EAST PEORIA — Anyone interested in watching the dramatic demolition from two years ago of a 175-foot, 100-year-old grain silo should tune into the History Channel this weekend.
Anyone interested in seeing the end result of the demolition, a massive pile of concrete and steel, should visit the site at 402 Center St. in East Peoria. Most of the rubble is still there.
The documentary airs Saturday at noon. Check your local listings for the History Channel channel. It is the first 16-minute segment of the premiere of "Dangerous Demolition" an episode of the program "Project Impossible." It features the death-defying work of Eric Kelly, the master demoliisher who "trips" buildings using only an excavator and his own nerves of rebar. Kelly runs Advanced Explosives Demolition out of Idaho and travels the world knocking stuff down.
"A 20-year (demolition) veteran watched the segment, and remarked that it was one of the more insane things he’s ever seen," said Dylan Robertson, the executive producer of the program and an operator of one of the drones that filmed the silo takedown in November 2016. "It was an incredible experience."
The program's promotional video ends with the massive silo falling.
"It produced a plume of dust and flying debris that nobody anticipated," Robertson said from Los Angeles this week. "It was awesome."
The program provides a brief history of the structure built during Peoria's whiskey boom years, an account of the slowly unfolding demolition drama, an explanation of the technique and interviews with Kelly and one of his two spotters.
It ends in a cloud of dust.
For property owner Tyler Seibert, the event didn't end with the filming of the demolition. It fact he is still living it.
The city of East Peoria has issued Seibert an ordinance violation for failure to clear the property of the rubble. He faces fines of $60 to $750 a day for the violation, according to Kateah McMasters, an attorney for the city. Seibert has responded that he intends to sell the concrete and steel as recyclable material, but that the market for the product has fallen below profitable levels. He's waiting out an uptick in the market.
If that is the case, the city responded, then Seibert is in violation of zoning codes that don't allow that type of a business in that area of the city, McMasters said.
Seibert's lawyer will argue a motion to dismiss the charges in Tazewell County District Court on Sept. 15.
"The city wants to control what I can and can't do on my property," Seibert said this week. "Is it unsightly? Yes. Obnoxious? Yes. But it's not hurting anybody being in there. But the city allows for that kind of use and I'm ready to go to clean it up but just waiting for the right time to do it. My plan is to recycle all that stuff."
Scott Hilyard can be reached at 686-3244 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @scotthilyard on Twitter.