Demolition work began July 31 in the silos on the UofL campus (Source: Air 3, WAVE 3 News)
Jake Womack (Source: Miles Jackson, WAVE 3 News)
Wanda Moore (Source: Miles Jackson, WAVE 3 News)
Sherri Wright (Source: Miles Jackson, WAVE 3 News)
Mark Hebert (Source: Miles Jackson, WAVE 3 News)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - You see them every time you pass by the University of Louisville campus on Interstate 65. The historic silos are starting to look a little different as demolition began.
Some people may have thought the silos were coming down in one motion, but because they are right next to the interstate, everything has to happen slowly and carefully.
"We're really glad that they're finally coming down," said Mark Hebert, a UofL spokesman, "and it's the latest chapter in the transformation and the beautification of this campus."
Beauty takes time, a lot of time.
"It's not as exciting as I thought," laughed Jake Womack, a Louisville graduate.
An implosion certainly would have been more impressive, but next to I-65 it wasn't an option. Workers from sub-contractor Lee Demolition carefully used a boom lift to water down all the dust from the demolition as the silos started to come down piece by piece.
The silos not only held dog food and soybeans in their history, they held memories.
"That's something I always looked for when I'm on the highway," said Sherri Wright of the silos with the University of Louisville written on their fronts.
Wanda Moore also took a peak of the tear down.
"You're used to seeing it when you're traveling on the expressway and you look over and you see 'Louisville' and think, this is our home and it's coming down," said Moore.
"We heard it was going to come down in big pieces and wanted to see a part of it," said Womack.
Hebert told us what he thinks the next few days of the demolition are going to be like.
"I think a lot of folks are going to do one of these routines," said Hebert as he motioned a double take turning his neck while pretending to drive.
To Moore it means more.
“It's just, I mean, a Louisville landmark," Moore said.
Iconic structures? It depends on who you ask.
"We would call them iconic eyesores and a lot of people in Louisville would probably call them the same," said Hebert while laughing. But he added, "There is a lot of sentimental attachment among some Louisvillians to the silos because they've been here so long, but they don't really look good on a college campus right next to the nicest soccer stadium in the United States."
Still, those people feeling a silo connection felt the need to witness their final hours.
"I graduated from Louisville in 1996," said Womack, "so it's just kind of one of those trademark things right here on the campus."
"I remember being a little girl and it used to be the dog food company and now it's coming down," Moore recalled.
The odors of dog food and soybeans were hanging around Thursday, but eventually a new sports complex, green space or an academic building will take over. Wright said she hopes something goes up on the site.
"Put that big ol’ bird up there y'all," said a laughing Wright. "I think it will make the city look better because they get to see all the new buildings that's being built around here."
UofL officials paid about $3 million for the property and say the salvaged metal from the plant will help pay for the demolition. They don't know how long it will take to get the silos down but say it will likely be several days. After that, they will clear the site and put down gravel for temporary parking for the last two home football games in October.