Every fitting label in the stock department was cracked, curled, and blank.
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…
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.
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
Much of the mill is wooden–even the larger chutes.
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.
A big sign marks where the elevated walkway is severed where Dock 2 used to meet Dock 3, now gone.
A different kind of tree fort.
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.
“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.
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 front of the Art Deco hospital, complete with Art Deco gears and Crosses of Loraine!
I get dirty.
Spare parts ready for this building’s reactivation.
Looking past the Osborn along the side of the Hughitt Slip, where there have always been grain elevators for more than 100 years.
Standing between pockets 1 and 2. You brought hearing protection, right?
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’.
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 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.
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 misnomer that stuck.
Somewhere between the grain elevator and the distillery.
Wintertime is quiet, except for the planes overhead.
Bricks from the demolished buildings.
Model: Devan. Instagram: sextmachine
The turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
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.
One of the large barracks. All of them are overgrown like this.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
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.
A door covered in pen graffiti.
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.
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.
I found a historical photo of this room showing 10-foot high machines with wires hanging by the mile from looms and schematic charts.
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.
With the maintenance door open you can see the buckets on in the vertical conveyor.
Dominion was acquired by UGG, which designated the elevator ‘M’. Their offices still have safety signage.
A siren near the main road. Is it an air raid siren?
Some sort of materials handling building, judging by the construction.
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 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.
A splash of pink across an otherwise boring sign caught my eye in the old elevator.
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.
ZC was sure proud of his castle!
One level below where the cotton was nitrated, the fumes must have been powerful. This floor had several massive ventilation fans in its walls.
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)!
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.
Miners at the turn of the century had better taste in typography than the average person does today.
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…
“The fresh snow mixed indistinguishably from the ashes of the half-demolished power plant.”
All of the fire alarms had been triggered.
Behind a nurse’s station.
The house across from the Harris offices were decorated in a unique way.
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
The front of the mill reads “Montana Flour Mills Company”
The batch tag specifies some of the technical properties of the silk worked here.
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.
I couldn’t help but include this ghost sign for a demolished motel…
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’.
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.
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 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.
Kurth bears a ghost sign. Recently, its main sign was destroyed by graffiti artists in 2015.
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 warped floors caught my eye in this room too–a symptom of turning off heat and not patching a leaking roof in the midwest.
This building looked like some sort of office.
To make sure the tourists aren’t scared off, the city painted the side of the elevator with one of its historic names.
This elevator was built in 1922 and was used until the passing rails were removed in the mid-1970s.
Ladders crawl the back of the signs. Graffiti writers’ right of passage.
The fantastic red elevator that is Pool #61, built 1928.
The back door into the old distillery building. Not castle-like at all, sadly.
The mine was built with stone, wood, and steel. It’s in good condition.
The side of the maintenance shops, still home to several disassembled electric carts.
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.
The laundry building, where many of the tunnels came to an end. It looks very East Coast industrial to me.
The historic entrance of the mill, alongside the (relatively) new Great Western offices.
An employee lunchroom with every door and window covered in vented steel.
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.
The Calumet Elevator offices used to be flanked on both sides by rails. Now, only one side has engines running on it.
The guard shack protecting the Nike launch pad.
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.
A buck-fifty shot for a postcard stand. Taken from the Stone Arch Bridge.
The sign room with glass letters, words, and numbers.
After a religious conversion from actors to projectors, a rebranding was in order.
Pillsbury from across the Mississippi River and Stone Arch Bridge from the roof of the Washburn Crosby Elevator (aka Gold Medal Flour).
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 headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
“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
An original stencil-brushed sign.
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.
The largest extant structure when I visited.
I don’t think we’re anywhere near maximum pressure anymore.
A long exposure under the trestle-like approach to the dock, under which trains still pass regularly.
The Peavey logo, before it rusted off and the offices were demolished.
Before each warhead was crated, it was inspected.
Ruster at The Pool… employee graffiti about 100 above ground.
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).
A view of the Harris offices, complete with great block glass.
This building seemed like a pump house or compressor house. It was full of empty concrete mounts.
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.
The tunnels were full of bricked-up doorways. I wonder how many rooms under there are totally sealed from the outside world…
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’ll remember the neon glow fondly.
The stage of the theatre still holds hymnals and other vestiges of its time as a church.
This sign was important when trains ran the length of the elevator.
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.
The great stenciled number on this chute caught my eye.
For some time, tugboats were stored next to the elevator.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Below the pressure gauges are rows of little pipe fitting drawers.
Solvent pumping buildings, designed to explode upwards rather than outwards in an emergency, are forgotten near the milkweed.
The chalkboard in the filtering plant reminds new visitors of the last day.
Shadows of the trees from the materials yard.
The back of the neon sign before it was converted to LED lighting. The image is mirrored so it can be read.
A bumper sticker with the usual tagline. Note the detail on the radiator!
No ambiguity here… miners, check in at this office.
The sign that greets visitors to the ghost town of Colmor. Nothing says ‘welcome’ like birdshot.
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.
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 the four fire alarm panels in the power station.
In the days before a centralized fire alarm system, coded whistle blasts would warn when and where a fire broke out.
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.
Note that the back of Stockhouse #4 is missing. A year later, Fermentation was on the ground too.
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
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.”
Looking out at the town water tower (which I love) from the sugar mill (which I also love).
The main gate, as seen in 2005. It hasn’t changed much since then.
A sign hanging near the shop office.
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!
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.
The old movie theatre sign was sitting right inside the sealed front doors.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
For some time, Purina ran a feed service out of the elevator. Inside and outside were signs of its past presence.
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.
A 8-foot-tall volume indicator that could be read from across the beet boiler floor–convenient when the controls are 20 feet away.
A small stage in one of the barracks.
A look at another “Belt-o-Vator”. I like the sign.
Between the gauges for the power plant boilers and the steam pump flywheels.
The cornerstone of the building, in Latin.
The old gate sign, leaned against one of the terminal elevators.
In the steam plant, steam pipes bundled in canvas and asbestos criss-cross the walls.
Below Dock 2 is a set of fire pumps.
Serve [unknown] Build… What do you think the middle says? Tell me in the comments.
Hales & Hunter sign, as it looks today.
Fire doors separate the buildings.
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.
The old No Trespassing sign, with the Peavey logo still on it.
The corner of the original buildings still carry the Lemp logo!
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
I love the ghost sign across these two elevators, originally built as Superior Elevator. It’s looking pretty rough.
Winter skies over Allouez Bay. From a distance, it looks almost fragile.
In the nitrating house.
Laundry chute to the basement, as seen on the top floor.
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.
Looking at the ghost sign from a rust-locked cement conveyor that linked the silos with a packing warehouse.
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.
2005. Flavored beers are still popular. The flavor concentrates were stored in this bank of fridges.
The original metal sign over the porticos.
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-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!
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.
A switchboard to control the flow of electricity into the plant from the city and generators.
“This way,” then, “No, that way!”
A caustic tank in one of the unremodeled brewhouse backrooms.
An abandoned news stand between the concourse and ticket booths. This is one of my favorite pictures from the 2000s.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
The last time the city sealed this door, they must have been changing out old road signs.
S&X seen in the background through the fog.
The beacon was installed in 1938 and removed in the mid-2000s.
Footprints of houses past; tailings of mines past.
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 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.
Elevator B, used by a local farmer, stands behind an old farm truck at the edge of town.
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.
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.
When ‘men’ meant ‘worker’.
This machine was last overhauled in February 1955, and last turned out Crepe silk, probably dress material.
The end of the new elevator. Line of bird droppings follow the fire sprinkler pipes and wires in the room.
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.
Note the tiled floor between the bucket conveyors and an old mill.
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!
A long exposure panorama of Electric Steel and Kurth from the roof of Russell Miller B, days before it was demolished.
The most derelict of the old bonded warehouses. Note the barrel elevator on the side of it!
Carter Color used to occupy this block.
Fire doors and penis talk.
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.
Two signatures complement this gorgeous hand-painted sign. ‘Bowers’ from 1987 and ‘Normal’ from 1982. The blocking on the letters is still visible!