The skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
The side of the oldest building on the property, the former casket factory.
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.
Tarpaper telling time-
Wood wittling weather-
Rust rot ruins.
Stairs and power lines enter the abandoned depot. Shingles slide off the rotten roof. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
A screened water wheel, presumably for rotating the dredge once it lowered its “foot” to pivot in place.
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.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
This room’s trim was unlike the others. Perhaps it was for a live in supervisor.
These dump cars moved copper ore to the top of the furnaces… it’s about two stories above ground level.
This roof hasn’t budged under the weight of snow, instead it just filters-through the light onto the floor.
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
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.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
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.
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.
The arches of the Twohy building, before some of the signs and sills were painted in 2015.
A self portrait, from the early 2000s.
The backdrop has become the pallet for water damage and graffiti.
The trees were so overgrown, it was difficult to see the hotel at all from the road.
This is what the complex looks like today to the bare eye. Dull, monochrome, quiet.
“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.
The fences helped discourage patients from throwing themselves down the stairs.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
Grimy windows and the other half of the complex trade interests and stares.
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.
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.
Sheet metal over the windows. A red boot sole in the tumbleweeds. Is it inside, or outside?
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
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
This building was responsible for storing and drying the barrels. Compare right.
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 different kind of tree fort.
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.
The corner of Clyde on Michigan Street looked like it had been sealed a long time.
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.
One of my favorite shots from that year, conveyor line parts stacked and hung with Postal Service bins from decades ago.
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.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
The old boilers of the steam plant have been mostly gutted to remove loose asbestos.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
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.
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
Since this picture was taken, the roof has totally collapsed in this area.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
The service window in the Administration Tower had seen some abuse, even if it wasn’t so old.
What time is it?
The clock, which was sold after Amtrak dumped the building, was returned to the Waiting Room in 2005.
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.
Looking toward Mitchell from its last building.
The front of the power plant (right), the distillery itself (center), and the regaling house (left).
The power gauge showed… broken.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
2005. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
The barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
Some of the rotting clothes were in boxes, split long ago from moisture. Others were just heaped in piles.
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.
Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.
Everyone loves water towers.
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.
In some places in the mine shops, you can still make out narrow gauge track in the floors.
Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.
I love the big old industrial windows.
The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.
This building looked like some sort of office.
Peering into a remote office at Manitoba Wheat Pool #3. Someone left their to-do list behind.
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.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
The power lines follow the street, down to the mineshaft. Everything revolved around the mine, it seemed.
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.
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.
A cottage for masons infected with TB to live together.
The Sun Rooms, or Common Rooms, reminded me of the Panopitcon turned inside-out.
The fresh snow makes the whole complex look a lot cleaner than it actually is.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
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.
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.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
As if they were planning to move the furniture out of the hospital, it all sits in the main hallway in the ground floor.
Standing atop the dust collector, the factory breaks down into diverging patterns, processes.
The roof has been replaced since this was taken. Hopefully, that will stem the water damage.
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
Looking at the boarded exterior of the newer area of the orphanage from its 1914 section.
Shuttered windows on the side of one of the collapsing bonded warehouses.
The screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
They left and took their God with ’em. Doesn’t feel too empty without ‘im, though.
The man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.
The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
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 like this picture because it shows some of the only unbroken windows at Packard.
Energy conserving window plastic does no good when the doors are all open and the heat’s off.
A small machine shop level.
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.
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.
The office was redder than the rest of 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.
There were a few large houses on the Old Crow property where employees would live. The glen had little housing.
Wind blew taconite dust against the walls of these suspended control room, making even the glass appear to rust.
Birch shadows on stone walls… have you been looking at my Christmas list?
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
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.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
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.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
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.
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.
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 bedroom, from the basement. The Dog Days are Over.
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
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.
The beacon was installed in 1938 and removed in the mid-2000s.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
An old name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
Looking out of a door to nowhere at the fiery sky above.
This is one of the more private rooms in the old section of the hospital. It likely only accommodated one patient.
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.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
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 side door on the rear of the castle that let guests out into a small stone courtyard below a tall turret.
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.
This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
One of the few windows that escaped steel plating the last time the hospital was sealed tight to let nature roam within.
On the top floor of one of the old wards, the slanted roofline makes the this group room more claustrophobic. Portra 160.
Germany’s steel mill city.
A white star marks the landing between the Keeper’s Quarters (Second Floor) and the radiobeacon and furnace rooms (First Floor).
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
A broken scale in Isabella A, next to an old wood stove.
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.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
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.
In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.
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.
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
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
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
An insurance office.
Imagine with yellow window guards are eyebrows and the open windows are the eyes. This headframe seems a bit curious.
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.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
Fluorescent lights peel back from the walls like caterpillars, rearing up and away from the glare of the sunflower-fans.
The powerhouse had two elevated tracks behind it, one for coal and one for deliveries.
A back-lit tree with the silhouette of a roof spire in the background.
The coke plant looked more natural through a grimy window.
“It must have been beautiful once.” “Yeah, especially in the winter.”
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
The turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
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.
A staircase threads between the top floor and the sluices, which are in the middle of the dredge-mill.
A familiar scene in Control Tower B, though the microphone has not been used for years.
This bay would host boxcars as workers would fill them with the fruits of the factory.
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.
Judging by the bed, this room was used by employees in its later years.
This part of the roundhouse was being brought down by rain and gravity.
Part of the plant has been reused as a scrap metal yard.
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
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
Looking out the second-floor lighthouse office window. On this visit, the last ice of the season was slowly drifting into the harbor.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
The balcony used to be beautiful, you say. I say, it still is.
…somebody get the number of that truck! Near the Day Rooms in the Paying Patient ward.
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 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.
After a little rain, the roof took on the color of the bright pink letters.
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.
Catwalk crating, welded over the yard crane operator cab’s windows.
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.
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.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
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.
John’s wife’s face.
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.
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.
In a now-demolished building, a skylight begins to separate.
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.
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.
Redlining is the practice of shutting certain races out of neighborhoods, and it is still a big problem today. Such behaviors were a big factor in creating the need for these projects.
The walls are separating on the adobe house…
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.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
This is where the transformers were housed. Note the steel tracks in the floor for moving equipment around the building.
A closeup of one of the winding machines that found itself under a leaky section of roof.
Looking above the altar.
From atop a concrete slap that seals the old path of Mine Shaft #3, I loop up into the hoisting room.