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Old A&B Elevator feed mill knocked down, demolished

  • What's left of the old A&B Elevator feed mill is knocked over Wednesday afternoon. Press photo by Bob Steenson

  • The old A&B Elevator feed mill is torn down Wednesday afternoon by Kisch Excavating. The mill was on The Mill property along Hildreth Street. Press photo by Bob Steenson

  • From left, Gordon Boge, of Boge Farms; Jim Kisch, of Kisch Excavating; and Claire Rottinghaus, of The Mill Inc.; watch as an old wooden feed mill is demolished on The Mill property in Charles City Wednesday afternoon. Press photo by Bob Steenson

  • The old A&B Elevator feed mill is torn down Wednesday afternoon by Kisch Excavating. The mill was on The Mill property along Hildreth Street, next to the Charley Western Bike Trail. Press photo by Bob Steenson

By Bob Steenson, bsteenson@charlescitypress.com

The old A&B Elevator feed mill in Charles City came tumbling down Wednesday afternoon — literally.

The big wooden-framed building was located on The Mill property at 1300 Hildreth St.
Claire Rottinghaus, owner of The Mill in Charles City, Colwell and Nashua, said the old building was no longer being used and he was concerned about its condition, being so close to power lines and the Charley Western Bike Trail.

“I was afraid it was going to fall down,” he said. “It was gonna be a safety issue in the long run.”

Old A&B Elevator feed mill knocked down on The Mill Inc. site in Charles City

Kisch Excavating knocked down the old A&B Elevator feed mill on The Mill Inc. property at 1300 Hildreth in Charles City Wednesday afternoon. Claire Rottinghaus, owner of The Mill in Charles City, Colwell and Nashua, said the old wood-framed building was no longer being used and he was concerned about its condition, being so close to power lines and the Charley Western Bike Trail. "I was afraid it was going to fall down," he said. "It was gonna be a safety issue in the long run."Jim Kisch of Kisch Excavating said the steel from the building would be recycled but the rest of the material was being taken to the landfill.He said it was good to take the building down now, because there is a danger with old wooden buildings that if you wait too long and the wood becomes rotten they can be harder to control when taking them down.Gordon Boge, of Boge Farms, who was helping haul the scrap, said the building was about 24 feet wide by 32 feet long, and was 85 feet high at the highest point.

Posted by Charles City Press on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

A crew from Kisch Excavating in Charles City did the demolition, first notching the part of the building with the headhouse on it and pulling that down. That left what amounted to a big box of boxes — a tall rectangular structure filled with individual compartments that once housed grains for mixing feed.

An excavator attempted to knock that remaining structure down, and got it rocking back and forth away from the bike trail, but it wouldn’t fall.

The excavator operator went around to the other side and smashed in the bottom row of supports to weaken that side of the building, then went back to the other side to push it down.

But the building still didn’t collapse. With so much supporting structure inside it, the building simply rolled onto its side largely intact, and at that point the excavator began chewing it up, bit by bit.

Jim Kisch of Kisch Excavating said the steel from the building would be recycled but the rest of the material was being taken to the landfill.

He said it was good to remove the building now, because there is a danger with old wooden buildings that if you wait too long and the wood becomes rotten they can be harder to control when taking them down.

Gordon Boge, of Boge Farms, who was helping haul the scrap, said the building was about 24 feet wide by 32 feet long, and was 85 feet high at the headhouse.

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