A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
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.
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.
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.
Shuttered windows on the side of one of the collapsing bonded warehouses.
An insurance office.
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
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.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
The front of the power plant (right), the distillery itself (center), and the regaling house (left).
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.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
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?
Like looking out of an airship.
The interior of one of the curved corridors that connect two wards. Note the original floor’s hand-laid tile pattern. Portra 160.
A self portrait, from the early 2000s.
The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
One of the few windows that escaped steel plating the last time the hospital was sealed tight to let nature roam within.
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.
Energy conserving window plastic does no good when the doors are all open and the heat’s off.
Peering into a remote office at Manitoba Wheat Pool #3. Someone left their to-do list behind.
To get more light into the wards, the building was narrow and had angular rooms, often staff space, perpendicular to the main hallway.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
The side of the oldest building on the property, the former casket factory.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
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.
The office was redder than the rest of the building.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
“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…”
Looking at the boarded exterior of the newer area of the orphanage from its 1914 section.
Stairs and power lines enter the abandoned depot. Shingles slide off the rotten roof. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
An old name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
The sidewalks are littered with rocks.
The workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
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.
A side door on the rear of the castle that let guests out into a small stone courtyard below a tall turret.
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.
A white star marks the landing between the Keeper’s Quarters (Second Floor) and the radiobeacon and furnace rooms (First Floor).
A cottage for masons infected with TB to live together.
I like this picture because it shows some of the only unbroken windows at Packard.
Grimy windows and the other half of the complex trade interests and stares.
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.
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.
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
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.
In a now-demolished building, a skylight begins to separate.
Copper poured from this furnace and was cast by the autocaster on the right into billets.
Imagine with yellow window guards are eyebrows and the open windows are the eyes. This headframe seems a bit curious.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
The turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
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 better view of the belt system that drives all the machinery in the plant.
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.
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.
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 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 mostly-empty distilling room is easy to spot from the outside because of the distinctive round window.
These Twin Cities kisses
Sound like clicks and hisses.
We all tumbled down and
Drowned in the Mississippi River. -The Hold Steady
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 out the second-floor lighthouse office window. On this visit, the last ice of the season was slowly drifting into the harbor.
John’s wife’s face.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
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 front of the Art Deco hospital, complete with Art Deco gears and Crosses of Loraine!
A bedroom, from the basement. The Dog Days are Over.
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.
Judging by the bed, this room was used by employees in its later years.
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.
The fences helped discourage patients from throwing themselves down the stairs.
The bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
A volcano (?) under a window.
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.
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 barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
The machine shop today.
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.
The power gauge showed… broken.
The screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
A crack in a window in a wall. What’s this doing here?
The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
Everyone loves water towers.
Tarpaper telling time-
Wood wittling weather-
Rust rot ruins.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
Looking toward a void–formerly a hallway to the mineshaft–now a hole in the ground.
Fire doors separate the buildings.
Looking up to the second floor of the Nitrating House, where cotton would be soaked in nitric acid. These brought cotton into the building.
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.
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.
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.
Since this picture was taken, the roof has totally collapsed in this area.
Part of the plant has been reused as a scrap metal yard.
The old mill (right) and power plant (left) with the new mill behind them.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
The old offices for the Oberon Elevator are defunct, but seem to be holding up to the brutal prairie snows and winds. Medium Format.
This building looked like some sort of office.
This bay would host boxcars as workers would fill them with the fruits of the factory.
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
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.
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 control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
This room’s trim was unlike the others. Perhaps it was for a live in supervisor.
In its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…
The trees were so overgrown, it was difficult to see the hotel at all from the road.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
A pipe bracket seems to have rusted off of the ceiling.
The exterior of one of the administrative wings.
…somebody get the number of that truck! Near the Day Rooms in the Paying Patient ward.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
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.
The clock, which was sold after Amtrak dumped the building, was returned to the Waiting Room in 2005.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
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.
A colorful makeshift wall.
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.
This is where the transformers were housed. Note the steel tracks in the floor for moving equipment around the building.
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.
This part of the roundhouse was being brought down by rain and gravity.
Note the maps still left on the wall.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
Standing atop the dust collector, the factory breaks down into diverging patterns, processes.
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.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
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.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
Looking into a common from the grounds. The block glass makes the interior seem dreamlike and distorted. Note the poor condition of the bricks around the window.
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.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.
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 sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
Looking out of a door to nowhere at the fiery sky above.
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.
In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
The arches of the Twohy building, before some of the signs and sills were painted in 2015.
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.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
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.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head 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.
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.
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
The man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
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.
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.
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.
The powerhouse had two elevated tracks behind it, one for coal and one for deliveries.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.
A staircase threads between the top floor and the sluices, which are in the middle of the dredge-mill.
As if they were planning to move the furniture out of the hospital, it all sits in the main hallway in the ground floor.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
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
Fluorescent lights peel back from the walls like caterpillars, rearing up and away from the glare of the sunflower-fans.
Looking from the powerhouse across to the old Electrical Assembly side of the plant that manufactured products like thermostats. Most of the complex is connected by skyway and tunnel systems.
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 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.
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.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
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.
From atop a concrete slap that seals the old path of Mine Shaft #3, I loop up into the hoisting room.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
Shadows of the trees from the materials yard.
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.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
Paperwork litters the floors of the zinc mine offices.
The balcony used to be beautiful, you say. I say, it still is.
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.
Wind blew taconite dust against the walls of these suspended control room, making even the glass appear to rust.
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 backdrop has become the pallet for water damage and graffiti.
In some places in the mine shops, you can still make out narrow gauge track in the floors.
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.
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.
They left and took their God with ’em. Doesn’t feel too empty without ‘im, though.
The top of the giant arched windows facing the Mississippi and the swing bridge.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
A back-lit tree with the silhouette of a roof spire in the background.
Some of the rotting clothes were in boxes, split long ago from moisture. Others were just heaped in piles.
A familiar scene in Control Tower B, though the microphone has not been used for years.
“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.
Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.
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.