Thousands of people drew paychecks from the sprawling Kaiser Aluminum smelter in North Spokane during its more than 50 years of operation. The California company that bought the Mead site last year is about a third of the way through a project to put people to work on the property again, this time as a new business and industrial park. Rather than renovating the several dozen dusty and dirt-caked buildings on the 170-acre property, owner New Mill Capital LLC is tearing down nearly everything and starting from scratch.
A demolition worker cuts the bolts holding the siding in a pot line room at the old Kaiser Mead smelter, Sept. 17, 2013. The dangerous siding is being removed before the rest of the structure dismantled.