The office was redder than the rest of the building.
One of the ugly modern staircases.
This is what the complex looks like today to the bare eye. Dull, monochrome, quiet.
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.
I can confirm the existence of the long-rumored Federal Rectangle Research Institute labs.
This room on the top floor of one of the oldest buildings has seemingly not changed since it was adapted for employee use. Some sections of the hospital were adapted for staff to live in. Paying Patient Ward–where capable patients were separated from wards of the state.
In the middle of the foundry, an office is untouched by scrappers, legal and not. Inside, warnings and catalogs for machines that are gone, obsolete, and melted down.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
Catwalk crating, welded over the yard crane operator cab’s windows.
The power gauge showed… broken.
The barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
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
The seminal architectural feature of the old hospital–the parts built by Illinois Central Railroad–was this staircase. Wide and graceful, adorned with paint chips and fire extinguishers, and leading from offices to surgical suites to the cafeteria.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
While squatting in the power plant a very powerful storm moved over unforgettable, throwing blasts of lightning across the countryside. The plant got a direct hit, in fact, and the sound of the boom reverberating through the turbine hall is something unforgettable.
…somebody get the number of that truck! Near the Day Rooms in the Paying Patient ward.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
One of the few windows that escaped steel plating the last time the hospital was sealed tight to let nature roam within.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
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.
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
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.
When you watch TV from the jars, it seems so much more real, they tell me.
These Twin Cities kisses
Sound like clicks and hisses.
We all tumbled down and
Drowned in the Mississippi River. -The Hold Steady
The Sun Rooms, or Common Rooms, reminded me of the Panopitcon turned inside-out.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
Paperwork litters the floors of the zinc mine offices.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
The conveyorway that carried the sintering material to the mixing floor at the top of the plant.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
The skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
The organ and bits of glass that have lost their way. Try not to see the upside-down wooden cross dangling from the stained-glass-crown on the church’s front side. Of course, it’s to keep the loose panes from falling out onto the road in wind, but at the same time…
Because Oshkosh is close to Green Bay, the Packers are very popular there. Everywhere in the plant there were traces of ‘Cheese Head’ culture.
One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
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.
The old hotel doesn’t like to show its age. Indeed, if it had a few paint job and soft remodel it would be fit to open–that is, if there was a need for it in this tiny rural New York town.
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.
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.
“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…”
The backdrop has become the pallet for water damage and graffiti.
Part of the plant has been reused as a scrap metal yard.
In its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…
Connecting the Administration Building to the wards fanning out. Historical photos show cots lining this hallway when the hospital was severely overcrowded. Lit by lightning outside the grounds during a huge thunderstorm.
Looking toward the Female Infirmary Ward from the long, glass, Conservatory hallway.
The powerhouse had two elevated tracks behind it, one for coal and one for deliveries.
Shadows of the trees from the materials yard.
To get more light into the wards, the building was narrow and had angular rooms, often staff space, perpendicular to the main hallway.
A bedroom, from the basement. The Dog Days are Over.
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.
Since this picture was taken, the roof has totally collapsed in this area.
The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
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.
The man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.
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.
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.
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
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
The old offices for the Oberon Elevator are defunct, but seem to be holding up to the brutal prairie snows and winds. Medium Format.
The front of the power plant (right), the distillery itself (center), and the regaling house (left).
Energy conserving window plastic does no good when the doors are all open and the heat’s off.
This bay would host boxcars as workers would fill them with the fruits of the factory.
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.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
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.
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.
I love the big old industrial windows.
As if they were planning to move the furniture out of the hospital, it all sits in the main hallway in the ground floor.
In the barracks.
This room’s trim was unlike the others. Perhaps it was for a live in supervisor.
There were a few large houses on the Old Crow property where employees would live. The glen had little housing.
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
“It must have been beautiful once.” “Yeah, especially in the winter.”
The coke plant looked more natural through a grimy window.
The corner of Clyde on Michigan Street looked like it had been sealed a long time.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
What time is it?
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.
The walls are separating on the adobe house…
A breeze and broken window has animated one of the few curtains still hanging in Nopeming as of 2015.
Birch shadows on stone walls… have you been looking at my Christmas list?
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.
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
The beacon was installed in 1938 and removed in the mid-2000s.
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.
This part of the roundhouse was being brought down by rain and gravity.
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.
Looking out the second-floor lighthouse office window. On this visit, the last ice of the season was slowly drifting into the harbor.
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.
A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
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.
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
A volcano (?) under a window.
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.
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.
You can almost make out the concrete chute through the open window. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
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.
A closeup of a high window in Bunge.
The bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
The stone chapel sits beside the main house and received a particularly heavy dose of gothic architectural touches.
“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.
This dirt-brick building hasn’t fared well.
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.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
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.
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.
The mostly-empty distilling room is easy to spot from the outside because of the distinctive round window.
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.
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.
Copper poured from this furnace and was cast by the autocaster on the right into billets.
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.
After a little rain, the roof took on the color of the bright pink letters.
Windows provided the 250-some workers with fresh air and light, and helped to keep flour dust from building up in the air, helping to prevent explosions. Today, machines control air flow better without windows, so they were bricked.
The exterior of one of the administrative wings.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
It’s a small world… look at it.
The very top of the Administration Tower’s spiral staircase. There’s an old antenna of some kind there, as you can see.
This is one of the more private rooms in the old section of the hospital. It likely only accommodated one patient.
A different kind of tree fort.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
A familiar scene in Control Tower B, though the microphone has not been used for years.
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.
Like looking out of an airship.
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.
Connecting the Administration building’s tower and top floors is this beautiful cast iron staircase. It was probably designed to help service the clock originally planned to be set in the tower, but when the hospital went over budget the state cancelled the timepiece. Now we are left with a gorgeous stair with little or no real purpose–not that I’m complaining. I am a long-admitted spiral staircase fetishist.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
This roof hasn’t budged under the weight of snow, instead it just filters-through the light onto the floor.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
A better view of the belt system that drives all the machinery in the plant.
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
Note the maps still left on the wall.
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.
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.
Mill Hell before the University of Minnesota began developing the area. Now many of the buildings are gone, there are new roads and even bike paths.
I like this picture because it shows some of the only unbroken windows at Packard.
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.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
Shuttered windows on the side of one of the collapsing bonded warehouses.
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.
In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.
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.
The old boilers of the steam plant have been mostly gutted to remove loose asbestos.
The old mill (right) and power plant (left) with the new mill behind them.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
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 screened water wheel, presumably for rotating the dredge once it lowered its “foot” to pivot in place.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
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.
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.
In a now-demolished building, a skylight begins to separate.
Grimy windows and the other half of the complex trade interests and stares.
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 power lines follow the street, down to the mineshaft. Everything revolved around the mine, it seemed.
The arches of the Twohy building, before some of the signs and sills were painted in 2015.
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.
An old name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
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.
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
The copula where molten metal would pour is on the left. It seems the whole floor was covered in ash in front of it.
Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
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.
A shuttered house at the end of the block doesn’t even have boards on it anymore.
Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.
A staircase threads between the top floor and the sluices, which are in the middle of the dredge-mill.
The balcony used to be beautiful, you say. I say, it still is.
The fences helped discourage patients from throwing themselves down the stairs.
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.
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.
Tarpaper telling time-
Wood wittling weather-
Rust rot ruins.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
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.
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.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
This picture is lit by a direct lightning strike of the building. It’s impossible to describe the feeling of being in this giant open building the moment it channeled an electric explosion into the earth.
Imagine with yellow window guards are eyebrows and the open windows are the eyes. This headframe seems a bit curious.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
In some places in the mine shops, you can still make out narrow gauge track in the floors.
The trees were so overgrown, it was difficult to see the hotel at all from the road.
On the top floor of one of the old wards, the slanted roofline makes the this group room more claustrophobic. Portra 160.
Taken while standing on the torn outline of a scrapped altar. With my back to the faded outlines of men, books and the Holy Grail, the room seems much lighter.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
The interior of one of the curved corridors that connect two wards. Note the original floor’s hand-laid tile pattern. Portra 160.