I have a unique perspective of the Allouez Ore Docks, and that’s my usual perch on the last light hoop. Find out how the docks sound when the lake freezes. What it’s like to watch a 1,000 foot ore carrier passing by in the fog. Finally, I go in detail to tell the history of this place, where boats and trains danced by the lake.
In economics, one hand doesn’t wash the other; it chops the other right off. Local politics collides with global economics, draining this mega-factory of its profitability. Doors close, and a middle-class neighborhood built on chocolate confections suddenly gets much leaner.
It died when a nuke went off–and it looks like it. Nobody perished with it, though, and there is no radioactivity… just smokestacks and dead-end roads. This withered war plant has seen better days, but who doesn’t find the post-apocalyptic aesthetic a little intriguing?
At its peak, Port Arthur and Fort William was home to more than 30 elevators once. Some of them remain, but many are abandoned.
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 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.
In 1940, 250 families in rural Indiana were told by the U.S. War Department to move out–something was coming. KOP was one of the largest ammunition factories through World War II, and a few buildings still stand today.
This ammunition factory in the middle of the country produced 70% of the munitions for the US Navy at one time and employed 10,000 people. It closed in 1966.
Known more for its afterlife of arson and anarchy, it insists to exist. It built cars between 1903 and 1958, only taking breaks to help America win its wars. Since then it has become an icon of America’s manufacturing decline.
North Dakota’s only public tuberculosis sanatorium served from 1912 to 1987. Since then it’s served thousands, but now it’s under demolition by neglect. What is that barbed wire hiding, anyway?
South Bend, Indiana is a kind of graveyard that one only finds in the Rust Belt, where the headstones are blast furnaces and the only people who visit look for something left behind. Here lies Studebaker, a dead American car company.