The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
“It must have been beautiful once.” “Yeah, especially in the winter.”
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 window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
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 interior of one of the curved corridors that connect two wards. Note the original floor’s hand-laid tile pattern. Portra 160.
The fresh snow makes the whole complex look a lot cleaner than it actually is.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
Birch shadows on stone walls… have you been looking at my Christmas list?
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
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.
Standing atop the dust collector, the factory breaks down into diverging patterns, processes.
Looking at the boarded exterior of the newer area of the orphanage from its 1914 section.
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.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
Fluorescent lights peel back from the walls like caterpillars, rearing up and away from the glare of the sunflower-fans.
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.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
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.
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
The sidewalks are littered with rocks.
“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
Judging by the bed, this room was used by employees in its later years.
Negative twenty looks much warmer in retrospect, wouldn’t you say? Taken through the window of a gantry crane cab.
A sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
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 toward a void–formerly a hallway to the mineshaft–now a hole in the ground.
Shadows of the trees from the materials yard.
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 above the altar.
In its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…
The office was redder than the rest of the building.
A cottage for masons infected with TB to live together.
Grimy windows and the other half of the complex trade interests and stares.
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.
Looking out of a door to nowhere at the fiery sky above.
This part of the roundhouse was being brought down by rain and gravity.
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?
Shuttered windows on the side of one of the collapsing bonded warehouses.
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 volcano (?) under a window.
A white star marks the landing between the Keeper’s Quarters (Second Floor) and the radiobeacon and furnace rooms (First Floor).
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
This building was responsible for storing and drying the barrels. Compare right.
Tarpaper telling time-
Wood wittling weather-
Rust rot ruins.
I can confirm the existence of the long-rumored Federal Rectangle Research Institute labs.
A pipe bracket seems to have rusted off of the ceiling.
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
In the barracks.
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.
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 engine room.
The mostly-empty distilling room is easy to spot from the outside because of the distinctive round window.
The top of the giant arched windows facing the Mississippi and the swing bridge.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
This roof hasn’t budged under the weight of snow, instead it just filters-through the light onto the floor.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
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.
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.
A familiar scene in Control Tower B, though the microphone has not been used for years.
A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
Part of the Laundry Building with an ugly archway between rooms. Note that even this building had a nurse’s station with shatterproof windows. Laundry was done by supervised patients as part of their Occupational Therapy and the staff took no chances.
This dirt-brick building hasn’t fared well.
A back-lit tree with the silhouette of a roof spire in the background.
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
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.
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.
A shuttered house at the end of the block doesn’t even have boards on it anymore.
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.
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 bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
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 different kind of tree fort.
Looking toward Mitchell from its last building.
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.
The coke plant looked more natural through a grimy window.
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
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.
Germany’s steel mill city.
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.
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 balcony used to be beautiful, you say. I say, it still is.
The old offices for the Oberon Elevator are defunct, but seem to be holding up to the brutal prairie snows and winds. Medium Format.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
Looking out the second-floor lighthouse office window. On this visit, the last ice of the season was slowly drifting into the harbor.
Looking toward the Female Infirmary Ward from the long, glass, Conservatory hallway.
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
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.
A closeup of one of the winding machines that found itself under a leaky section of roof.
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 beacon was installed in 1938 and removed in the mid-2000s.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
Another perfect Indianan sunset alights like a bird on the tops of the vent houses and tree-packed smokestacks.
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 service window in the Administration Tower had seen some abuse, even if it wasn’t so old.
The conveyorway that carried the sintering material to the mixing floor at the top of the plant.
It’s a small world… look at it.
A self portrait, from the early 2000s.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
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.
A bedroom, from the basement. The Dog Days are Over.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
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 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.
A broken scale in Isabella A, next to an old wood stove.
The powerhouse had two elevated tracks behind it, one for coal and one for deliveries.
A breeze and broken window has animated one of the few curtains still hanging in Nopeming as of 2015.
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.
The Sun Rooms, or Common Rooms, reminded me of the Panopitcon turned inside-out.
A closeup of a high window in Bunge.
In an era where smoking was ubiquitous and sexy, smoking stations had to be a part of the job, even at an explosives factory.
Energy conserving window plastic does no good when the doors are all open and the heat’s off.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
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.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
The old mill (right) and power plant (left) with the new mill behind them.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
A colorful makeshift wall.
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.
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.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
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.
A typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
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.
Fire doors separate the buildings.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
Sheet metal over the windows. A red boot sole in the tumbleweeds. Is it inside, or outside?
This room’s trim was unlike the others. Perhaps it was for a live in supervisor.
The exterior of one of the administrative wings.
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.
Catwalk crating, welded over the yard crane operator cab’s windows.
The skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
This section of the production floor was constantly dripping. Someone had laid down giant plastic sheeting to attempt to protect the lower floors, but it hasn’t worked.
This 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.
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.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
Some of the rotting clothes were in boxes, split long ago from moisture. Others were just heaped in piles.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
They left and took their God with ’em. Doesn’t feel too empty without ‘im, though.
The side of the oldest building on the property, the former casket factory.
The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
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.
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
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.
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 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 company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
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.
From atop a concrete slap that seals the old path of Mine Shaft #3, I loop up into the hoisting room.
An insurance office.
This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.
The front of the power plant (right), the distillery itself (center), and the regaling house (left).
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 very top of the Administration Tower’s spiral staircase. There’s an old antenna of some kind there, as you can see.
This bay would host boxcars as workers would fill them with the fruits of the factory.
The man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.
A better view of the belt system that drives all the machinery in the plant.
Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
I love the big old industrial windows.
The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
Stairs and power lines enter the abandoned depot. Shingles slide off the rotten roof. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
The power lines follow the street, down to the mineshaft. Everything revolved around the mine, it seemed.
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 small machine shop level.
Looking into the tunnel system from below the Women’s Ward. The tunnels were used mostly by staff to move food and laundry.
…somebody get the number of that truck! Near the Day Rooms in the Paying Patient ward.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
John’s wife’s face.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
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.
One of the few windows that escaped steel plating the last time the hospital was sealed tight to let nature roam within.
To get more light into the wards, the building was narrow and had angular rooms, often staff space, perpendicular to the main hallway.
In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
The four buildings seen here comprise almost all of the notable remaining structures.
This is where the transformers were housed. Note the steel tracks in the floor for moving equipment around the building.
Looking into the engine works from the concrete addition.
The power gauge showed… broken.