2005. Looking across the Mississippi from a park the night after the first snow.
The doorframes become more askew every year as the buildings slip downward into the gulch at different rates. This seems to be the part of the mine ruins where transients leave their marks. The graffiti dated back to the 1970s, at least.
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?
These buildings were largely used as concentrators for the crushed rock, although I did spy some small mills inside these too.
With the maintenance door open you can see the buckets on in the vertical conveyor.
Who knew that wallpaper could stick to dirt so well?
Inside the pilot copper concentrator.
A crack in a window in a wall. What’s this doing here?
One of the underground creeks in Duluth, somewhere under the East Hillside neighborhood.
After a short rainfall douses the mill in downtown Fergus Falls, the river next to the brick walls swells and the sounds of water overtakes the echos of the nearby bars. Reflections are on the foundation of the former distribution and rail building.
With an office like this, the ones food begins to taste more and more like nachos.
Looking toward the Female Infirmary Ward from the long, glass, Conservatory hallway.
Without a roof, the bricks were being washed away in the later years of the roundhouse.
Worm in the path of raw ore where it would be dumped from rock cars into the silo below.
Without proper pressure, the steering engine was ineffective.
The entrance to the area where staff could sleep.
The underside of the dock seemed almost like a cathedral to industry with vaulted ceilings.
Part of the unremodeled hospital, above the Service Building, where employees would stay sometimes.
Raab strolling where the coal and ore would be dumped by trains that traveled along the top of the concrete pilings.
A staircase threads between the top floor and the sluices, which are in the middle of the dredge-mill.
When Nopeming was affiliated with local farms, it often slaughtered its own livestock. This is the part of the hospital where food would be prepped, below the stage in the Service Building.
Was the last job of this hook to lift the remaining equipment out of the hoist hall? The control boards, giant electric motors and transformers?
The most pointless, beautiful and nuclear-bomb-proof catwalk I’ve been on to date. It goes between two high levels in its own bottom-lit concrete capsule in the center of the tallest, thickest building. Hang on, we’re riding this one out.
The side of Saskatchewan Wheat Pool #7, still active, is hypnotizingly regular. From a distance, its texture resembles parchment. Its color resembles the color of the wheat in late October.
When you’re incoming’s piling up with paint chips, what’s one to do? Call in a sick?
Like looking out of an airship.
Detail view of one of the fermenting tanks, still set-up for the distillery tours that no doubt took place when there last were such things. Nevertheless, the capacity of this tank multiplied across these all over the distillery floor really shows the power this company once had.
Looking at the top of the Washburn Crosby elevator from a mirrored window in the Guthrie Theater.
Outside the locker room without the sandwiches and beer… plenty of glass shards, though, if you feel like it.
Jars like these were used to measure the volume of fluid pumped out of TB patients’ lungs.
Mold creeps up the walls of the offices that housed the Closing Team of the TCRC – Twin Cities Research Center – as water damage pulls ceiling tiles down.
Between elevators, a single tree has taken root. I think it’s growing out of a rail grade, so the seed might have fallen off of a train.
Chutes from a hundred machines interconnect to more machines and chutes on a dozen factory floors.
If it wasn’t for the humming and crackling of the wires, I could believe I had arrived to a post apocalyptic landscape.
One of the generators, weeks before it was taken apart to be shipped to another power plant somewhere else.
The dry house is in the worse condition of the remaining buildings. This is where miners would change clothes.
The mill is one of the tallest buildings in the city. It’s too bad that the cupola with its big skylights and flagpole were removed.
Looking across the whole milling operation from its dedicated powerhouse stretching across Eagle River.
Shadows cast by the ropes, counterweights, and backdrops.
2004. Machine Shop Loft.
In the barracks.
A diesel engine on display at Deer Lodge, circa 1961.
This is the crane that would be used to lower extra-heavy bits of copper ore into the fire of the furnace.
Hunter’s custom large format rig looks pretty cool, doesn’t it?
A line of huge machines wait to be used as parts under a long-disused belt drive.
Gaskets still organized on nails beside the power plant. This used to be a maintenance room, but since its roof and walls were torn down, it’s not any kind of room.
I never knew that all those elementary school balance bar exercises were for a very serious purpose: not falling to one’s death in the event they uncover lost Chicago history.
When boiling beet juice accidentally spills from the gas-fired tanks two feet away, you better be wearing some of these, or bye-bye legs.
Left: A medium storage chamber with access to an interconnecting steam tunnel at ceiling height. This room also has various smashed toilets. Why? Because dead toilets–all of them–always find a home in a cave. Center: Steps go past a +-intersection, left goes deeper, right goes to utility tunnels for the brewery, forward used to go to the brewery basement… it’s now backfilled. Left from the backfill is a small hallway; see ‘Backfill Self Portrait’. Center-Right: Utility tunnels tie knots between the brewery’s demolished basement and its caves. Right: Most of the storage volume is in large chambers down this causeway.
The Beeghley was launched in 1958… you can see it unloading limestone here with its retrofitted self-unloader. Update: This ship has been renamed the ‘James L. Oberstar’ after the Minnesota Senator. [Read more on Boardnerd.com here: http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/oberstar.htm]
A photo from my first trip, although very little has changed in this area of the building except for the level of graffiti. I love skylights, don’t you?
Ready for some science? Strap-in and get your goggles.
What time is it?
Where the workers would rest their feet and clean their plates.
Peeling paint reveals the room numbers of the past.
I really like the way this high-ceilinged room is decaying. Well, decayed. It’s demolished now.
In the Lime House, the sunset picked-up the last light of day to make this image. Lime is used in the beet sugar refinement process to reduce the acidity of the beet juice mixture.
The most patriotic wallpaper I’ve seen.
A lime auger and massive feet of the lime hopper.
At an abandoned castle.
A big sign marks where the elevated walkway is severed where Dock 2 used to meet Dock 3, now gone.
Where the tailings boom meets the mill.
Expanding foam provides some textural contrast to the wood floors, worn smooth over a century. This building dates to the 1890s and was built as the coffin plant.
A matrix panorama of the brewhouse staircase, post-scrapping. So pretty…
A long exposure in the wind, lit by airport lights.
Looking across a skyway at the dust-collecting funnels, one of the few pieces of equipment that haven’t been completely decimated by time and the elements.
The powered lime hopper had a lot of levels.
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.
Sunrise over Mill Hell, and all of Kurth’s various skyways. The elevators in the foreground date to the mid-1920s, Electric Steel is behind and is a little earlier than that.
The seminal architectural feature of the old hospital–the parts built by Illinois Central Railroad–was this staircase. Wide and graceful, adorned with paint chips and fire extinguishers, and leading from offices to surgical suites to the cafeteria.
I love this original brick archway, near the narrow gauge shop. Gorgeous!
A closeup of the old fashioned wood-and-iron flour mill, a little while before they were all scrapped.
In the mountainside are a number of air shafts, indicating where the tunnels traced under the rocky surface.
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.
This is what it might have looked like if a new Ford descended in the elevator with its headlights on. As seen from the Mississippi side–the opposite portal faces the sand mine.
The ADM Quality Assurance Labs haven’t changed much, except for that it has become a common home for the homeless.
An old handcart sits next to a rotting elevator.
The chief engineer had many phones. It’s my guess one connects to the pilot house and the other connects to the emergency steerage station that’s mid-deck.
The bottom of the elevator which seemed too modern for the building. The top of the elevator opens into open air, as the second floor has long since collapsed.
Grimy windows and the other half of the complex trade interests and stares.
Shadows of the timberwork and cribbing are cast across cracked lake ice. My footprints follow cat tracks.
Shadows of distant power lines are carried to the concrete by street lights.
Taken from the arm of the pocket loader–note the tree growing out of the conveyor belt. Often where you see old piles of taconite, trees are springing up. The byproducts of the pelletization process break down and make a really fertile mix, especially with all the iron content!
The side of the administration building. Around the side was a sign instructing potential employees to return on set days and times.
The mill was powered, in part, by water flowing through turbines under it. After the flow worked the industrial heart of the flour mill, it was exit to the Mississippi here.
The guard shack protecting the Nike launch pad.
One of the prettier Humphry Manlifts in Minneapolis, in my opinion.
Power House, 2000s
From the roof of the larger power plant’s Building A, Hastings, MN’s lights burn behind the smokestacks.
The top floor’s old-fashioned hospital ways were too much to pass without a photo or two… with the paint falling off the walls it was as if the building was shedding its skin in an effort to become rejuvenated or useful.
The rocket system used several cooling methods, once of which included an evaporation pond, pictured here.
The sign that greets visitors to the ghost town of Colmor. Nothing says ‘welcome’ like birdshot.
This dirt-brick building hasn’t fared well.
My favorite picture from the mills. These charts remind me of star charts or orbiting planets.
Much of the signage in the mill was hand-drawn.
This mean-looking thing had a purpose, probably, but that function has been lost to decades of expansion.
They remodeled, apparently.
This building cleaned the barrels that transported ingredients through the plant.
A crashed freight elevator.
This bay would host boxcars as workers would fill them with the fruits of the factory.
A little welding art one crosses over near the windlass room.
The many levels of catwalks make for a place where you can look from the ground floor to the roof, about 4 stories up.
Atop Elevator ‘M’, formerly Cargill ‘O’.
The Sivertson’s sign seems like from a different time. I’ve never seen it lit, but I bet it’s beautiful.
The basements of the barracks were often stone and brick, and many of them were connected by short tunnels.
A gymnasium, if I recall. The last building before the road dead-ends.
The sun was setting outside, highlighting the textures and lines that made the form of the power plant take a fourth dimension–time.
The woman in the wall has the bed; is pulling it in; is holding you down…
Parts lockers on the top floor of the power plant.
It’s a straight view from the projection booth to the stage, but hell of a walk. At a fast pace, I think it would take 10 minutes to walk from this spot to the chair. Behind the curtains is a big white screen, so the theatre could be used for either stagework or moving pictures. The two projectors are set up for 3D movies right now–hence the little switch below the window–a Polaroid 3D synchronizer. Cool, huh?
Not ghosts. Slow-moving explorers’ shadows create a ghostly effect in the ‘Old Ward’–the second floor of the Service Building.
A few from atop the steam gauges along the western wall. The turbines were scrapped quickly after the plant closed, it seemed.
Where equipment was scrapped.
On the second floor of the former casket plant, which was retrofitted with a conveyor system to coat finished products.
To run new gutters through the building, some of the plaster walls of the Chateau had to be smashed through.
The quality assurance labs were no doubt a busy place.
It will be a good harvest.
The turbine hall, without turbines. I guess that makes this a hall… at least it has a clock.
An insurance office.
Office manners dictate that one must tip their file drawer back upright once it is knocked through the wall.
Employee lockers near the stage, Service Building.
The sluice room was surrounded in fine grating. The company would want to finely control when the doors would be opened so the gold could be removed under supervision. No yellow bonus for the working man…
This sawtooth roof collapsed months later under the weight of an early snow.
On this production line, the office was elevated far above the floor.