Crosby elevator from a mirrored window in the Guthrie Theater.

Argo Tunnel, 2015

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.

Wort Cooler Silhouette

My favorite time to be in the brewery was sunrise. That’s the kind of light that made the brewhouse glow.

Snowed In Dryhouse

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.

Convex Selfie

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.

Levels

A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.

Block Glass Blues

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.

Tag 4-199, 1955

The batch tag specifies some of the technical properties of the silk worked here.

Holmfield, MB- Harrison Milling

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.

440 Volts

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.

Coke Batter B Control

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.

Bldg 106

This building looked like some sort of office.

Kurth Malting- Cupola

Kurth bears a ghost sign. Recently, its main sign was destroyed by graffiti artists in 2015.

Consolidated D/General Mills A

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.

Chateau Cross

Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.

Direct Drop Off

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.”

TCRT East Shop II

A firedoor dating to the original car barn is roped off, anticipating demolition.

Power Plant

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.

Mixing Series Number Six

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.

Packing Conveyor

Looking at the ghost sign from a rust-locked cement conveyor that linked the silos with a packing warehouse.

Bldg 100

Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.

Dept 5157

In the corner of most of the factory floors, freight elevators flanked restrooms to leave more central space for machines and their masters.

Auditorium

An old sign directed patients and visitors back to toward the central parts of the hospital.

101-B

An original stencil-brushed sign.

Bucket Lift

With the maintenance door open you can see the buckets on in the vertical conveyor.

Water Tower

Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).

Flavor Fridges, 2005

2005. Flavored beers are still popular. The flavor concentrates were stored in this bank of fridges.

Armor Stacks

From a distance (here, Union Yards), you can still see ARMOUR spelled out on the smokestack in white brick.

Oil Cars

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.

Old Ward Room #217

Part of the unremodeled hospital, above the Service Building, where employees would stay sometimes.

First North and Banks

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.

Old Sign

This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.

Vintage Scale Hoppers

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.

Headquarters in Fog

The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.

Stone Arch Lights

Pillsbury from across the Mississippi River and Stone Arch Bridge from the roof of the Washburn Crosby Elevator (aka Gold Medal Flour).

Siverston’s Sign

The Sivertson’s sign seems like from a different time. I’ve never seen it lit, but I bet it’s beautiful.

Covered Door

I love the texture of the rust through the decaying yellow paint.

One Ear

Standing between pockets 1 and 2. You brought hearing protection, right?

Stay Glassy Minneapolis

“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

Restore It (Toned Medium Format Film)

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.

To Station – To Offices

Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!

Dock 5L

One of the covered rail loading docks. All of them were overgrown and rust-clad.

18 Pound Steam

“The fresh snow mixed indistinguishably from the ashes of the half-demolished power plant.”

Van Dyke Cabs Only

Van Dyke Cab Company and Yellow Cab served the terminal in lieu of a streetcar loop downtown, which was planned but never built.

Mockstock

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.

Shelter in the Pane

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.

We Built This City on Flour

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.

Signals

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.

No Parking

Parking strictly forbidden. A sign in front of Cheratte’s former truck shops.

Fort William Elevator

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.

GMF Ladder

Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.

Four On The Floor

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.

Prize Mine Sign

The mine was built with stone, wood, and steel. It’s in good condition.

Huron-Portland Cement, Duluth 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!

Fume Lines

One level below where the cotton was nitrated, the fumes must have been powerful. This floor had several massive ventilation fans in its walls.

Gas Pump

Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.

Safety is Slow

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.

View from the Booth

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?

Beet Levels

This volume gauge could be read from 30 feet away, which is useful when the control panels and valves are that far away.

Fort William Elevator Ghost Sign I

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.

Under #203

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.

Pool 8 Door

The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.

Barrel Conveyor

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.

Dock 2 at Sunset

Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.

Director’s Office

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.

Success

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.

Fort Liege Sign

A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.

Sunset on Osborn

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.

Eighth Floor Warning

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.

Rock Crusher

These buildings were largely used as concentrators for the crushed rock, although I did spy some small mills inside these too.

Like a Ghost Town

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!

Full Stop Skyway

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.

Pillsbury A’s Stone Fascade

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.

Boarded Barracks II

Vents in the boards over the windows helps prevent mold and animals from getting too crazy inside.

Film: Argo Mill

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

Entrance to BOM

Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.

Laundry

The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.

Servir

Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.

Fermenter Sixteen

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.

Ogilvie’s Royal Household Ghost Sign

A century-old ghost sign for Royal House Flour was preserved after a building is built above and through it! Looking from the north annex elevator toward the headhouse.

Devan

Devan setting up his 4×5 camera.

Abandoned News Stand

An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.

Whoa! Over 200 pictures (323!) for this tag! Refresh the page for another random sampling.