Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
The barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
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.
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.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
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 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.
A small machine shop level.
In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.
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.
The powerhouse had two elevated tracks behind it, one for coal and one for deliveries.
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
The bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
Looking up to the second floor of the Nitrating House, where cotton would be soaked in nitric acid. These brought cotton into the building.
This building was responsible for storing and drying the barrels. Compare right.
A back-lit tree with the silhouette of a roof spire in the background.
The balcony used to be beautiful, you say. I say, it still is.
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.
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?
Grimy windows and the other half of the complex trade interests and stares.
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.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
As if they were planning to move the furniture out of the hospital, it all sits in the main hallway in the ground floor.
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.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
The very top of the Administration Tower’s spiral staircase. There’s an old antenna of some kind there, as you can see.
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.
From atop a concrete slap that seals the old path of Mine Shaft #3, I loop up into the hoisting room.
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.
Standing atop the dust collector, the factory breaks down into diverging patterns, processes.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
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.
A volcano (?) under a window.
The old boilers of the steam plant have been mostly gutted to remove loose asbestos.
Looking out of a door to nowhere at the fiery sky above.
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.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
Looking toward the Female Infirmary Ward from the long, glass, Conservatory hallway.
This bay would host boxcars as workers would fill them with the fruits of the factory.
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.
The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
Like looking out of an airship.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
In the barracks.
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.
The roof has been replaced since this was taken. Hopefully, that will stem the water damage.
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.
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.
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.
“It must have been beautiful once.” “Yeah, especially in the winter.”
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
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.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
The exterior of one of the administrative wings.
Fluorescent lights peel back from the walls like caterpillars, rearing up and away from the glare of the sunflower-fans.
These Twin Cities kisses
Sound like clicks and hisses.
We all tumbled down and
Drowned in the Mississippi River. -The Hold Steady
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
The old offices for the Oberon Elevator are defunct, but seem to be holding up to the brutal prairie snows and winds. Medium Format.
Looking toward a void–formerly a hallway to the mineshaft–now a hole in the ground.
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.
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.
Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.
On the top floor of one of the old wards, the slanted roofline makes the this group room more claustrophobic. Portra 160.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.
This dirt-brick building hasn’t fared well.
This building looked like some sort of office.
You can almost make out the concrete chute through the open window. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
A better view of the belt system that drives all the machinery in the plant.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
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!
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.
In a now-demolished building, a skylight begins to separate.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
Germany’s steel mill city.
Shadows of the trees from the materials yard.
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.
Since this picture was taken, the roof has totally collapsed in this area.
The world’s biggest paper machine was installed here about a century before this photo was taken. The orange in the windows is the brick building across the street–the new part of the plant.
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 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…
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 closeup of a high window in Bunge.
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.
The office was redder than the rest of the building.
The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
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.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
It’s a small world… look at it.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
The walls are separating on the adobe house…
The skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
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 few windows that escaped steel plating the last time the hospital was sealed tight to let nature roam within.
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.
Peering into a remote office at Manitoba Wheat Pool #3. Someone left their to-do list behind.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
A white star marks the landing between the Keeper’s Quarters (Second Floor) and the radiobeacon and furnace rooms (First Floor).
The front of the Art Deco hospital, complete with Art Deco gears and Crosses of Loraine!
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 Sun Rooms, or Common Rooms, reminded me of the Panopitcon turned inside-out.
A self portrait, from the early 2000s.
Wind blew taconite dust against the walls of these suspended control room, making even the glass appear to rust.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
One of the ugly modern staircases.
A familiar scene in Control Tower B, though the microphone has not been used for years.
This room’s trim was unlike the others. Perhaps it was for a live in supervisor.
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.
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.
Copper poured from this furnace and was cast by the autocaster on the right into billets.
The conveyorway that carried the sintering material to the mixing floor at the top of the plant.
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 screened water wheel, presumably for rotating the dredge once it lowered its “foot” to pivot in place.
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.
The machine shop today.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
A closeup of one of the winding machines that found itself under a leaky section of roof.
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.
Everyone loves water towers.
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.
Looking above the altar.
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 power lines follow the street, down to the mineshaft. Everything revolved around the mine, it seemed.
A different kind of tree fort.
The sidewalks are littered with rocks.
The fences helped discourage patients from throwing themselves down the stairs.
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.
The front of the power plant (right), the distillery itself (center), and the regaling house (left).
Imagine with yellow window guards are eyebrows and the open windows are the eyes. This headframe seems a bit curious.
The power gauge showed… broken.
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.
Catwalk crating, welded over the yard crane operator cab’s windows.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
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.
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
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
One of the pair of motors that powered this mine shaft. In the 1950s, this shaft was designated a rescue shaft, and was only maintained for emergencies. One reason that Cheratte built Shaft 3 nearby was because these motors and infrastructure did not have the capacity that the giant mine below called for.
To get more light into the wards, the building was narrow and had angular rooms, often staff space, perpendicular to the main hallway.
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 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.
Small stained panes and orange brick. I had no idea when I took this picture that the colored glass would turn the insides of the mill into a bright aquamarine. It was a beautiful intersection of nature and industry, in the most unintended way.
The side of the oldest building on the property, the former casket factory.
Looking from the shaft room into the room where an electric hoist would be.
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.
Judging by the bed, this room was used by employees in its later years.
The fresh snow makes the whole complex look a lot cleaner than it actually is.
This is one of the more private rooms in the old section of the hospital. It likely only accommodated one patient.
A pipe bracket seems to have rusted off of the ceiling.
The copula where molten metal would pour is on the left. It seems the whole floor was covered in ash in front of it.
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.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
The corner of Clyde on Michigan Street looked like it had been sealed a long time.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
The turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
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.
This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
Fire doors separate the buildings.
In some places in the mine shops, you can still make out narrow gauge track in the floors.
A broken scale in Isabella A, next to an old wood stove.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
Birch shadows on stone walls… have you been looking at my Christmas list?
The man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.
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 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.
Looking at the boarded exterior of the newer area of the orphanage from its 1914 section.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
Tarpaper telling time-
Wood wittling weather-
Rust rot ruins.
This is where the transformers were housed. Note the steel tracks in the floor for moving equipment around the building.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
After a little rain, the roof took on the color of the bright pink letters.
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.
An insurance office.
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.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
A bedroom, from the basement. The Dog Days are Over.
Note the maps still left on the wall.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
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.
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.
I like this picture because it shows some of the only unbroken windows at Packard.
Stairs and power lines enter the abandoned depot. Shingles slide off the rotten roof. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
I can confirm the existence of the long-rumored Federal Rectangle Research Institute labs.