The Two Significant Guys encourage the feeding of kids while speaking of the importance of family values. They also eat mexican food and report on the implosion of buildings, including the Truckers Terminal and Montgomery Wards. Recorded in Denver in 1991 and 1992 with Hugh Graham and Ray Schelgunov under the direction and camera of Mike Reddick.
Walking past old buildings in Denver I hear whispered voices speaking all at once; trading cattle and dust, mourning lost babes and loves, planning a future for the irreverent, energetic young Denver.
Beside the voices ghost doors bang and creak. Ghost children pound muddy boots on stairs, pencil marks climb door jams like growth rings. Private, quiet, secret walls now share their scars where headboards rubbed, vanished staircases etch zigzag signatures on remnants of walls pocked with fist holes, peep holes, bullet holes.
The only completely silent building I knew was called the “Trucker’s Terminal.” It stood against Denver’s bright, windy sky – a pop-up rectangle that was its own tombstone. Quiet and pale, most folks didn’t even recognize it existed at all, until it didn’t… until its absence let a little more light onto Wazee Street for a few months… until the next monolith arose – a new baseball field was planned.
One Wednesday a demolition rig appeared. Belching and roaring it attacked The Terminal. With each huge swing of the wrecking ball a tiny chip of concrete fell onto the weed-webbed patch of pavement below. Rebar sprang from the wounds in silent, incomplete sentences.
To compensate, explosives were arranged and a celebration planned. History was to be made. At dawn, people filled fields and parking lots surrounding The Terminal. Tables went up. Silver coffee urns and trays of muffins kept the watchers busy for a time.
Late morning arrived and a rumor ringed the crowd, becoming truth; there would be no implosion that day. Refusing spectacle, The Terminal was choosing a more intimate passing.
The eventual destruction was attended by only a few small clusters of admirers. Afterward, as gigantic dust clouds rolled eastward in the implosion’s aftermath, watchers shouted, triumphant. The Terminal’s upper half stood intact, defiant, silent.
– Sharon Feder, sfeder.com
The Fireman’s Grain Elevator stood 120 feet tall at 20th Street and Wazee at the center of abandoned small buildings and remnants of our rail and distribution heritage. Surrounded by days gone by, it looked proudly over the area in silence.
Times had changed, and trucking had replaced railroads as the preferred means of commerce into the heart of the city. “Truckers Terminal” was now displayed in large painted letters on its huge flat walls. Tractor-trailers were parked on the bricks inlayed by the previous era. The bricks as well as the entire area would be scrapped for the beginning construction of Coors Field. The bricks were piled in a long and high mount that I called “the brick pile” hardly romantic…
Time had dictated the demise of the Fireman’s Grain Elevator and its part in storing and distributing grain to the Rocky Mountain West – the huge box like structure held tough until the end. To document its part in Denver’s heritage, I would witness its implosion with others. My goal was to get the best photograph of the day.
I admit, I was a bit territorial in my attitude to document this day on film, having roamed this area extensively. Confident, I thought the day belonged to me. Early in the day I did a cursory scouting trip to check out the scene, everyone was camped out 1000 feet to the west of the implosion site. My main concerns were the phototographers from the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post who I respected greatly – they were also grouped with the others, good. Their view would be good with the backdrop of the city, but I wanted a place directly across the street, just 200 Feet from the implosion.
The day had arrived, and the area was being cordoned off for safety. I had to act fast, onto a fence I climbed, pulling myself and photo gear onto the roof. I set up my tripod, camera with motordrive, I composed my shot and waited. Soon a loud forboding siren gave a warning. Silence – BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM – the building was going down, leaning to its right, it collapsed into the ground. I had captured it all, as if in slow motion. A huge cloud of blown up concrete dust soon surrounded and covered me. Into the dust, I shimmed down the back of the building, into the alley, and found 20th Street. I had done it.
-Kim Allen / DenverPhotoArchives.com