During the Cold War, the Twin Cities were protected by a ring of defensive nuclear missile bases. By 1972, they had all been closed and their stories began to diverge.
This 1931 barge loader irked the City of St. Paul for decades–it literally sits over the Mississippi River, making it troublesome to demolish. It turns out that this concrete tower lasted just long enough to get redeveloped. See how, and learn the whole story.
Nopeming Sanatorium carried the burden of an epidemic for one of America’s key industrial boomtowns, before it was cut up, smashed-in, and swept under the rug. Now is the time for me to tell its story. Featured on Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures in 2015.
The Temple Opera Block and NorShor Theatre were the center of social life in Duluth for a lifetime, before the Block was decapitated and the theatre was abandoned.
I take a below-freezing tour of a rail yard power station that dates back to 1924, a double-stacker that stands out in a small town.
People live on top of it now, ever since the Francis Hotel was turned into apartments. There’s a chunk of the building that nobody can get into though, and it has been that way for a while. St. Paul’s lost stage.
For Pillsbury to be abandoned in Minneapolis is like the Gateway Arch to be rusting from the inside out and passed by hundreds—unnoticing. This is Mill City, and this is the Mill of Mill City, and the people pass on, not even looking up to ask why these three square blocks on the river are the way they are.
A private tuberculosis hospital outside the Twin Cities, preserved through reuse, resilient despite neglect.
I like abandoned things–factories, hospitals, schools–and now, I can add ‘abandoned kittens’ to that list. Oh, and here’s one of Minneapolis’ former animal feed mills, one that has roots back in 1916. Now, which do you think is cuter? Honestly, I’m torn…
The picture from 1919 says it all; when an F5 tornado rages through the town leveling everything around it, this flour mill stands, anchored to the river, indomitable.
After 150 years of digging, brewing and burning, Schmidt Brewery still rules the West Side. Here is a story of new beginnings, starring a cave and a castle. It starts in Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1855…