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ACME Coke Plant
Chicago, IL

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.

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Armour Packing
East St. Louis, IL

A ghetto factory could be a factory in the ghetto, or a factory that produces ghettos. This is a little of both, straight from East St. Louis, courtesy of the texture of moldy bricks, the smell of burning tires, and the sound of broken glass being walked on echoing down a long dark hallway.

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Carrie Steel Works
Pittsburgh, PA

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.

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Clark Equipment
Buchanan, MI

Buchanan was a company town unwilling to grow with its company. Then, after almost 100 years, that company left. How a rust belt city put on–then taken off–the proverbial map. Michigan edition.

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Colmor
New Mexico

Colmor, New Mexico was founded in 1887 and abandoned in the 1960s. It missed the railroad. It missed the highway. It’s a dirt road kind of town.

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DMIR Dock Five
Duluth, MN

On your left you see Dock 6, retrofitted with conveyor belts, swarming with hard men and cold trains, bathed in orange light and smelling of taconite, oil, and sweat. On the right is a stripped, dark, empty, motionless chunk of steel jutting into Lake Superior, an island in so many ways. Read on to find out where the good days went.