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.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
One of the pair of motors that powered this mine shaft. In the 1950s, this shaft was designated a rescue shaft, and was only maintained for emergencies. One reason that Cheratte built Shaft 3 nearby was because these motors and infrastructure did not have the capacity that the giant mine below called for.
The stonework was done by a local handyman of sorts, who was also a guard at a nearby insane asylum. He did a great job, it seems to me.
This building was responsible for storing and drying the barrels. Compare right.
The power gauge showed… broken.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
After a little rain, the roof took on the color of the bright pink letters.
A cottage for masons infected with TB to live together.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
The engine room.
A broken scale in Isabella A, next to an old wood stove.
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.
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
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!
Like looking out of an airship.
When I looked out of the old mill, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was holding it all up.
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.
“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 Sun Rooms, or Common Rooms, reminded me of the Panopitcon turned inside-out.
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.
A better view of the belt system that drives all the machinery in the plant.
A breeze and broken window has animated one of the few curtains still hanging in Nopeming as of 2015.
One of the few windows that escaped steel plating the last time the hospital was sealed tight to let nature roam within.
I love the big old industrial windows.
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.
This is where the transformers were housed. Note the steel tracks in the floor for moving equipment around the building.
The coke plant looked more natural through a grimy window.
From atop a concrete slap that seals the old path of Mine Shaft #3, I loop up into the hoisting room.
This roof hasn’t budged under the weight of snow, instead it just filters-through the light onto the floor.
The service window in the Administration Tower had seen some abuse, even if it wasn’t so old.
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.
A bedroom, from the basement. The Dog Days are Over.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
The side of the oldest building on the property, the former casket factory.
The office was redder than the rest of the building.
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.
Judging by the bed, this room was used by employees in its later years.
This dirt-brick building hasn’t fared well.
The balcony used to be beautiful, you say. I say, it still is.
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.
Imagine with yellow window guards are eyebrows and the open windows are the eyes. This headframe seems a bit curious.
This bay would host boxcars as workers would fill them with the fruits of the factory.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
There were a few large houses on the Old Crow property where employees would live. The glen had little housing.
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.
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 small machine shop level.
Looking up to the second floor of the Nitrating House, where cotton would be soaked in nitric acid. These brought cotton into the building.
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.
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.
A white star marks the landing between the Keeper’s Quarters (Second Floor) and the radiobeacon and furnace rooms (First Floor).
The powerhouse had two elevated tracks behind it, one for coal and one for deliveries.
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.
These dump cars moved copper ore to the top of the furnaces… it’s about two stories above ground level.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
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 conveyorway that carried the sintering material to the mixing floor at the top of the plant.
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.
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 screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
This is what the complex looks like today to the bare eye. Dull, monochrome, quiet.
The arches of the Twohy building, before some of the signs and sills were painted in 2015.
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 buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
The fences helped discourage patients from throwing themselves down the stairs.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
Energy conserving window plastic does no good when the doors are all open and the heat’s off.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
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.
…somebody get the number of that truck! Near the Day Rooms in the Paying Patient ward.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
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 building looked like some sort of office.
The machine shop today.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
Looking out of a door to nowhere at the fiery sky above.
The exterior of one of the administrative wings.
On the top floor of one of the old wards, the slanted roofline makes the this group room more claustrophobic. Portra 160.
I like this picture because it shows some of the only unbroken windows at Packard.
A pipe bracket seems to have rusted off of the ceiling.
Since this picture was taken, the roof has totally collapsed in this area.
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.
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.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
A familiar scene in Control Tower B, though the microphone has not been used for years.
2005. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
In the barracks.
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.
Shuttered windows on the side of one of the collapsing bonded warehouses.
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
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.
This is one of the more private rooms in the old section of the hospital. It likely only accommodated one patient.
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.
You can almost make out the concrete chute through the open window. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
In a now-demolished building, a skylight begins to separate.
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.
Some of the rotting clothes were in boxes, split long ago from moisture. Others were just heaped in piles.
The front of the Art Deco hospital, complete with Art Deco gears and Crosses of Loraine!
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.
Everyone loves water towers.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
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…
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
When you watch TV from the jars, it seems so much more real, they tell me.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
Looking above the altar.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
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.
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.
Looking toward Mitchell from its last building.
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.
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.
Grimy windows and the other half of the complex trade interests and stares.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
“It must have been beautiful once.” “Yeah, especially in the winter.”
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.
It’s a small world… look at it.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
In an era where smoking was ubiquitous and sexy, smoking stations had to be a part of the job, even at an explosives factory.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
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.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
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.
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.
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 south wall of the power plant. Its sheet metal skin couldn’t fit around the structure, it seems… note the very strange protruding superstructure.
The fresh snow makes the whole complex look a lot cleaner than it actually is.
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.
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.
They left and took their God with ’em. Doesn’t feel too empty without ‘im, though.
Tarpaper telling time-
Wood wittling weather-
Rust rot ruins.
The clock, which was sold after Amtrak dumped the building, was returned to the Waiting Room in 2005.
The bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
The copula where molten metal would pour is on the left. It seems the whole floor was covered in ash in front of it.
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.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
A crack in a window in a wall. What’s this doing here?
Note the maps still left on the wall.
John’s wife’s face.
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.
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.
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 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 corner of Clyde on Michigan Street looked like it had been sealed a long time.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
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 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.
In some places in the mine shops, you can still make out narrow gauge track in the floors.
Sheet metal over the windows. A red boot sole in the tumbleweeds. Is it inside, or outside?
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.
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.
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.
A side door on the rear of the castle that let guests out into a small stone courtyard below a tall turret.
Stairs and power lines enter the abandoned depot. Shingles slide off the rotten roof. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
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.
The sidewalks are littered with rocks.
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
The top of the giant arched windows facing the Mississippi and the swing bridge.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
The trees were so overgrown, it was difficult to see the hotel at all from the road.
Found in one of the rooms that hosted an inpatient chemical dependency unit in its later years. Connect the dots yourself.
A closeup of one of the winding machines that found itself under a leaky section of roof.
The walls are separating on the adobe house…
A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
The roof has been replaced since this was taken. Hopefully, that will stem the water damage.
The skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
One of my favorite shots from that year, conveyor line parts stacked and hung with Postal Service bins from decades ago.
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 mostly-empty distilling room is easy to spot from the outside because of the distinctive round window.
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.
Paperwork litters the floors of the zinc mine offices.
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.
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.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
In its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…