Sunday, September 12, 2010

Labor Day in Milwaukee

Sometimes, my job is just fun. Even though I had to get up at 5 a.m. and be out the door and on the expressway north by 5:45 a.m., I got to see a very cool event.

These two smoke stacks used to be part of a large building at what was the Milwaukee Road's headquarters in the Menominee Valley between downtown Milwaukee and where Miller Park, home of the Brewers, is located. When the railroad ceased to exist as a corporate entity, chunks of land were developed as train tracks were removed and buildings demolished. I don't know what building these were attached to. I just know that they were slated for implosion.

There had been talk of saving them, but deterioration due to the elements combined with their size made the cost prohibitive.

Demolition was supposed to be in July, but various factors served to push it back to Saturday, September 4th. Everyone was beat but we were contracted to provide our support services so at least one of us needed to be in attendance. Three years ago, a smokestack from the old Ovaltine plant in Villa Park was demolished on a bright September afternoon and neither Rodney nor I could attend that one. So, I volunteered to be here as did Rodney. He was on the ground and I was on the bridge.

The only complication was a 30 mph wind out of the west. Those of us on the bridge were told to move either left or right of the location opposite the stacks lest we get covered in dust or something get caught by the wind. Below are a few of my photos.

In the end, it lay down exactly as they planned. Clean up of the street took roughly 30 minutes. I came home and took a nap.

It was a great way to start the holiday weekend.

Beverage: Grape Juice


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