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Purina Mills demolition?

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#1 Bonfire98A

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:36 PM

I haven't looked at the forum in quite some time, and was driving the other day and noticed that the old Purina Mill east of downtown was being torn down! I figured this was the best place to get information on what was going on, whether or not it's to be a partial or complete demo, etc. Has anyone any news?



#2 cberen1

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:32 PM

There's some discussion about it on the "If only I was a reporter" thread.

There's some discussion about it on the "If only I was a reporter" thread.

#3 Doohickie

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:57 PM

I noticed it this afternoon.
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#4 John T Roberts

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:01 PM

The Star-Telegram had a video of the demolition on their site earlier today. I think it's only a demolition of the grain silos on the site.

#5 Brian Luenser

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:38 AM

And moving right along...

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200 w2x
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800mm
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#6 RD Milhollin

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:27 AM

Hmmm, too bad, with some work to cut out some windows those silos would have made pretty cool loft apartments.

#7 Brian Luenser

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:57 PM

I too, have thought about converting concrete silos to condos. (Not seriously) I wonder if it has ever been considered seriously or studied. Seems a shame to knock something so tall and sturdy down.

My plant used to be on Beach Street next to the 121 elevators. It would also have a great view of downtown etc... Seemed like cool condos to me. I do know this. For tornado warnings you could just stay in bed. An F5 tornado would not scratch one of these grain silos. (Made to withstand powerful dust explosions.) Could you ever imaging that it would take a crane with a massive ball several weeks to knock these down? I do remember the silos in near West side downtown that they could not bring down with explosives. (near 7th street. Like 10 years ago.)
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#8 John T Roberts

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 05:49 PM

I remember when they were working on tearing the grain elevators down where the Stayton is located in So7. Those structures are really designed to withstand grain explosions. I think it would be cool if there was a conversion of one of these into apartments.

#9 RD Milhollin

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:08 AM

Reuse of grain silos:

Denmark: silos to apartments

http://www.scoop.it/...s-to-apartments

The site this photo is part of is very interesting, it is all about grain elevators

http://www.scoop.it/t/grain-elevators

I didn't see much from Fort Worth there (hint), but here is what a site search turns up:

http://www.scoop.it/...t worth&x=0&y=0

Turner Development converted the elevator of a silo complex into apartments:

http://www.turnerdev...m/projects.html

and here is where the silos themselves were re-utilized:

http://archives.buff...reuse_minneapol

Could be done...

#10 djold1

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:11 AM

Sunday afternoon I took a few snaps of the Purina demolition area. They are here on Facebook..

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#11 Brian Luenser

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:14 AM

^PP you get an A+ on your homework assignment. Excellent finds. I was shocked to see that exactly what we were talking about has been done. I just love the idea. Again, grain elevators are just too tall and sturdy not make good use of.
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#12 Brian Luenser

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:42 PM

I took this shot yesterday morning as the storms were moving east of downtown.
I like the shot of Hilltop neighborhood.

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#13 johnfwd

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:19 AM

Anyone know why the silos being demolished?

#14 cberen1

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:14 AM

Anyone know why the silos being demolished?


They've wanted to tear it down for years, but the thing is covered with lead based paint. It always made estimates for demolition very expensive. It has been largely inoperable for decades. Most of the hoppers and conveyance equipment are rusted out and many of the silos had been plugged up with a hundred years of rotted gunk.

I guess they got the stuff out prior to demolition. I just wish someone from the city would contact them about a tax deal to get them out of downtown. I'll bet $50 no one from either side has made contact. Interestingly both sides would rather they weren't there.

I bet between the city and a developer a project could be put together that would get them out of downtown. It needs to happen.

#15 youngalum

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:22 AM


Anyone know why the silos being demolished?


They've wanted to tear it down for years, but the thing is covered with lead based paint. It always made estimates for demolition very expensive. It has been largely inoperable for decades. Most of the hoppers and conveyance equipment are rusted out and many of the silos had been plugged up with a hundred years of rotted gunk.

I guess they got the stuff out prior to demolition. I just wish someone from the city would contact them about a tax deal to get them out of downtown. I'll bet $50 no one from either side has made contact. Interestingly both sides would rather they weren't there.

I bet between the city and a developer a project could be put together that would get them out of downtown. It needs to happen.

+1

It has to be one of the ugliest things about downtown.

#16 BobZupcic

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 05:00 PM



Anyone know why the silos being demolished?


They've wanted to tear it down for years, but the thing is covered with lead based paint. It always made estimates for demolition very expensive. It has been largely inoperable for decades. Most of the hoppers and conveyance equipment are rusted out and many of the silos had been plugged up with a hundred years of rotted gunk.

I guess they got the stuff out prior to demolition. I just wish someone from the city would contact them about a tax deal to get them out of downtown. I'll bet $50 no one from either side has made contact. Interestingly both sides would rather they weren't there.

I bet between the city and a developer a project could be put together that would get them out of downtown. It needs to happen.

+1

It has to be one of the ugliest things about downtown.


+2. I used my handheld slingshot in a futile attempt to eliminate them many a time.

#17 John T Roberts

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:38 AM

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has an article in today's paper on the demolition. They are only demolishing the southern 12 of the silos. The reason for the demolition is that they are not needed, and the plant has downsized a little over the last few years.

#18 Brian Luenser

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:55 AM

Saw the article, John. Was glad to hear something definitive about the place. I am glad, for sure, they are not tearing the whole place down. Also glad they are going to paint the remaining storage silos. (I always wanted some colored lights on the place at night, hint/hint.)

A. Surprised 120 people still work there. That is a lot of jobs.
B. Not sure from the article, why it was worth the great cost to remove half of their storage. Surely not to look nicer for the city.(?)
C. Kind of wish they would have told us a bit more of what currently goes on there and a daily basis. (What do those 120 people do?)

5 minute old shot. (About 250mm) I am talking a vacation day today and tomorrow.

Posted Image
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#19 David Love

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:34 PM

Saw the article, John. Was glad to hear something definitive about the place. I am glad, for sure, they are not tearing the whole place down. Also glad they are going to paint the remaining storage silos. (I always wanted some colored lights on the place at night, hint/hint.)

A. Surprised 120 people still work there. That is a lot of jobs.
B. Not sure from the article, why it was worth the great cost to remove half of their storage. Surely not to look nicer for the city.(?)
C. Kind of wish they would have told us a bit more of what currently goes on there and a daily basis. (What do those 120 people do?)

5 minute old shot. (About 250mm) I am talking a vacation day today and tomorrow.

Posted Image



550 MILLION pounds of horse feed a year.

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#20 Brian D

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:47 AM

Glad to see you guys are following this... interesting thread. If, somehow, this site were redeveloped as mid/highrise multifamily, the downtown views would be stunning. Looks like Brian has more recent photos, but thought I would share this as well...

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Posted Image

#21 cberen1

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:49 AM

Saw the article, John. Was glad to hear something definitive about the place. I am glad, for sure, they are not tearing the whole place down. Also glad they are going to paint the remaining storage silos. (I always wanted some colored lights on the place at night, hint/hint.)

A. Surprised 120 people still work there. That is a lot of jobs.
B. Not sure from the article, why it was worth the great cost to remove half of their storage. Surely not to look nicer for the city.(?)
C. Kind of wish they would have told us a bit more of what currently goes on there and a daily basis. (What do those 120 people do?)



Some of this may have changed since I worked there in the 90's, but it should mostly be true still.

That facility is the regional hub for Land O Lakes / Purina. They also have facilities in OKC, Shreveport, Lubbock, Gonzalez and a liquid feed plant near Houston. They manufacture a variety of large animal feeds and supplements, most of the feed is ultimately for the Cattle, Dairy and Horse businesses, but they also make all kinds of other stuff including molasses based block products.

Production employees fall into a few different categories. There are probably:

3-4 guys that just do maintenance
3-4 guys that run the batch mixer
6-8 guys that run baggers
6-8 forklift drivers
3-4 guys that unload trucks and railcars and run the hammer mills
8-10 pellet mill operators
? truck drivers
2-3 bulk feed loaders
6-8 supervisors
1 general manager

I don't think they do any extrusion at that plant. But they have a variety of machines that are designed to grind up, mix, and package grain and grain bi-products.

Also
6-10 customer service people
3-4 credit people
5-6 logistics people
4-5 accountants
payables clerks, admins, etc.
some regional sales people

I'm sure I've got these numbers wrong and I'm probably overlooking some jobs. When I was there we were running 2 shifts 6 days a week. I think they may be running three shift 24/7. Things like drought really drive up demand for feed. When I was there we were making something along the lines of 240,000 tons of feed a year. The mill was designed to make up to 400-500,000 tons a year, but a lot of that was on rail both inbound and outbound and the mill probably had fewer than 20 SKU's back then. They now have hundreds of SKU's and do custom feed formulation. The products today are so much more complex and include some very expensive medicines at times. It basically means they lose a ton of time to change-overs.

Anyway, all of that to say that they are working just as many hours as ever but the product has changed so much over the years that they'll probably never get to their peak tonnage numbers again. I also think Barry may have mis-heard the LOL rep. I think what she probably said was that this was their primary equine plant in the region. They try not to mix medicated cattle feed and horse feed production because of the potential for accidentally killing horses with trace amounts of the cattle medication. A lot of planning goes into batch ordering because some of the medicines are toxic to certain breeds.

The vertical storage is used for grain and grain bi=product storage, mostly things like wheat middlings, soybean meal, sunflower meal, cracked corn, etc. Not much whole grain anymore.

In the first aerial photo you can see a large one-story building to the northwest of the silos. This is a flat storage facility. The shed that runs the length of the building on the roof covers a conveyance to move material from the elevator leg along the building and drop it on the floor wherever you want it. Flat storage is cheap to build and very versatile, but requires more manual effort to get stuff back out.

Vertical storage is very usable, but some loose materials get hung up in the silo and over time the walls of the silos get caked with the material. This is especially true with slip form construction because the concrete surface is easier for stuff to stick to. Moisture is the enemy here. If you put a product like wheat mids into a silo and the moisture is too high it will cake up and can actually spontaneously combust (no lie). The caked up materialultimately what ruined the silos in these pictures. When I was the purchasing manager in that facility for Purina Mills in the 90's it was already less than 50% usable.

#22 Volare

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:06 PM

All of this still begs the question of why take them down? Sure they look terrible, but there's lots of unused things around town that look terrible. If they aren't using them, I don't see why they would even both with them at all. Very strange... not that I'm complaining!

#23 John T Roberts

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:32 PM

Thanks for posting the aerials, Brian D.

#24 cberen1

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:38 PM

All of this still begs the question of why take them down? Sure they look terrible, but there's lots of unused things around town that look terrible. If they aren't using them, I don't see why they would even both with them at all. Very strange... not that I'm complaining!


I'm going to do some checking. I agree. That can't be cheap. There's no reason to do it just to do it.

#25 Brian Luenser

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:05 AM

Excellent summary of the kind of jobs there Cberen1. I realized driving to work today (on Weatherford Street) that while driving across the railroad tracks I have never really had the luxury of looking over at the plant. (Pretty much all 25 brain cells of mine must be focused straight ahead) It is really a bigger, more complex project than I was thinking. Much bigger. I really thought it was abandoned first of all... outside of night watchman or something. It is actually kind of tucked away for being in such a prime location. I bet 50 years ago the trees were not as tall etc... and people had a better feel for the place.
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#26 RD Milhollin

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:23 AM

It is actually kind of tucked away for being in such a prime location. I bet 50 years ago the trees were not as tall etc... and people had a better feel for the place.


I think that a prime consideration has to the that when the plant was built there was not a freeway along the east side of the property. A lot of businesses and neighborhoods are rooted up and connections between the two side disrupted when a major multi-lane freeway goes in. My guess would be that once upon a time that plant was much more mainstream in regards to position in the built landscape, and that the landscape has been radically changed since then.

#27 ron4Life

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:59 AM

A slight disappointment that it's going to remain in that spot. But since this is the reality, hopefully the owners do an overhaul beautification of the property.

#28 JBB

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 10:30 AM

I immediately thought about the downtown Purina Mills plant when I heard about the City of Dallas putting up money to get a concrete plant out of the Trinity Groves area:

http://www.wfaa.com/...plant/74751210/

#29 rriojas71

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 06:42 PM

Does anyone else notice that the Purina Plant looks a little cleaner these days? Like it has been painted recently. The Logo is much more visible as well.





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