The balcony used to be beautiful, you say. I say, it still is.
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.
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.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
Part of the plant has been reused as a scrap metal yard.
To get more light into the wards, the building was narrow and had angular rooms, often staff space, perpendicular to the main hallway.
A closeup of a high window in Bunge.
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.
Looking through the hole where a glass pane once was at the Columbus Mine ruins, just south of Animas Forks. It was quiet when I took the picture, but for the gurgle of the nearby Animas River.
They left and took their God with ’em. Doesn’t feel too empty without ‘im, though.
Chicago looks in as we look out, for holes and trolls where anything goes.
I can confirm the existence of the long-rumored Federal Rectangle Research Institute labs.
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.
Originally, this part of the dock was reserved for the weather station.
A screened water wheel, presumably for rotating the dredge once it lowered its “foot” to pivot in place.
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
In the barracks.
The office building was fancy compared to the utilitarian factory behind it. My favorite part was the logo crown.
From atop a concrete slap that seals the old path of Mine Shaft #3, I loop up into the hoisting room.
An old name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
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 old offices for the Oberon Elevator are defunct, but seem to be holding up to the brutal prairie snows and winds. Medium Format.
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 exterior of one of the administrative wings.
The sidewalks are littered with rocks.
Everyone loves water towers.
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.
I love the big old industrial windows.
A breeze and broken window has animated one of the few curtains still hanging in Nopeming as of 2015.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
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.
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.
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.
I wonder when fluorescent lighting was added.
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.
As if they were planning to move the furniture out of the hospital, it all sits in the main hallway in the ground floor.
This building was responsible for storing and drying the barrels. Compare right.
The copula where molten metal would pour is on the left. It seems the whole floor was covered in ash in front of it.
Tarpaper telling time-
Wood wittling weather-
Rust rot ruins.
The bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
Looking up to the second floor of the Nitrating House, where cotton would be soaked in nitric acid. These brought cotton into the building.
Pozo Mine, the most menacing mine building I’ve ever seen. Black and white film, shot with the Fuji GX680, a beast of a camera.
The 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.
The buildings were level with one another, so one could look through as many as a dozen factory floors from one window.
The company labs. If you can believe it, this area is even more destroyed today.
Looking out of a door to nowhere at the fiery sky above.
Looking toward Mitchell from its last building.
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…
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!
“It must have been beautiful once.” “Yeah, especially in the winter.”
The walls are separating on the adobe house…
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.
Sheet metal over the windows. A red boot sole in the tumbleweeds. Is it inside, or outside?
The top of the giant arched windows facing the Mississippi and the swing bridge.
This roof hasn’t budged under the weight of snow, instead it just filters-through the light onto the floor.
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 building looked like some sort of office.
The old boilers of the steam plant have been mostly gutted to remove loose asbestos.
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.
The coke plant looked more natural through a grimy window.
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.
A broken scale in Isabella A, next to an old wood stove.
The interior of one of the curved corridors that connect two wards. Note the original floor’s hand-laid tile pattern. Portra 160.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
The office was redder than the rest of the building.
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
A side door on the rear of the castle that let guests out into a small stone courtyard below a tall turret.
…somebody get the number of that truck! Near the Day Rooms in the Paying Patient ward.
“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 man behind the curtain watches, but doesn’t say anything. Probably the smartest one in the room.
I revisited the mill years after my documentary. Now it is even more destroyed and surrounded by new fences.
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.
A closeup of one of the winding machines that found itself under a leaky section of roof.
There were a few large houses on the Old Crow property where employees would live. The glen had little housing.
This bay would host boxcars as workers would fill them with the fruits of the factory.
The building on the right was where parts not assembled onto vehicles would be set in crates for shipment.
The front of the power plant (right), the distillery itself (center), and the regaling house (left).
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.
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.
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.
The Sun Rooms, or Common Rooms, reminded me of the Panopitcon turned inside-out.
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.
Germany’s steel mill city.
In a now-demolished building, a skylight begins to separate.
Looking out of the American diesel crane at the gantry crane that ran the length of the dock.
One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.
In some places in the mine shops, you can still make out narrow gauge track in the floors.
The stone chapel sits beside the main house and received a particularly heavy dose of gothic architectural touches.
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.
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.
A bedroom, from the basement. The Dog Days are Over.
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
2005. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
A control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
Paperwork litters the floors of the zinc mine offices.
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
Note the maps still left on the wall.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
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.
The side of the oldest building on the property, the former casket factory.
The mostly-empty distilling room is easy to spot from the outside because of the distinctive round window.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
A skyway 100 feet above this office crumbled one day. This is what happened when those two met. High-impact love.
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.
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.
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.
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 engine room.
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
Looking toward a void–formerly a hallway to the mineshaft–now a hole in the ground.
In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.
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 shuttered house at the end of the block doesn’t even have boards on it anymore.
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.
Birch shadows on stone walls… have you been looking at my Christmas list?
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.
After a little rain, the roof took on the color of the bright pink letters.
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 trees were so overgrown, it was difficult to see the hotel at all from the road.
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 typical room in the barracks, reinforced from mortars and light shelling, possibly.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
This is one of the more private rooms in the old section of the hospital. It likely only accommodated one patient.
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 shaft room into the room where an electric hoist would be.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
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 skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
Wide stairs between the ground, the mine shaft, and the dry house.
Looking from the powerhouse across to the old Electrical Assembly side of the plant that manufactured products like thermostats. Most of the complex is connected by skyway and tunnel systems.
A bunk room, minus the bunks.
A pipe bracket seems to have rusted off of the ceiling.
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 power gauge showed… broken.
This is where the transformers were housed. Note the steel tracks in the floor for moving equipment around the building.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
Looking at the boarded exterior of the newer area of the orphanage from its 1914 section.
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.
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.
“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.
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.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
In this ghost town where there were brick, wooden, and dirt-brick buildings, the latter fared the best by far.
The 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 old mill (right) and power plant (left) with the new mill behind them.
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
The screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
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.
Catwalk crating, welded over the yard crane operator cab’s windows.
The power lines follow the street, down to the mineshaft. Everything revolved around the mine, it seemed.
Some of the rotting clothes were in boxes, split long ago from moisture. Others were just heaped in piles.
A staircase threads between the top floor and the sluices, which are in the middle of the dredge-mill.
These Twin Cities kisses
Sound like clicks and hisses.
We all tumbled down and
Drowned in the Mississippi River. -The Hold Steady
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
One of my favorite shots from that year, conveyor line parts stacked and hung with Postal Service bins from decades ago.
The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
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.
Wind blew taconite dust against the walls of these suspended control room, making even the glass appear to rust.
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.
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 common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
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.
The very top of the Administration Tower’s spiral staircase. There’s an old antenna of some kind there, as you can see.
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.
A colorful makeshift wall.
In its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…
A volcano (?) under a window.
A small machine shop level.
The turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
Like looking out of an airship.
Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.
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.
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 sign facing the city on an exterior wall–a sort of motivational poster.
Shadows of the trees from the materials yard.
A rusting disconnect gangway. The smokestack is for a boiler, if I recall.
What time is it?
Looking out the second-floor lighthouse office window. On this visit, the last ice of the season was slowly drifting into the harbor.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
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.
Small stained panes and orange brick. I had no idea when I took this picture that the colored glass would turn the insides of the mill into a bright aquamarine. It was a beautiful intersection of nature and industry, in the most unintended way.
The fences helped discourage patients from throwing themselves down the stairs.
This room’s trim was unlike the others. Perhaps it was for a live in supervisor.
Grimy windows and the other half of the complex trade interests and stares.
An ajar car elevator car afar, technically.
The arches of the Twohy building, before some of the signs and sills were painted in 2015.
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.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.