HDR matrix panorama. Looking from the grain elevators, now doomed, toward the city between the flour mill’s water tower and tile elevator’s neon sign, the old and new economies seem almost united. Yet the financial centers rise in reality to shadow the now-abandoned industry and manufacturing. The way of things, I’m told.
In the 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 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.
The service window in the Administration Tower had seen some abuse, even if it wasn’t so old.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
Standing atop the dust collector, the factory breaks down into diverging patterns, processes.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
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.
After crushing, these machines would float lighter material to the surface of the water, where it would be skimmed and discarded. Gold and silver laden stone would sink to the bottom, where it was collected for the next stage of processing. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
The 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.
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.
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.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
In some places in the mine shops, you can still make out narrow gauge track in the floors.
The roof has been replaced since this was taken. Hopefully, that will stem the water damage.
The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
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.
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 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.
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.
These dump cars moved copper ore to the top of the furnaces… it’s about two stories above ground level.
Since this picture was taken, the roof has totally collapsed in this area.
The arches of the Twohy building, before some of the signs and sills were painted in 2015.
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 skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
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
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 headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
The front of the power plant (right), the distillery itself (center), and the regaling house (left).
I like this picture because it shows some of the only unbroken windows at Packard.
Catwalk crating, welded over the yard crane operator cab’s windows.
The exterior of one of the administrative wings.
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.
Like looking out of an airship.
Fire doors separate the buildings.
In the barracks.
An insurance office.
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.
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.
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.
In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.
A broken scale in Isabella A, next to an old wood stove.
One of my favorite shots from that year, conveyor line parts stacked and hung with Postal Service bins from decades ago.
A breeze and broken window has animated one of the few curtains still hanging in Nopeming as of 2015.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
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.
“It must have been beautiful once.” “Yeah, especially in the winter.”
The conveyorway that carried the sintering material to the mixing floor at the top of the plant.
This bay would host boxcars as workers would fill them with the fruits of the factory.
The machine shop today.
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.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
Note the maps still left on the wall.
Windows provided the 250-some workers with fresh air and light, and helped to keep flour dust from building up in the air, helping to prevent explosions. Today, machines control air flow better without windows, so they were bricked.
The office was redder than the rest of the building.
I love the big old industrial windows.
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.
This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.
A volcano (?) under a window.
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.
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.
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.
An old name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
A screened water wheel, presumably for rotating the dredge once it lowered its “foot” to pivot in place.
The Sun Rooms, or Common Rooms, reminded me of the Panopitcon turned inside-out.
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 old offices for the Oberon Elevator are defunct, but seem to be holding up to the brutal prairie snows and winds. Medium Format.
“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 crack in a window in a wall. What’s this doing here?
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
A self portrait, from the early 2000s.
Looking toward the Female Infirmary Ward from the long, glass, Conservatory hallway.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
Looking above the altar.
The powerhouse had two elevated tracks behind it, one for coal and one for deliveries.
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.
The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
Tarpaper telling time-
Wood wittling weather-
Rust rot ruins.
Because Oshkosh is close to Green Bay, the Packers are very popular there. Everywhere in the plant there were traces of ‘Cheese Head’ culture.
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.
2005. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
On the top floor of one of the old wards, the slanted roofline makes the this group room more claustrophobic. Portra 160.
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 top of the giant arched windows facing the Mississippi and the swing bridge.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
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.
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
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.
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?
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.
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.
The fresh snow makes the whole complex look a lot cleaner than it actually is.
Shadows of the trees from the materials yard.
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.
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.
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.
Grimy windows and the other half of the complex trade interests and stares.
To get more light into the wards, the building was narrow and had angular rooms, often staff space, perpendicular to the main hallway.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
John’s wife’s face.
This is where the transformers were housed. Note the steel tracks in the floor for moving equipment around the building.
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.
A white star marks the landing between the Keeper’s Quarters (Second Floor) and the radiobeacon and furnace rooms (First Floor).
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
A cottage for masons infected with TB to live together.
The backdrop has become the pallet for water damage and graffiti.
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.
A bedroom, from the basement. The Dog Days are Over.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
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!
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 up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
In a now-demolished building, a skylight begins to separate.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
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.
A colorful makeshift wall.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
Looking into the tunnel system from below the Women’s Ward. The tunnels were used mostly by staff to move food and laundry.
This building was responsible for storing and drying the barrels. Compare right.
Shuttered windows on the side of one of the collapsing bonded warehouses.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
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.
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.
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.
You can almost make out the concrete chute through the open window. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
The stone chapel sits beside the main house and received a particularly heavy dose of gothic architectural touches.
Imagine with yellow window guards are eyebrows and the open windows are the eyes. This headframe seems a bit curious.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
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.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
I can confirm the existence of the long-rumored Federal Rectangle Research Institute labs.
The old boilers of the steam plant have been mostly gutted to remove loose asbestos.
The sidewalks are littered with rocks.
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.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
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.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
Part of the plant has been reused as a scrap metal yard.
The coke plant looked more natural through a grimy window.
The clock, which was sold after Amtrak dumped the building, was returned to the Waiting Room in 2005.
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
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.
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.
Stairs and power lines enter the abandoned depot. Shingles slide off the rotten roof. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
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.
The old mill (right) and power plant (left) with the new mill behind them.
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 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.
A shuttered house at the end of the block doesn’t even have boards on it anymore.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
As if they were planning to move the furniture out of the hospital, it all sits in the main hallway in the ground floor.
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.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
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.
Looking up to the second floor of the Nitrating House, where cotton would be soaked in nitric acid. These brought cotton into the building.
When you watch TV from the jars, it seems so much more real, they tell me.
This building looked like some sort of office.
The beacon was installed in 1938 and removed in the mid-2000s.
This dirt-brick building hasn’t fared well.
The screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
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.
Paperwork litters the floors of the zinc mine offices.
The walls are separating on the adobe house…
There were a few large houses on the Old Crow property where employees would live. The glen had little housing.
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.
Judging by the bed, this room was used by employees in its later years.
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
A side door on the rear of the castle that let guests out into a small stone courtyard below a tall turret.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
A closeup of one of the winding machines that found itself under a leaky section of roof.
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 gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
Fluorescent lights peel back from the walls like caterpillars, rearing up and away from the glare of the sunflower-fans.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
The front of the Art Deco hospital, complete with Art Deco gears and Crosses of Loraine!
This room’s trim was unlike the others. Perhaps it was for a live in supervisor.
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.
The interior of one of the curved corridors that connect two wards. Note the original floor’s hand-laid tile pattern. Portra 160.
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
Sheet metal over the windows. A red boot sole in the tumbleweeds. Is it inside, or outside?
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.