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Fort Worth, Texas, moves to demolish abandoned grain silos

Deemed hazardous and substandard, the silos' demolition is part of a broader initiative to improve the area.

Caution Tape

Matt Houston reported on Fort Worth, Texas, city officials moving forward on demolishing a cluster of abandoned grain silos for WFAA-TV. The facility has been deemed hazardous and a nuisance to the local community. The Worth Heights neighborhood has long been overshadowed by these towering remnants of the city's agrarian past. The Building Standards Commission declared the facility substandard and hazardous in March, setting an April 25 deadline for the property owner, 3500 Alice Trust, to propose a plan for demolition or renovation.

Efforts to reach the trustee responsible for the silos have been fruitless for over eight years, during which time the property has also accumulated over $200,000 in tax liabilities.  The grain elevator complex was initially built in 1923, signaling a shift towards larger capacity facilities in the agricultural sector. However, it has been abandoned, becoming a hotbed for criminal activities and a perilous playground for local youth and transients. The site has seen a troubling amount of police calls, including 367 incidents since 2006, and was the scene of a tragic accident in 2016 when a teenage girl died after falling down a grain chute.

The city has made several attempts to secure the site, removing stairwells and sealing entrances, yet intrusions and vandalism continue. The latest fire inside the silos this week was handled externally by firefighters due to safety concerns about entering the complex.

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