Damen Silos demolition meeting scheduled for Aug. 22

The new owner of the more than century-old grain silos wants to tear them down and redevelop the Southwest Side riverfront land.

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The Damen Silos located along the Chicago River near 29th and Damen.

The Damen Silos along the Chicago River near 29th Street and Damen Avenue have been idle for decades.

Mark Capapas/Sun-Times file

A public meeting for the proposed destruction of the historic Damen Silos is scheduled for Aug. 22.

New owner Michael Tadin Jr. proposed demolishing the more than century-old grain silos to make way for a new development along the riverfront land near 29th Street and Damen Avenue. Tadin and his family business acquired more than 20 acres of industrial land from the state for $6.5 million in December.

Anyone interested in hearing plans can attend the 6 p.m. meeting at Arturo Velasquez Institute, 2800 S. Western Ave. The meeting is expected to include a livestream, and translation services will be available, according to the city.

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The topics that night include “safe demolition, oversight, dust control measures and health protections as an environmentally complex demolition,” according to the city’s health department.

City rules for large demolitions were revised after the implosion debacle of the former Crawford coal-fired power plant in Little Village three years ago. Planning for that implosion on Easter weekend in April 2020 failed to control the massive dust cloud that coated the community.

The planned destruction of the Damen Silos will not include an implosion.

The silos, featured in the 2014 movie “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” have been idle for decades.

Community groups, preservationists and other advocacy organizations late last year tried to persuade Gov. J.B. Pritzker to delay the sale by the state so the public could offer development ideas for the area.

State officials noted that the silos, owned by the state for more than 90 years, are not being used, and holding on to the property costs taxpayers money.

Tadin, co-owner of MAT Asphalt in McKinley Park, has not said how he will redevelop the land.

Brett Chase’s reporting on the environment and public health is made possible by a grant from the Chicago Community Trust.

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