To get more light into the wards, the building was narrow and had angular rooms, often staff space, perpendicular to the main hallway.
This ornamental stair is cast iron and used to connect all floors of the Administration building. Now it connects the first and second floor, then the third and fourth floors, with a strange cinder block and drywall barrier separating the new and old sections of the building. Note the insulation on the floor to seal heat into the lower floors that were used as offices until the hospital closed. On the corners of the staircase are lions, on the corners of the suspended section of stair are down-hanging pineapples. Set in the stairs themselves are shield motifs with slate tops.
A bedroom, from the basement. The Dog Days are Over.
A closeup of one of the winding machines that found itself under a leaky section of roof.
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.
When not running 24 hours a day during a campaign, the plant was being repaired. Every sugar mill has a large shop and parts room for those times.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
Looking into the tunnel system from below the Women’s Ward. The tunnels were used mostly by staff to move food and laundry.
The stone chapel sits beside the main house and received a particularly heavy dose of gothic architectural touches.
The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
An observation room, possibly for children, has drapes around a 2-way mirror. You know, to dress up the fact that someone could be watching anonymously on the other side.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
One of the only extant assembly line tracks in the body painting department. No photographer leaves Fisher 21 without capturing some version of this spot; hope you like mine.
In most places, it may seem off for there to be a tunnel door on the top floor of a building, but Ford was that kind of place. This door from the steam plant led into a skyway and tunnel that connected to the main assembly floor.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
The screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
The stonework was done by a local handyman of sorts, who was also a guard at a nearby insane asylum. He did a great job, it seems to me.
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
“See anything?” “No, just more of it.” “How much to go?” “Oh god–we’ve only seen about 10%.” “Guess we should keep moving then…”
Catwalk crating, welded over the yard crane operator cab’s windows.
I like this picture because it shows some of the only unbroken windows at Packard.
This part of the roundhouse was being brought down by rain and gravity.
An interesting crane in the back of the machine shop. It seems very light duty, so I am not certain what it was used for.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
In its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…
The front of the Art Deco hospital, complete with Art Deco gears and Crosses of Loraine!
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
You can almost make out the concrete chute through the open window. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
After a little rain, the roof took on the color of the bright pink letters.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
Standing atop the dust collector, the factory breaks down into diverging patterns, processes.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
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.
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
An old name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
A side door on the rear of the castle that let guests out into a small stone courtyard below a tall turret.
Between two brick buildings is a metal one with many windows set into it. Having been in many mills of similar design, I conjecture that this was the milling building, where machines ground the corn before it was boiled.
Looking out the second-floor lighthouse office window. On this visit, the last ice of the season was slowly drifting into the harbor.
In the modern control room at the base of the white elevator tower are the electronics that ran the newer building, its rail components and boat-loading component. The superstructure permeates all spaces here, as can be seen with the crossing I-beams in the main office.
Looking past the hoist room (left) toward Shaft No. 1, behind the concrete head frame built in the late 1940s. This shaft could haul equipment from ground level (below) to shop level, where the picture was taken.
In the power house corner is this gratuitously gigantic doorway. It used to be even bigger, too, as indicated by the brick arch another foot over the top windows.
One of the walls of the train shed was growing, thanks to a little bit of sunlight and a constant trickle of rainwater over it. FP-100C.
The mostly-empty distilling room is easy to spot from the outside because of the distinctive round window.
This building looked like some sort of office.
Peering through the glass in the Hoist Operator’s cab, stained with graffiti. The cable and reels can be seen through the glass… these are now gone.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
The backdrop has become the pallet for water damage and graffiti.
This side of the mill, which abuts the Great Miami River, is much older than the other side of B Street. You can tell it went through many revisions.
The power lines follow the street, down to the mineshaft. Everything revolved around the mine, it seemed.
Taken in the last few minutes of the day. You can tell by the way that the wall is deteriorating that the windows using to have an arched top!
The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
On the top floor of one of the old wards, the slanted roofline makes the this group room more claustrophobic. Portra 160.
Copper poured from this furnace and was cast by the autocaster on the right into billets.
A string of vehicles have found death at Packard recently. Usually they are simply driving up ramps and pushed off the rooftops, but this one seemed destined for a worse fate. Found in the far corner of the far building.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
Note the maps still left on the wall.
In some places in the mine shops, you can still make out narrow gauge track in the floors.
From the bottom of the skyway I looked back, my eyes tracing the vines from the marsh up the smokestacks to the perfect Midwestern sky.
Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.
A self portrait, from the early 2000s.
Looking through the hole where a glass pane once was at the Columbus Mine ruins, just south of Animas Forks. It was quiet when I took the picture, but for the gurgle of the nearby Animas River.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
This is one of the modern nurse’s stations where the last inpatients lived in the mid-2000s. The windows are thick shatterproof plastic. I am unsure why the suspended ceiling is missing.
The south wall of the power plant. Its sheet metal skin couldn’t fit around the structure, it seems… note the very strange protruding superstructure.
A volcano (?) under a window.
The power gauge showed… broken.
The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
Looking toward the Female Infirmary Ward from the long, glass, Conservatory hallway.
A back-lit tree with the silhouette of a roof spire in the background.
I had to search the shelves a while to find this old logbook. The open page lists changes in stock numbers for Cutler Hammer Coils, and one row says that a new coil was installed on the black larry. The larry is the machine that loads coke ovens.
The very top of the Administration Tower’s spiral staircase. There’s an old antenna of some kind there, as you can see.
Wind blew taconite dust against the walls of these suspended control room, making even the glass appear to rust.
These Twin Cities kisses
Sound like clicks and hisses.
We all tumbled down and
Drowned in the Mississippi River. -The Hold Steady
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
A pipe bracket seems to have rusted off of the ceiling.
The clock, which was sold after Amtrak dumped the building, was returned to the Waiting Room in 2005.
At first glance, I thought the center building was a hoist house because of the shape of the window. Now I think this was built as a warehouse and later used as a laboratory.
The skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
The layout and design of the buildings reminded me strongly of a brewery or distillery. To the right you can see some of the retrofits by the first lumber company to buy the buildings, in the 1970s.
The Clipper was one of the most popular Packards, but its production was cut short by WWII. Had they produced the car instead of Rolls Royce plane engines I imagine there would might be driving a Packard today, rather than a Ford.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
Everyone loves water towers.
Looking up to the second floor of the Nitrating House, where cotton would be soaked in nitric acid. These brought cotton into the building.
The machine shop today.
The turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
The old men’s ward is an example of what the hospital resembled before part of the complex was modernized. Small rooms, light switches outside the door, small observation windows set into heavy wood. If you ask me, though, the tile work across the floors is the most spectacular.
The sidewalks are littered with rocks.
The main shaft’s cable spooled with bird castings belies the fact that lives used to dangle from its steel-wound strength. Arrows on the circles would indicate the mine level the cars were currently at.
In a now-demolished building, a skylight begins to separate.
This building was responsible for storing and drying the barrels. Compare right.
This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.
I am not sure what caused the discoloration, but two of the walls near the door to the machine shop are stained yellow-red. I assume this had to do with the walls in relation to blowing piles of iron ore, and that the walls have been partly infused with iron oxide. Any other ideas?
A long exposure in the crane cab at sunset throws a bit of color into the bleak yellow glows between the windows and car shaker.
Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.
A bleak double room in what used to be the Receiving Hospital, built apart from the Kirkbride to observe incoming patients before they were placed in a ward.
After crushing, these machines would float lighter material to the surface of the water, where it would be skimmed and discarded. Gold and silver laden stone would sink to the bottom, where it was collected for the next stage of processing. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
On the Turbine Room floor, one old steam pump still remains, ready to pressurize steam pipes with the hot stuff throughout the car shops and boilers.
The sexiest feature of Kurth is this steel arch over the silos on its south side. The manholes in the floor open to the silos directly, and flimsy grates might catch a hurried worker. Grates were removable so that workers could descend into the concrete tubes, so a few are missing today.
A steel powder keg serves as a door prop on the static-proof wood core floor. Note the ‘XXX’ marking to the left of the double door.
A crack in a window in a wall. What’s this doing here?
This is one of my favorite doorways (yes, I have favorites) for a few reasons: 1.) You can see how the once-arched door has been squared-off for rectangular doors to fit; 2.) you can see one complete historic door and one ruined door, and the chain that used to hold them together before someone kicked-out the security, and; 3.) I like the texture of the bricks and design of the radiators in the room beyond–the blacksmith shop. Just do.
A staircase threads between the top floor and the sluices, which are in the middle of the dredge-mill.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
Looking at the boarded exterior of the newer area of the orphanage from its 1914 section.
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
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
A circular common room in one of the original parts of the hospital. When the asylum was especially crowded, this would be filled with patient beds, too. It’s very strange that this floor was not tiled like the other common rooms. It makes me wonder if especially dangerous patients were kept in this ward; those who could not be trusted to not extract and sharpen the ceramic tiles. Portra 160.
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
In the ward for the criminally insane, this door was the most-worn. Nail scratches mark the area around the peep hole, the wood is gouged everywhere from thrown chairs and hard kicks, and a ominous blood-colored stain is visible where it dripped in the second inset from the bottom. Aside from the damage, the coloring in this section was very vibrant, though it was probably little reprieve for those who had to work here.
The beacon was installed in 1938 and removed in the mid-2000s.
These stairs connected some small main-level offices with one of the main sewing rooms above. Because the roof on this building was strong, it was pretty well preserved–look at those colors. Through the open fire door on the left, though, you can see that the roof has given out.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
A familiar scene in Control Tower B, though the microphone has not been used for years.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
In the middle of one of the outlying cottages, perhaps the Masonic Cottage–it was too damaged to tell, really–are these pair of skinny doors that led from patient rooms to a common area with rotting shag carpet.
Fire doors separate the buildings.
This is what the complex looks like today to the bare eye. Dull, monochrome, quiet.
Because Oshkosh is close to Green Bay, the Packers are very popular there. Everywhere in the plant there were traces of ‘Cheese Head’ culture.
The front of the power plant (right), the distillery itself (center), and the regaling house (left).
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 office was redder than the rest of the building.
Looking above the altar.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
A small machine shop level.
Grimy windows and the other half of the complex trade interests and stares.
These long curved corridors connected the wards. Locked doors on both of their ends were a security and comfort feature. Sounds and people would be sealed in their respective wards, as the hallways would act like beautiful airlocks; they were so long that it was unlikely that doors would be open on both sides at the same time. Portra 160.
One of the ugly modern staircases.
Part of the Laundry Building with an ugly archway between rooms. Note that even this building had a nurse’s station with shatterproof windows. Laundry was done by supervised patients as part of their Occupational Therapy and the staff took no chances.
The trees were so overgrown, it was difficult to see the hotel at all from the road.
I can confirm the existence of the long-rumored Federal Rectangle Research Institute labs.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
This section of the production floor was constantly dripping. Someone had laid down giant plastic sheeting to attempt to protect the lower floors, but it hasn’t worked.
Looking from one workhouse at another, with the other residents of Mill Hell falling into place as the distance grows. Across the rail yard you can see Froedert Malt elevator and Calumet.
This wide skyway connected two of the inner factory buildings, where parts would have to be transported to keep the operation moving, which is why it is much wider than other bridges in the plant.
Not a part of the Foundry, but the Enclosed Body Building. The rebar welded over the windows and the rust patterns with the lighting makes this geometric photos one of my favorites from the year.
Looking down at the Port Arthur Ore Dock from Manitoba Pool Elevator #3. The conveyor belts are gone and King Elevator is in the far distance.
These were some of the most attractive shops of all the mines in the area. It’s no wonder Hanna Mining wanted to use them as their center of operations in the Iron River district.
…somebody get the number of that truck! Near the Day Rooms in the Paying Patient ward.
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.
A damaged roof channeled rain onto the adobe walls, cutting them in half. In the distance, a preserved house and the ruins of the Colmor School.
The service window in the Administration Tower had seen some abuse, even if it wasn’t so old.
Shuttered windows on the side of one of the collapsing bonded warehouses.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
It’s almost hard to tell whether the colors come from oil in the water or the colorful glass lit up by the Michigan sunset.
The old mill (right) and power plant (left) with the new mill behind them.
Energy conserving window plastic does no good when the doors are all open and the heat’s off.
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.
Shadows of the trees from the materials yard.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
This is a room where the actual explosive elements were mixed. In the event of an accident, this glass wall would give way before the concrete and thus direct the flames and shockwave away from the rest of the building. In other words, the glass is not just to get a lot of wonderful natural light into the building.
The side of the oldest building on the property, the former casket factory.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
Looking toward a void–formerly a hallway to the mineshaft–now a hole in the ground.
The Osborne Mercantile reflected in Twohy Mercantile’s eastern windows, minutes before subset. The current owner has done a fair job replacing broken windows with plexiglass to keep the elements out.
The copula where molten metal would pour is on the left. It seems the whole floor was covered in ash in front of it.
Peering into a remote office at Manitoba Wheat Pool #3. Someone left their to-do list behind.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
The east side of the boiler shop sported a platform with a control booth and heavy machine mounts. Note the door that replaces the lower section of stairs for explorers.
The spiral staircase ends in the basement, where two oil tanks (for the lantern) and a freshwater tank (for the Keeper) were stored. The basement consists of two long arched vaults like this.
This bay would host boxcars as workers would fill them with the fruits of the factory.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
John’s wife’s face.
Judging by the bed, this room was used by employees in its later years.
Stairs and power lines enter the abandoned depot. Shingles slide off the rotten roof. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
Tarpaper telling time-
Wood wittling weather-
Rust rot ruins.
As if they were planning to move the furniture out of the hospital, it all sits in the main hallway in the ground floor.
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.
A white star marks the landing between the Keeper’s Quarters (Second Floor) and the radiobeacon and furnace rooms (First Floor).
Paperwork litters the floors of the zinc mine offices.
A 1960s style TV set in a sun room at the back of the poor house. The concrete room survived the roof collapse and was full of rotten children’s books and toys. Perhaps it was where donations were sorted, or perhaps it was a nursery/orphanage area.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
Pozo Mine, the most menacing mine building I’ve ever seen. Black and white film, shot with the Fuji GX680, a beast of a camera.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
The coke plant looked more natural through a grimy window.
Germany’s steel mill city.
Archeologists believe the great house on the mesa was rebuilt shortly before it was abandoned in the 13th Century AD. Tri-X 400 Film, haphazardly self developed.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
Taken on a short trip where the whole floor of the roundhouse and engine shop was covered in fresh snow–thanks to the holes in the roof and open windows.
This is one of the more private rooms in the old section of the hospital. It likely only accommodated one patient.
A shuttered house at the end of the block doesn’t even have boards on it anymore.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
The engine room.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
One of my favorite shots of the headhouse at the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #4, with one seagull threading the needle. The socket holes on the frame got blown out thanks to my bad developing, but I like the effect. Arista 100.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
I love the big old industrial windows.
One of two control towers that reached over the lake. The control panel here was used to move the conveyors over the ship’s hold doors, adjust flow of the taconite, and so on.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
The wings of the church had a lot more water damage than the rest. The organ on the balcony was in decent condition when I arrived.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.