Neighbors gather to see, smell U of L silo demolition - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Neighbors gather to see, smell U of L silo demolition

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Courtesy: University of Louisville Courtesy: University of Louisville
Courtesy: University of Louisville Courtesy: University of Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- They've been a Louisville landmark for at least a century and Thursday the University of Louisville began to tear them down.

Officials say it will take at least several days or even longer to tear down the 22 silos along I-65 near U of L’s campus.

It didn't take long for the news to spread, and soon residents were out watching the spectacle.

Josh Metcalf was just one of the people who turned up. "I saw it posted on Facebook that they were tearing the silos down, so I just thought I'd come take a look for myself," he said.

The silos are considered a landmark for many Louisville residents and are visible to drivers on I-65, but U of L officials say it's time for change.

"I think most folks in Louisville…they may have a little sentimental tie to the old silos," university spokesman Mark Hebert said. "They're possibly saying today, Gee, I'm glad to see them come down."

I've got mixed feelings," said Metcalf. "It's been a landmark here for so long. Everyone that passes through can see the University of Louisville right here and it's very popular, but at the same time, I think they're hideous and need to go."

The U of L Foundation purchased the property late last year for $3.3 million.

"Once the property is all demolished and torn down, we're going to use some of the concrete from the silos, crush it up and make it into stone for a parking lot for the last couple of football games this year." Hebert explained, "After that, we don't have any specific use designated for that property just yet."

They're hoping it gives drivers a better look at campus and neighbor Marvin Rafferty says he is excited about the change."When I was young," Rafferty said "my dad painted it and it's just kind of cool to see it coming down I guess."

The property was previously owned by the Solae Co. to process soybeans. As crews tear it down, it's not only a sight to see, but a smell you can't miss."It kinda smells like the sanitation fill on Outer Loop," Rafferty remarked.

"I have no idea," Metcalf replied when asked what it smelled like, "but it's not very pleasant." He says it’s a smell neighbors certainly won’t miss at all.

At one point in the past, Ralston Purina, which was an animal feed and pet food company, also owned the property.

Ownership has changed hands numerous times over the years.

The demolition work is costing more than $600,000. Officials say scrap metal from the property is being recycled and sold, and some of that money will help to pay for the demolition contract.

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