Little more than scrub brush grows where hot coke used to get doused before being sent into the blast furnaces, but that’s not what I went there to see. Outside Chicago’s most remote ghettoes are the ruins of ACME Coke, now two smokestacks, two three towers and a pile of firebrick. Check out what it used to be.
Daydreaming on the highest catwalk of a decaying, mostly demolished and nationally historical steel mill is… To hear the wind running like lost cats through the burned and rusted metal at sunrise is… A steel age safari–hunting a giant wire deer that haunts a riverside battleground.
It operated for more than a century in various forms, but there’s something timeless about the giant headframe standing silent in a field.
This Duisburg sintering plant is world famous as an industrial ruin; I couldn’t pass it by.
In nineteen-oh-nine when the winds blew colder,
Nine-hundred and twenty feet long…
In mid-1880s, a few men began tunneling under downtown Duluth looking for a fortune. Now there’s no trace of their labor under the Point of Rocks, is there?
On December 16th, 2011, the last Ford Ranger standard truck left the assembly line and paint shop and not long afterward the doors were chained and locked. Then it was my turn.
Under the star trails at our rooftop camp it was hard to believe that I was still living in a time when ghost towns–real ghost towns–were still engraved onto the sides of mountains. Below its cracked city streets courses the treasure that built the town and the poison that killed it. Cup your ears against the walls, be very still, and listen to the memory of a place called home.
For 130 years, the coal beneath Cheratte, Belgium was unearthed by its intrepid miners. Here’s what it was like for me to visit where they worked.
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.
“It’s just across the parking lot,” the kids might say, “Let’s GO!” Into the dark/into the damp/into old Mather Mine.