The first time I saw Buffalo Central Terminal was from a westbound Empire Builder. In the foreground you can see the rows of platforms.
The hospital was surrounded by walking paths that crisscrossed the front green, as it was called. Part of Kirkbride’s plan was to have ample opportunities for exercise outdoors–fresh air, especially cold fresh air, was thought to have curative properties.
This is a great example of a combination rock house; the silos below used to fill trains with ore dropped from mine cars pulled to the top of the structure.
Looking up the hill from the rooftop of the Temple Opera Block. The downtown casino (left) looks far closer to its original use as a Sears Roebuck department store than it does today. Behind it is the blighted Carter Hotel, one of many abandoned buildings near the former Orpheum.
Fergus Falls State Hospital. Well, technically moonlight… but a with stars nonetheless! The orange glow from the left and in the rear of the building are exterior lights on associated–former State Hospital–buildings. All other light is from the full moon that evening.
Gulls check in on me while I climb around the roof of one of the train shds of SWP #4. FP-100C.
Catwalk crating, welded over the yard crane operator cab’s windows.
The conveyor belt prevented cranes from accessing the left side of the dock, so cranes were mounted to the gantry crane to maintain the ore chutes on the side.
No matter what environmental disasters industry throws at Mother Earth, she will bounce back.
When I revisited the mine in 2013, the hoists were scrapped and sitting by the road.
Looking at the huge and modern Cargill B2 from the circa-1919 Lake Superior “I”. This is a rather unique perspective of Enger Tower and Skyline.
One of the most beautiful exterior features of the hospital are these turret vents, highly stylized and beautiful to behold.
2005. Looking across the Mississippi from a park the night after the first snow.
ADM-Delmar #1- Maintainance Department. The stainless steel bits are part of the grain dryer added in the 1940s. The workhouse itself (the larger tower) was a dedicated Cleaning House, meaning that grain passed through both these buildings to be rid of dust, dirt and extra moisture before storage. In the foreground is the old ADM locker room and pipe department.
Looking out from what little remains of the second floor at the poor house, which was in terrible condition. No roof and no floors. Soon to be ruins.
Taken from the arm of the pocket loader–note the tree growing out of the conveyor belt. Often where you see old piles of taconite, trees are springing up. The byproducts of the pelletization process break down and make a really fertile mix, especially with all the iron content!
Two of the remaining four towers in the projects. Throughout our time there we saw and heard squatters inside and chose not to go in. What do you call a smart choice made in the midst of a dumb choice? There should be a word for that.
The average sugar mill in 1915 consumed about 11,000 acres of sugar beets
The roof was in bad shape, but too beautiful to avoid. This is the spot were I used to study medieval Latin.
The light masts are there, but it looks like the cables that stretched across the dock with the actual lights have fallen down.
This low brick building is interesting to me.
A diesel crane and conveyor belt tripper are the major pieces of equipment that dominate the dock.
Looking through skylights of the payroll office toward the Cheratte No.1’s tower. This is where workers would wait in line to receive pay, surrounded by the mine workings.
The end of the dock, done quickly and cheaply with wood. The towers were for lights, so ships could be loaded at all hours.
Water turned the taconite powder into a rusty, slippery paste… everywhere the water pooled up, doubling the beauty from certain special angles.
From atop a concrete slap that seals the old path of Mine Shaft #3, I loop up into the hoisting room.
Transfer Elevator, Built 1916
Delmar #4 is like two elevators in one, in capacity and design.
A long exposure of the side of the coke ovens, lit by the nearby streetlights.
Admin, 2005. This is the only good picture I took of the Administration Tower before a lightning strke ignited its roof. Now a metal cap keeps the water out of the most iconic building at the Kirkbride.
Harris Machinery rests under snow on the left. Two explorers enjoy the view.
Looking up from the train shed. The building was consistently crumbling and I wish I had worn a hard hat in this area.
Looking toward the Quenching Tower from the coal tower platform.
The elevator tower seems to have been built with expansion of the dock in mind.
Standing on the ruins of the former sister dock, looking back at the soon-to-be-demolished family member. The pilings I stood on for the shot were those of the Chicago and North Western RR #3 which was dismantled in 1960 and used to be 2,040-feet long.
Platforms and abandoned outbuildings, as seen in 2005.
Looking up the tallest structure left at ACME.
A bridge crosses the main street of the village; one that goes nowhere. Ambiguity intended.
I included this image to illustrate the height of the headgrame and the distance between it and the hoist house. Of course, compared with the depth of the mine shaft, this distance is short.
The Big Dipper brought its friends into view, and the best seat is 80-feet up.
An elevator is reflected in the flooded footprint of Spencer & Kellogg. These trains are in storage for the winter.
These rails used to connect to those inside the Santiago Tunnel. Now they dangle above tailings.
The pipes above sprayed water onto the hot coke.
Blue skies and rust-pocked siding contrast the high-altitude blue sky. By the time I had worked my way back to the tram, it was sunset.
This battlement-like tower is the first thing one sees coming to Old Taylor from Frankfort.
A little cloud passes over the Five-Stack powerplant ruins, like a puff of smoke.
Looking at the tallest part of the plant from a skeletal loading dock. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
My favorite shot of the 17-story Art Deco office tower attached to the train station.
Looking up the Dominion Elevator’s tower. I especially like this picture because it shows how so much of the electrical conduits wound round through the mostly hollow space.
Looking at the headframe for Shaft 3 from the tower for Shaft 1. Below is the roof of the Dry House. It was hard to remind myself that these building have been abandoned longer than I’ve been alive.
The quenching water was reused over and over.
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.
Like a grave marker, a single post remembers where Dock 3 stood on the bay.
Looking at ADM-Delmar #4, #1 and Kurth from the Meal Storage Elevator at sunset on one of the warmer days of December. Note the graffiti “United Crushers” that gave the big elevator its common name among locals. Also, Harris Machinery is sitting in the lower-left corner, awaiting word of its next use.
This was taken before the top of the docks really started to rot-out; now this stretch past the crane is distinctly unsafe to cross. Still, you can’t beat the view of Dock #2 winding into the distance, where the approach is chopped-off before the yard used to extend.
The train loading tower (left), and elevators. Check out that giant flagpole/lightning rod.
The end of the peninsula where Consolidated D was built, aka General Mills A, used to hold a Northern Pacific freight depot. These are part of the ruins of it.
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.
When the lake levels were especially low, the pilings of Dock 3 that are usually underwater were clearly visible between Dock 2 and Dock 4.
There is no denying that the Fergus Falls asylum was a beautiful place, especially around sunset.
Looking toward Old Taylor Distillery from the roof of Old Crow.
The side of the church, taken from a grungy sidewalk.
The back of the castle is barely visible through the trees that have grown thick around the walls, making it look so much older.
While it looks like ground level, everything here is one story above the actual earth.
From left to right: shaft building, headframe, rock house, hoist house.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
A wide view (15mm) of the shadow 4B is casting on 4A. Light leaks because of cheap camera.
The spectacular, if precarious, view of downtown Minneapolis from the roof of ADM Annex 4. Note the great messages left by various graffiti artists who made it to the spot.
The Cross of Loraine served as the international symbol of tuberculosis; it was traditional to find these on sanatorium smokestacks like this, which was part of the old steam plant, behind the Refractory.
Counter-weighted ore cars alternately filled and emptied to feed Furnace 7. Honestly, though, the corner-mounted cranes are sexier in my opinion. Note the trees growing from the stacks.
Somewhere there was a hoe left on the ground. Given that we had read articles about photographers being mugged around the abandoned projects, we felt it wouldn’t hurt to carry this around. I am glad we did; it made a great musical drumstick against the warped Wheeler Rec Center floor.
The tower of Dominion certainly dominates the elevator row.
On the left you can see one of the later air shafts for the mine below, which allowed for natural air exchange with the main production areas of the coal mine. That is to say, there were no fans blowing fresh air down below.
Looking up at the network of elevators at the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. Its train shed doors stand open under the void where conveyors should be. You can see where they used to connect on the left and right. The outside of the building is covered in racist graffiti.
The holes were for men to poke reluctant ore with long poles, with the hope that a lucky jab would let the load slide down into the boat below. Now they’re just traps.
Showering red-hot coke fresh from the furnaces near the Coal Tower (in the back) was the Quenching Tower’s duty (front).
Looking toward the old power house, right below one of its arteries.
Hales & Hunter sign, as it looks today.
2013. As part of the Head House’s facelift, it’s gotten new windows. However, you can now still see where the conveyor-way connected this building with the elevators behind it in the upper right of the image.
The bridge here moved workers between the dock, the approach tracks, and refueling buildings.
This view of BCT shows the portico where the main entrance is at the base of the office tower, and the clock.
One thing that struck me as a midwesterner in the South was the vines. They seem to be able to completely cover a building when left alone for a few decades.
Looking up at the LEMP malting plant elevator. Look at that BRICKWORK!
The neon lighthouse, seen from the top of one of the silos.
Looking at the engine house (left) from atop the stoves.
The new concrete workhouse, as seen through chickenwire.
The mine is sandwiched between village townhomes.
On the dark side of the workhouse at sunset, you can almost see where the walls used to be. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
Looking at the side of the Superior Elevator from the tracks that feed the Western. Note the old flagpole.
Taken at a junction in the tube world.
One of the older buildings on the site, this is an old power house that provided electricity to the plant. I spent some time walking around it and believe it was fired with coal gas but had a diesel backup installed later.
I like to think of this as a giant straw, through which the factory is slowly draining the earth, leaving nothing but reinforced concrete below…
“Crunch, crunch, crunch,” said the ground. “I know,” I replied.
Cheratte lives on in the shadow of its abandoned coal mine, although most of the shops are abandoned and many of the city’s landmarks have fallen into disrepair. Like other Belgian mining towns, those who have stayed in the town have kept up their apartments, so much of the company-building duplexes and homes are in great condition.
Sometime soon, maybe in early 2016, someone will have this view from their office or condo.
Imagine with yellow window guards are eyebrows and the open windows are the eyes. This headframe seems a bit curious.