• Mike

Urban Exploration in Sheldon Iowa.

Disclaimer - Magnaimages does not endorse breaking the law. We got permission to be here from the property owners. The property was degraded and extremely dangerous when we were there. I can only assume that it has gotten worse. There are open shafts and other dangers that will kill you if you don't know what you are doing. You can ask the current owners for a tour, but trespassing is a crime and could end in death here.


In Sheldon Iowa, along the Union Pacific tracks, lies a very cool old building. This building is in an advanced state of decay, however that decay provides us with some wonderful photography opportunities. We got to go inside, and we got to take all the photos we wanted. Here they are and here's what this building looks like inside.


The building is nondescript and appears to be decaying rapidly. It's some sort of former mill that served or was served by the railroad.


It's location is near 301 Iselin street. It's visible from 3rd Avenue just on the south side of the railroad tracks. The power company owns the property adjoining the building . Access to the building is now mostly through a hole in the side of the building.



Once inside you will be greeted with a treat in urban exploration. There is lots of graffiti but also a lot of neat angles for photography. Holes in the ceiling allow for moss to grow in the damp interior surfaces.



Light streams beautifully into the interior, even on an overcast day like the one we visited on.



Despite being a mad foundation there is a lower level that is flooded. Most likely this connected augers to a railroad siding outside. There's standing water in this basement and it appears to be filled with sharp metal bits.

Speaking of such things, this building is extremely dangerous. There are open pits of stagnant water. underneath are jagged pieces of steel that were cut roughly when the equipment was removed. Falling into one of these pits makes death a very real possibility. You absolutely must visit here with proper training and light.


The water doesn't seem to have an incredible amount of life, however the moss seems to be doing well, creating some beautiful hues.


Holes in the roof from where skylights or roof vents once sat create some very interesting lighting. This is some great lighting, it's just too bad my lens fogged up.

Most of the old windows are boarded up, however a few are covered with clear plastic sheets.


It's sad in a way to see this building in decay, however it's also fascinating to see how well nature seems to be taking it back. Look at the moss all over the walls. There's also a time capsule of graffiti in here.



Speaking of graffiti, some of it was pretty funny. The key rack here still has a few keys on it.


So, this place is small, out of the way, and unassuming. I highly encourage other photographers to visit here if they can get permission. I'm unsure of who owns it now but the city should be able to provide that information. The city office is only a few blocks away. Photographers need to document this place before it's gone forever. Everyone else should probably admire the photos and stay away until this building is demolished.

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