An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
The top of the giant arched windows facing the Mississippi and the swing bridge.
Since this picture was taken, the roof has totally collapsed in this area.
The fresh snow makes the whole complex look a lot cleaner than it actually is.
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 familiar scene in Control Tower B, though the microphone has not been used for years.
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.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
It’s a small world… look at it.
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.
Peering into a remote office at Manitoba Wheat Pool #3. Someone left their to-do list behind.
In the barracks.
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.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
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.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
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.
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.
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.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
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.
HDR matrix panorama. Looking from the grain elevators, now doomed, toward the city between the flour mill’s water tower and tile elevator’s neon sign, the old and new economies seem almost united. Yet the financial centers rise in reality to shadow the now-abandoned industry and manufacturing. The way of things, I’m told.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
This is one of the more private rooms in the old section of the hospital. It likely only accommodated one patient.
A broken scale in Isabella A, next to an old wood stove.
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.
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.
The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
When you watch TV from the jars, it seems so much more real, they tell me.
Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.
Sheet metal over the windows. A red boot sole in the tumbleweeds. Is it inside, or outside?
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.
Fluorescent lights peel back from the walls like caterpillars, rearing up and away from the glare of the sunflower-fans.
The south wall of the power plant. Its sheet metal skin couldn’t fit around the structure, it seems… note the very strange protruding superstructure.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
The copula where molten metal would pour is on the left. It seems the whole floor was covered in ash in front of it.
The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
The side of the oldest building on the property, the former casket factory.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
In a now-demolished building, a skylight begins to separate.
Looking toward the Female Infirmary Ward from the long, glass, Conservatory hallway.
John’s wife’s face.
The old boilers of the steam plant have been mostly gutted to remove loose asbestos.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
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 stone chapel sits beside the main house and received a particularly heavy dose of gothic architectural touches.
These Twin Cities kisses
Sound like clicks and hisses.
We all tumbled down and
Drowned in the Mississippi River. -The Hold Steady
A side door on the rear of the castle that let guests out into a small stone courtyard below a tall turret.
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.
A colorful makeshift wall.
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.
“It must have been beautiful once.” “Yeah, especially in the winter.”
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 bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
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.
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
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.
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.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
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.
On the top floor of one of the old wards, the slanted roofline makes the this group room more claustrophobic. Portra 160.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
Copper poured from this furnace and was cast by the autocaster on the right into billets.
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.
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.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
The sidewalks are littered with rocks.
The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
A closeup of a high window in Bunge.
A staircase threads between the top floor and the sluices, which are in the middle of the dredge-mill.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
Birch shadows on stone walls… have you been looking at my Christmas list?
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.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
A closeup of one of the winding machines that found itself under a leaky section of roof.
The arches of the Twohy building, before some of the signs and sills were painted in 2015.
The walls are separating on the adobe house…
The exterior of one of the administrative wings.
Imagine with yellow window guards are eyebrows and the open windows are the eyes. This headframe seems a bit curious.
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 old offices for the Oberon Elevator are defunct, but seem to be holding up to the brutal prairie snows and winds. Medium Format.
Catwalk crating, welded over the yard crane operator cab’s windows.
Looking into the tunnel system from below the Women’s Ward. The tunnels were used mostly by staff to move food and laundry.
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.
Looking above the altar.
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.
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.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
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
A white star marks the landing between the Keeper’s Quarters (Second Floor) and the radiobeacon and furnace rooms (First Floor).
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 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.
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.
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 balcony used to be beautiful, you say. I say, it still is.
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.
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
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 backdrop has become the pallet for water damage and graffiti.
“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.
The front of the Art Deco hospital, complete with Art Deco gears and Crosses of Loraine!
A volcano (?) under a 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.
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 barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
Looking out of a door to nowhere at the fiery sky above.
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
Like looking out of an airship.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
In an era where smoking was ubiquitous and sexy, smoking stations had to be a part of the job, even at an explosives factory.
What time is it?
They left and took their God with ’em. Doesn’t feel too empty without ‘im, though.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
This bay would host boxcars as workers would fill them with the fruits of the factory.
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 workshop and parts room was full of light and meticulously sorted bolts, nuts, washers, gaskets, and all sorts of specialty hardware.
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.
Note the maps still left on the wall.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
The interior of one of the curved corridors that connect two wards. Note the original floor’s hand-laid tile pattern. Portra 160.
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.
A different kind of tree fort.
A self portrait, from the early 2000s.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
I can confirm the existence of the long-rumored Federal Rectangle Research Institute labs.
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 small machine shop level.
In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.
Looking toward Mitchell from its last building.
The skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
Looking from the shaft room into the room where an electric hoist would be.
In the ward for the criminally insane, this door was the most-worn. Nail scratches mark the area around the peep hole, the wood is gouged everywhere from thrown chairs and hard kicks, and a ominous blood-colored stain is visible where it dripped in the second inset from the bottom. Aside from the damage, the coloring in this section was very vibrant, though it was probably little reprieve for those who had to work here.
The 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.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
Fire doors separate the buildings.
The seminal architectural feature of the old hospital–the parts built by Illinois Central Railroad–was this staircase. Wide and graceful, adorned with paint chips and fire extinguishers, and leading from offices to surgical suites to the cafeteria.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
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.
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 very top of the Administration Tower’s spiral staircase. There’s an old antenna of some kind there, as you can see.
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.
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.
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.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
These dump cars moved copper ore to the top of the furnaces… it’s about two stories above ground level.
Looking at the boarded exterior of the newer area of the orphanage from its 1914 section.
The turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
The man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.
The engine room.
A cottage for masons infected with TB to live together.
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.
To get more light into the wards, the building was narrow and had angular rooms, often staff space, perpendicular to the main hallway.
Shuttered windows on the side of one of the collapsing bonded warehouses.
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.
The office was redder than the rest of the building.
The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
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.
This part of the roundhouse was being brought down by rain and gravity.
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.
Grimy windows and the other half of the complex trade interests and stares.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
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.
The coke plant looked more natural through a grimy window.
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 screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
The corner of Clyde on Michigan Street looked like it had been sealed a long time.
Above the offices is this little section of factory that still has strips of wood flooring. This may be where the upholstery was cut.
As if they were planning to move the furniture out of the hospital, it all sits in the main hallway in the ground floor.
From atop a concrete slap that seals the old path of Mine Shaft #3, I loop up into the hoisting room.
One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.
The power gauge showed… broken.
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.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
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 back-lit tree with the silhouette of a roof spire in the background.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
One of the few windows that escaped steel plating the last time the hospital was sealed tight to let nature roam within.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
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 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.
I like this picture because it shows some of the only unbroken windows at Packard.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
2005. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!