Since this picture was taken, the roof has totally collapsed in this area.
This little curled yellow thing is one of the last hints that this adobe building was lived in.
In a now-demolished building, a skylight begins to separate.
This building was responsible for storing and drying the barrels. Compare right.
The conveyorway that carried the sintering material to the mixing floor at the top of the plant.
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.
An old name for an older elevator, as seen from an abandoned rail spur.
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 front of the Art Deco hospital, complete with Art Deco gears and Crosses of Loraine!
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.
Dust explosions were a real risk for grain mills. These funnels helped to filter the air in the mill.
The headquarters for the plant was in the middle of it. It’s abandoned but well preserved–a strange sight in Gary, Indiana.
The bottom area of the smokestacks house storage spaces. The windows of these rooms that were never completed line up perfect.
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.
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
The powerhouse had two elevated tracks behind it, one for coal and one for deliveries.
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 into the engine works from the concrete addition.
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.
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 power gauge showed… broken.
Everyone loves water towers.
A shuttered house at the end of the block doesn’t even have boards on it anymore.
Looking up at the most conspicuous graffiti in the city on ADM #4.
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.
Different colors stained the small panes on the top floor. For once, it seemed more ridiculous to not be inside an abandoned factory.
A side door on the rear of the castle that let guests out into a small stone courtyard below a tall turret.
Call me angsty, but I like it. Found in the Auxiliary Hospital.
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.
The turbine hall sported a beautiful Whiting gantry crane.
The corner of Clyde on Michigan Street looked like it had been sealed a long time.
The screen and mineral stained window cross-processed the sky.
A closeup of one of the winding machines that found itself under a leaky section of roof.
One of Martinsdale’s defunct businesses perpendicular to the depot. Recall that Martinsdale is a T-town.
The old mill (right) and power plant (left) with the new mill behind them.
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.
This is where the transformers were housed. Note the steel tracks in the floor for moving equipment around the building.
West Elevation of the Depot. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
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.
Heavy industrial looks good in cotton candy pink.
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.
Like looking out of an airship.
The office was redder than the rest of the building.
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.
Sluice tables stretch into the darkness.
2005. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
A breeze and broken window has animated one of the few curtains still hanging in Nopeming as of 2015.
Looking above the altar.
This is what the complex looks like today to the bare eye. Dull, monochrome, quiet.
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.
This seemed to be the newest building on the property.
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 colorful makeshift wall.
The balcony used to be beautiful, you say. I say, it still is.
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.
The sun unzipped the clouds. Mist blew across the harbor.
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.
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.
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.
Much of the circa-1950s buildings remain with few alterations, such as these long boring sheet metal ruststicks.
The stone chapel sits beside the main house and received a particularly heavy dose of gothic architectural touches.
“It must have been beautiful once.” “Yeah, especially in the winter.”
Inside the MLK High School chemistry laboratory.
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.
A walk-up service window on the side of an administration building of some sort. I have a feeling the buildings were color coded.
In the distance, the San Haven Sanatorium water tower.
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 up to the second floor of the Nitrating House, where cotton would be soaked in nitric acid. These brought cotton into the building.
One of the few windows that escaped steel plating the last time the hospital was sealed tight to let nature roam within.
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?
A tower above Minneapolis that few people see.
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.
Above my head while taking this picture was the seal of the Department of the Interior.
When block glass shatters, it looks like ice.
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.
A staircase threads between the top floor and the sluices, which are in the middle of the dredge-mill.
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.
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 Barker turning around before it backed into Tac Harbor to unload coal for Minnesota Power.
The backdrop has become the pallet for water damage and graffiti.
They left and took their God with ’em. Doesn’t feel too empty without ‘im, though.
A broken scale in Isabella A, next to an old wood stove.
The common rooms bulge out of the institutional geometry of the wards.
Some of the rotting clothes were in boxes, split long ago from moisture. Others were just heaped in piles.
A different kind of tree fort.
In an old ward, two men would have shared this room.
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.
Looking at the boarded exterior of the newer area of the orphanage from its 1914 section.
In its last years, the church had a congregation of only about 100. It opened with 1.700…
“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…”
A screened water wheel, presumably for rotating the dredge once it lowered its “foot” to pivot in place.
In what Studebaker called the ‘Materials Building’ are these giant concrete bins of fine molding sand, there for casting metal parts using the molten metal from the adjoining building. On the far left side there is a train track and once upon a time a gantry crane traced the room under the roof
In the barracks.
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.
Looking through a secure ward door at the destroyed rooms beyond.
This “pit” would allow workers to crawl below locomotives to service them.
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.
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 a room where the actual explosive elements were mixed. In the event of an accident, this glass wall would give way before the concrete and thus direct the flames and shockwave away from the rest of the building. In other words, the glass is not just to get a lot of wonderful natural light into the building.
Looking 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.
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.
These dump cars moved copper ore to the top of the furnaces… it’s about two stories above ground level.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
…somebody get the number of that truck! Near the Day Rooms in the Paying Patient ward.
Looking toward a void–formerly a hallway to the mineshaft–now a hole in the ground.
Outside the Chateau, where the fuel oil tank blocks the chapel.
I love the big old industrial windows.
This building looked like some sort of office.
The trees were so overgrown, it was difficult to see the hotel at all from the road.
Noontime light, long criticized for the boring shadows it grants photographers, comes into its own sometimes.
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.
The barracks are being reclaimed by nature.
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.
The fresh snow makes the whole complex look a lot cleaner than it actually is.
The State School stage, taken as it was getting scrapped.
Peering into a remote office at Manitoba Wheat Pool #3. Someone left their to-do list behind.
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.
Tarpaper telling time-
Wood wittling weather-
Rust rot ruins.
John’s wife’s face.
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.
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.
One of my favorite visual feature of grain elevators, especially big ones, is how they repeat.
A cottage for masons infected with TB to live together.
Looking out of a door to nowhere at the fiery sky above.
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…
Looking through Workhouse A from the top of a silo.
A small machine shop level.
The mostly-empty distilling room is easy to spot from the outside because of the distinctive round window.
The arches of the Twohy building, before some of the signs and sills were painted in 2015.
The topmost roof of the hospital is covered in antennae and includes a star that faced the rest of the complex, now demolished.
Ultimately, it was the bad roof that doomed these buildings.
The grand staircase with little balconies leaning over it. All the stone stairs are broken and graffiti marks every wall.
A cloud moves across the attic in front of the window. How? A photographer’s secret.
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.
Looking from the mill at the old transfer elevator’s steel tanks.
A view from the loft in the shipping/receiving building, where the crane operator would step into his cab.
This dirt-brick building hasn’t fared well.
Through a section of the tailings boom where mountain winds tore open the sheet metal around the conveyor, I poked my head out.
Paperwork litters the floors of the zinc mine offices.
The sun shining through one of the buildings; everything was overgrown.
Looking into the tunnel system from below the Women’s Ward. The tunnels were used mostly by staff to move food and laundry.
An insurance office.
Steam pipes snake up the walls like vines, but with asbestos.
Catwalk crating, welded over the yard crane operator cab’s windows.
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.
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.
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.
Looking out of the labs at the company garages.
The service window in the Administration Tower had seen some abuse, even if it wasn’t so old.
A bedroom, from the basement. The Dog Days are Over.
The power lines follow the street, down to the mineshaft. Everything revolved around the mine, it seemed.
In an era where smoking was ubiquitous and sexy, smoking stations had to be a part of the job, even at an explosives factory.
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.
Stairs and power lines enter the abandoned depot. Shingles slide off the rotten roof. Ektar 100/Mamiya 6
To get more light into the wards, the building was narrow and had angular rooms, often staff space, perpendicular to the main hallway.
Note the maps still left on the wall.
“Paint the fence,” they said, but I don’t feel like it… who cares, anyway.
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.
On the top floor of one of the old wards, the slanted roofline makes the this group room more claustrophobic. Portra 160.
A window for light and air pokes above the big arch in the hallway. Most of the interior ceilings were broad brick archways.
You can almost make out the concrete chute through the open window. Kodak Portra 160/Mamiya 6.
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.
Looking from the rail shipping building through pigeon-proofing chicken wire at another manufacturing building in high Fall.
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.
These Twin Cities kisses
Sound like clicks and hisses.
We all tumbled down and
Drowned in the Mississippi River. -The Hold Steady
A self portrait, from the early 2000s.
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!
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.
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
Inside the main entrance to the depot. Through the ‘To Station’ door, you can see some of the news stands. Look at the floor!
In 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 coke plant looked more natural through a grimy window.
Beside the shaft building are two fans on skids, indicating they were used underground.
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.
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 control panel that was mothballed, anticipating a time when the plant may be reactivated.
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.
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 from the shaft room into the room where an electric hoist would be.
The skylights with geared-to-open windows were massive and quite functional.
Looking out the second-floor lighthouse office window. On this visit, the last ice of the season was slowly drifting into the harbor.
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.
Fire doors separate the buildings.
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.
The gothic landing between balcony and classroom level and the ground floor.
The old offices for the Oberon Elevator are defunct, but seem to be holding up to the brutal prairie snows and winds. Medium Format.
I can confirm the existence of the long-rumored Federal Rectangle Research Institute labs.
Judging by the bed, this room was used by employees in its later years.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
A better view of the belt system that drives all the machinery in the plant.
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.
What time is it?
Frontenac’s shaft house is well preserved, compared to all other around it. Leica/Summilux 35/Ektar 100
Grimy windows and the other half of the complex trade interests and stares.
Sheet metal over the windows. A red boot sole in the tumbleweeds. Is it inside, or outside?
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.