One of the cupola air intakes, rattled loose by the demolition downstairs, hangs stranded on the second floor. You can see that the floor I’m standing on in this picture used to extend all the way to the right wall. The blue paint on the wall made the climb absolutely worth it.
A view of the hallway outside of the auditorium.
My favorite shot from the trip. Later in its life, the plant was converted to burn its own byproducts, but it seems this was designed as a coal hopper.
A look down the 1950s foundry building, moments after sunset.
Blue plastic siding filters the summer sun, giving the otherwise reddish-brown interior a splash of color.
Sleeping bags mark this former courtyard as a crash pad for the local homeless.
This sawtooth roof collapsed months later under the weight of an early snow.
While the last of the Studebaker production buildings were being demolished, I visited again. Here’s a shot taken shortly after the demolition crew left for the day.
The roof of the elevator was partly lit naturally with six big skylights. The less electricity pumped into a grain elevator, the less chance of a grain dust explosion.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
This drying house was full of ventilation ducts, broken scales, and insulated carts to haul powder around the line.
A panorama of the Shipping/Receiving building on the northeast end of the block. In the old days this would be facing the ‘Dry Dock Hotel’, a boarding house owned by the company, presumably for the use of the men having their boats repaired here.
The sound of water running in the distance.
Furnace #6; its catwalk and tapway. Note the lever-operated gutter-blockers.
A quick vertical panorama taken on my back at the sweet spot of a great summer sunset. On the skylight is the torch-cut catwalk that used to link the outside of the smokestacks that vented the cupolas.
The engine room.
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.
At sunset the light skips from puddle to stagnant puddle across the whole foundry room, playing with the classic sawtooth roof with half-hearted shadows.
From atop a concrete slap that seals the old path of Mine Shaft #3, I loop up into the hoisting room.
David Aho pictured.
In this old repair shop, vines fall from the rotting roof to meet mossy concrete. Even though it had been dry for days, water dripped in from the roof to make permanent puddles between workstations. It was full of color and sound and industry and nature.
“Place Tripod Here” my friends would say. But for me, it’s the money shot. Note the painting around the inside of the skylight.
A high-ceilinged room where kegs would be delivered for cleaning, before they were refilled with fresh booze.
The room where all of the miners would leave their lamps to be refilled, reconditioned, repaired, etc. when they were not in use underground.
A long exposure of the city glow illuminating the roof, highlighting the victorian and gothic influences on the brew house.
The green-tinted skylight makes this a bright green corridor, the lower of the two skyways connecting the two workhouses.
This floor of the workhouse had corkscrew conveyors–big augers–in the floor to move material around. Most of the walls that were metal were missing, leaving the concrete structure and open doors.
The only light in the ‘coffin’ of the Atlas E is that which leaks through the exhaust vents.
The water tower no doubt made good scrap after it hit the ground.
I was squatting overnight in one of the buildings and woke up with the sunrise. This is what I woke up to.
Ava near the Memorial Building. The block glass embedded in the sidewalk here is actually a skylight for the tunnel below, which connects the Memorial Building to the steam and supply systems of the hospital.
Two small generators connected to a Frick steam engine.
The head distiller could walk out of their office to this balcony and overlook the whole fermentation process in a glance.
Spare parts ready for this building’s reactivation.
On the scale of the big machine shop, the huge piles of clothing look insignificant.
This building had its own kitchen, suggesting that it may have been one of the hospitals units within Norwich, such as the tuberculosis hospital.
Dirty filters for some equipment hang, awaiting a purpose.
A fallen branch smashed out this skylight years ago, and since then the bees have found this tiny toilet a perfect home. This is part of the hotel where employees slept.
A typical building from the expanded starch line.
A photo from my first trip, although very little has changed in this area of the building except for the level of graffiti. I love skylights, don’t you?
This is a 1956 furnace. It was used to forge wheels, casings, and parts for the axel shop.
Looking down the kiln line from atop the furnaces.
I am not sure, but I think this section was a storehouse; it has two ramps that connect the rail yard outside and the blacksmith shop. On all of the historic doors that face that part of the yard, signs caution workers to look out for cars…
Devan setting up his 4×5 camera.
The roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.
Looking toward Mitchell from its last building.
Looking at the casting floor from the roof. In the distance are the copulas where molten metal was poured.
A strange sight: Part of the drain here seems to have had a skylight of glass, which has since been filled over. However, the collapsing ceiling began to create natural skylights of its own.
The newer tunnels were fitted with these fluorescent lights, although some skylights (block glass embedded in skywalks) let in some natural light during the day.
The beautiful green ruination of the refrectory.
The roof had structures bigger than most buildings in South Bend.
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.
Algae grows where water flows/From the sawtooth roof/To the mines below/The sun climbs high/But is in no one’s eyes/A wall alone crumbles/It was no suprise
The former BESCO building in the last light of day.
In what Studebaker called the ‘Materials Building’ are these giant concrete bins of fine molding sand, there for casting metal parts using the molten metal from the adjoining building. On the far left side there is a train track and once upon a time a gantry crane traced the room under the roof
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
The skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
A self portrait.