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 pipe bracket seems to have rusted off of the ceiling.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
This building was responsible for storing and drying the barrels. Compare right.
To get more light into the wards, the building was narrow and had angular rooms, often staff space, perpendicular to the main hallway.
The man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.
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.
Looking down at the Port Arthur Ore Dock from Manitoba Pool Elevator #3. The conveyor belts are gone and King Elevator is in the far distance.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
Looking into the tunnel system from below the Women’s Ward. The tunnels were used mostly by staff to move food and laundry.
The beacon was installed in 1938 and removed in the mid-2000s.
Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.
I like this picture because it shows some of the only unbroken windows at Packard.
The side of the oldest building on the property, the former casket factory.
This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.
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.
Imagine with yellow window guards are eyebrows and the open windows are the eyes. This headframe seems a bit curious.
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.
An old name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
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 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.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
A side door on the rear of the castle that let guests out into a small stone courtyard below a tall turret.
These Twin Cities kisses
Sound like clicks and hisses.
We all tumbled down and
Drowned in the Mississippi River. -The Hold Steady
Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.
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.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
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.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
The roof has been replaced since this was taken. Hopefully, that will stem the water damage.
Looking above the altar.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
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.
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.
Some of the rotting clothes were in boxes, split long ago from moisture. Others were just heaped in piles.
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.
This is what the complex looks like today to the bare eye. Dull, monochrome, quiet.
An insurance office.
The clock, which was sold after Amtrak dumped the building, was returned to the Waiting Room in 2005.
In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.
The corner of Clyde on Michigan Street looked like it had been sealed a long time.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
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.
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
This bay would host boxcars as workers would fill them with the fruits of the factory.
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
An interesting crane in the back of the machine shop. It seems very light duty, so I am not certain what it was used for.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
These dump cars moved copper ore to the top of the furnaces… it’s about two stories above ground level.
Copper poured from this furnace and was cast by the autocaster on the right into billets.
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.
What time is it?
A broken scale in Isabella A, next to an old wood stove.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
This part of the roundhouse was being brought down by rain and gravity.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
Looking at the boarded exterior of the newer area of the orphanage from its 1914 section.
A familiar scene in Control Tower B, though the microphone has not been used for years.
This section of the production floor was constantly dripping. Someone had laid down giant plastic sheeting to attempt to protect the lower floors, but it hasn’t worked.
The 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.
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.
The arches of the Twohy building, before some of the signs and sills were painted in 2015.
This is where the transformers were housed. Note the steel tracks in the floor for moving equipment around the building.
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.
Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
Shadows of the trees from the materials yard.
Fire doors separate the buildings.
Looking toward Mitchell from its last building.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these 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.
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
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.
The trees were so overgrown, it was difficult to see the hotel at all from the road.
The skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
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.
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.
Looking toward the Female Infirmary Ward from the long, glass, Conservatory hallway.
One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.
From atop a concrete slap that seals the old path of Mine Shaft #3, I loop up into the hoisting room.
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.
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.
The engine room.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
The very top of the Administration Tower’s spiral staircase. There’s an old antenna of some kind there, as you can see.
There were a few large houses on the Old Crow property where employees would live. The glen had little housing.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
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.
As if they were planning to move the furniture out of the hospital, it all sits in the main hallway in the ground floor.
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.
It’s a small world… look at it.
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 its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…
A better view of the belt system that drives all the machinery in the plant.
“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.
A screened water wheel, presumably for rotating the dredge once it lowered its “foot” to pivot in place.
The old boilers of the steam plant have been mostly gutted to remove loose asbestos.
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…
The exterior of one of the administrative wings.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
This building looked like some sort of office.
A colorful makeshift wall.
Because Oshkosh is close to Green Bay, the Packers are very popular there. Everywhere in the plant there were traces of ‘Cheese Head’ culture.
The Sun Rooms, or Common Rooms, reminded me of the Panopitcon turned inside-out.
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.
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
Tarpaper telling time-
Wood wittling weather-
Rust rot ruins.
Everyone loves water towers.
Fluorescent lights peel back from the walls like caterpillars, rearing up and away from the glare of the sunflower-fans.
John’s wife’s face.
One of the ugly modern staircases.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
A small machine shop level.
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.
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.
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 room’s trim was unlike the others. Perhaps it was for a live in supervisor.
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 service window in the Administration Tower had seen some abuse, even if it wasn’t so old.
The barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
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.
Paperwork litters the floors of the zinc mine offices.
The walls are separating on the adobe house…
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.
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.
Grimy windows and the other half of the complex trade interests and stares.
The powerhouse had two elevated tracks behind it, one for coal and one for deliveries.
This roof hasn’t budged under the weight of snow, instead it just filters-through the light onto the floor.
The stone chapel sits beside the main house and received a particularly heavy dose of gothic architectural touches.
Sheet metal over the windows. A red boot sole in the tumbleweeds. Is it inside, or outside?
Note the maps still left on the wall.
When not running 24 hours a day during a campaign, the plant was being repaired. Every sugar mill has a large shop and parts room for those times.
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.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
The conveyorway that carried the sintering material to the mixing floor at the top of the plant.
You can almost make out the concrete chute through the open window. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
This wide skyway connected two of the inner factory buildings, where parts would have to be transported to keep the operation moving, which is why it is much wider than other bridges in the plant.
The 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.
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.
In some places in the mine shops, you can still make out narrow gauge track in the floors.
Shuttered windows on the side of one of the collapsing bonded warehouses.
The backdrop has become the pallet for water damage and graffiti.
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.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
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 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 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.
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 from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
The Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
The front of the Art Deco hospital, complete with Art Deco gears and Crosses of Loraine!
A staircase threads between the top floor and the sluices, which are in the middle of the dredge-mill.
A closeup of a high window in Bunge.
The front of the power plant (right), the distillery itself (center), and the regaling house (left).
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.
The sidewalks are littered with rocks.
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
The power lines follow the street, down to the mineshaft. Everything revolved around the mine, it seemed.
They left and took their God with ’em. Doesn’t feel too empty without ‘im, though.
A breeze and broken window has animated one of the few curtains still hanging in Nopeming as of 2015.
This is one of the more private rooms in the old section of the hospital. It likely only accommodated one patient.
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
“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…”
The old mill (right) and power plant (left) with the new mill behind them.
A volcano (?) under a window.
The turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
Looking out of a door to nowhere at the fiery sky above.
The coke plant looked more natural through a grimy window.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
The machine shop today.
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.
Like looking out of an airship.
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
The fresh snow makes the whole complex look a lot cleaner than it actually is.
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 power gauge showed… broken.
In the barracks.
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
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.
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.
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.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
The top of the giant arched windows facing the Mississippi and the swing bridge.
A self portrait, from the early 2000s.
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.
Standing atop the dust collector, the factory breaks down into diverging patterns, processes.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.