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.
“It must have been beautiful once.” “Yeah, especially in the winter.”
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.
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.
Everyone loves water towers.
John’s wife’s face.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.
The office was redder than the rest of the building.
Taken in the last few minutes of the day. You can tell by the way that the wall is deteriorating that the windows using to have an arched top!
The Sun Rooms, or Common Rooms, reminded me of the Panopitcon turned inside-out.
The clock, which was sold after Amtrak dumped the building, was returned to the Waiting Room in 2005.
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 into the tunnel system from below the Women’s Ward. The tunnels were used mostly by staff to move food and laundry.
There were a few large houses on the Old Crow property where employees would live. The glen had little housing.
This building looked like some sort of office.
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.
A colorful makeshift wall.
A staircase threads between the top floor and the sluices, which are in the middle of the dredge-mill.
The powerhouse had two elevated tracks behind it, one for coal and one for deliveries.
Note the maps still left on the wall.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
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.
A closeup of a high window in Bunge.
I can confirm the existence of the long-rumored Federal Rectangle Research Institute labs.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
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.
This is one of the more private rooms in the old section of the hospital. It likely only accommodated one patient.
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.
Wind blew taconite dust against the walls of these suspended control room, making even the glass appear to rust.
When you watch TV from the jars, it seems so much more real, they tell me.
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.
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.
A back-lit tree with the silhouette of a roof spire in the background.
Peering into a remote office at Manitoba Wheat Pool #3. Someone left their to-do list behind.
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.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
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.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
The machine shop today.
Pozo Mine, the most menacing mine building I’ve ever seen. Black and white film, shot with the Fuji GX680, a beast of a camera.
The interior of one of the curved corridors that connect two wards. Note the original floor’s hand-laid tile pattern. Portra 160.
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.
A side door on the rear of the castle that let guests out into a small stone courtyard below a tall turret.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
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.
In the barracks.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
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.
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.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
The trees were so overgrown, it was difficult to see the hotel at all from the road.
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
A volcano (?) under a window.
The old mill (right) and power plant (left) with the new mill behind them.
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.
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
A crack in a window in a wall. What’s this doing here?
What time is it?
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
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.
They left and took their God with ’em. Doesn’t feel too empty without ‘im, though.
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 old offices for the Oberon Elevator are defunct, but seem to be holding up to the brutal prairie snows and winds. Medium Format.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
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?
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.
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.
Since this picture was taken, the roof has totally collapsed in this area.
In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.
The service window in the Administration Tower had seen some abuse, even if it wasn’t so old.
The fresh snow makes the whole complex look a lot cleaner than it actually is.
The beacon was installed in 1938 and removed in the mid-2000s.
A better view of the belt system that drives all the machinery in the plant.
The skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
Like looking out of an airship.
Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.
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.
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.
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 gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
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.
Looking toward the Female Infirmary Ward from the long, glass, Conservatory hallway.
The corner of Clyde on Michigan Street looked like it had been sealed a long time.
“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…”
A breeze and broken window has animated one of the few curtains still hanging in Nopeming as of 2015.
Looking toward Mitchell from its last building.
The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
Looking above the altar.
A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
A bedroom, from the basement. The Dog Days are Over.
A self portrait, from the early 2000s.
The backdrop has become the pallet for water damage and graffiti.
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.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across 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.
Fluorescent lights peel back from the walls like caterpillars, rearing up and away from the glare of the sunflower-fans.
The barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
It’s a small world… look at it.
The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
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.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
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.
Sheet metal over the windows. A red boot sole in the tumbleweeds. Is it inside, or outside?
This roof hasn’t budged under the weight of snow, instead it just filters-through the light onto the floor.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
The power lines follow the street, down to the mineshaft. Everything revolved around the mine, it seemed.
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
Paperwork litters the floors of the zinc mine offices.
A 1960s style TV set in a sun room at the back of the poor house. The concrete room survived the roof collapse and was full of rotten children’s books and toys. Perhaps it was where donations were sorted, or perhaps it was a nursery/orphanage area.
The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
Looking out of a door to nowhere at the fiery sky above.
Some of the rotting clothes were in boxes, split long ago from moisture. Others were just heaped in piles.
A pipe bracket seems to have rusted off of the ceiling.
After a little rain, the roof took on the color of the bright pink letters.
The stone chapel sits beside the main house and received a particularly heavy dose of gothic architectural touches.
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 sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
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.
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
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.
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.
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 different kind of tree fort.
The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
Catwalk crating, welded over the yard crane operator cab’s windows.
This ornamental stair is cast iron and used to connect all floors of the Administration building. Now it connects the first and second floor, then the third and fourth floors, with a strange cinder block and drywall barrier separating the new and old sections of the building. Note the insulation on the floor to seal heat into the lower floors that were used as offices until the hospital closed. On the corners of the staircase are lions, on the corners of the suspended section of stair are down-hanging pineapples. Set in the stairs themselves are shield motifs with slate tops.
A screened water wheel, presumably for rotating the dredge once it lowered its “foot” to pivot in place.
Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.
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.
A cottage for masons infected with TB to live together.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
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 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.
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.
One of my favorite shots from that year, conveyor line parts stacked and hung with Postal Service bins from decades ago.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
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 top of the giant arched windows facing the Mississippi and the swing bridge.
A shuttered house at the end of the block doesn’t even have boards on it anymore.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
A white star marks the landing between the Keeper’s Quarters (Second Floor) and the radiobeacon and furnace rooms (First Floor).
I love the big old industrial windows.
One of the few windows that escaped steel plating the last time the hospital was sealed tight to let nature roam within.
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.
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 from the shaft room into the room where an electric hoist would be.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
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.
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.
The side of the oldest building on the property, the former casket factory.
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.
The power gauge showed… broken.
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.
…somebody get the number of that truck! Near the Day Rooms in the Paying Patient ward.
Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
The balcony used to be beautiful, you say. I say, it still is.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
The turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
In some places in the mine shops, you can still make out narrow gauge track in the floors.
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.
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.
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.
From atop a concrete slap that seals the old path of Mine Shaft #3, I loop up into the hoisting room.
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…
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
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.
This dirt-brick building hasn’t fared well.
An insurance office.
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.
Imagine with yellow window guards are eyebrows and the open windows are the eyes. This headframe seems a bit curious.
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 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.
This building was responsible for storing and drying the barrels. Compare right.
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.
The exterior of one of the administrative wings.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
Looking out the second-floor lighthouse office window. On this visit, the last ice of the season was slowly drifting into the harbor.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
The walls are separating on the adobe house…
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.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
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.
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
Birch shadows on stone walls… have you been looking at my Christmas list?