|Location:||2860 South Damen Avenue|
The Silos is a place where Voight used to take bad guys to threaten them and run them out of town. He did make one exception though, he shot his son Justin's killer there in the season 3 finale Start Digging, which eventually cost detective Olinsky his life.
The colloquial "Damen Silos" harken back to an era when Chicago was a big player in the grain trade. The land on which the grain elevator lords over has been in use since the early 1800's. In 1832 a fire broke out at the grain elevator and then rebuilt with concrete. Disaster struck again on September 9, 1905 when spontaneous combustion killed several workers and consumed the entire building within an hour. Immediately thereafter architect John S. Metcalf was commissioned to build the current elevator.
The John S. Metcalf Company, consulting engineers, designed and built this facility for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad in 1906. The original complex included a powerhouse, elevator with temporary storage and processing silos, and thirty-five grain storage silos. With a 400,000 bushel capacity, this complex could accommodate sixty railroad cars at the elevator and 300 railroad cars at a yard a short distance away. Equipment at the site included two driers, bleachers, oat clippers, cleaners, scourers and dust packers. Using filtered water from the adjacent South Branch of the Chicago River, boilers with a total of 1,500 horsepower generated the steam and electricity required by the machinery. The thirty-five grain silos south of this facility had a total capacity of one million bushels.
In 1932, a grain dust explosion ignited a fire which destroyed the original timber and brick building. The Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad rebuilt the concrete processing house with fourteen reinforced concrete silos; the capacity of the facility was increased to 1,700,000 bushels. After reconstruction, the railroad leased the facility to the Stratton Grain Company.
In 1977 another large explosion caused significant damage to the grain elevator. Afterwards the location fell into disuse and became property of the state.