Minneapolis was Mill City; flour mills and linseed mills dotted the landscape, and not just along the Mississippi River. To support the world’s biggest flour and linseed companies, a huge network of grain elevators were built by various interests just outside of the east bank’s industrial districts. I investigate these elevators and the factories immediately around them one by one. Welcome to Mill Hell.
This building seemed a bit too eager to murder me, but it was too late to turn back. Built with inadequate materials, due to WWI material shortages, and built in a hurry, due to its sister plant burning to the ground, every day this building still stands flouts time, nature, and gravity.
For 133 years, Hamm’s brewed good, cheap beer. “From the land of sky blue waters,” their jingle went, never finishing the sentence: “Comes the corporate takeover.” This post packs a childhood memory, the story of Hamm’s from its founding to recent demolitions. So sit down, crack a cold one, and…
The Harris Machinery property dates to 1870 when the Peteler Portable Railway factory built their factor here. Between then and now the tenants have changed a couple of times, but there’s still a little piece of Minneapolis that looks and smells just the same.
During the Kansas City riots following Martin Luther King’s assassination this circa-1911 gothic revival was the site of a nearly tragic stampede.
Somewhere between the bricks and boards, cats in a row fish forever.
Behind a museum of industry is a monument of another kind, a hospital built for railroad workers injured on the job. Later it became an important community health center, but a financial scandal eventually closed its doors.
This is War City, a 10,000-acre bomb that leveled a swath of Indiana to sow the seed of a World War Two powder plant. Now it sits as, arguably, the largest abandonment in North America, with thousands of structures and miles of abandoned roads and sidewalks connecting them all. This place was so huge that I had to spend two days there, squatting overnight, just to see a fraction of its ruins.
When the gasmen left Indianapolis with defunct natural gas lines, the people went heavy industrial. They built a coke plant, one that outlasted the rest, and one with an interesting life.
This is my goodbye to a St. Paul power plant currently being demolished: ISLAND STATION. It served in a limited capacity from 1924 to 1973, but its iconic steel smokestack left an impression on me and thousands of other St. Paul residents, past and present.
The stacks wouldn’t be visible through the mist anyway, if they weren’t demolished. This is how I came to know Lakeview Power Station, one of the last giant Ontario coal-fired power plants.