Where does Arlington Park wreckage go? Some bricks to be preserved, other debris being recycled

Demolition equipment continues to pick apart the old six-story Arlington Park grandstand, leaving behind tons of debris at the site of the historic racing palace.

But there are plans to preserve some of what's been torn down for posterity and recycle most of the rest of it.

Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes said Monday the village is leading an effort to preserve about 1,000 bricks and make them available to the public. Plans for how or when the relics would be distributed are still being formulated.

Other potential mementos from the site would be more difficult to reclaim - a process that could become unwieldy for the demolition contractor, Hayes said.

But even before the Chicago Bears finalized their $197.2 million purchase of the shuttered racetrack and took possession of the property in February, the village secured about a dozen pieces of Arlington Park nostalgia, including trackside benches and a large metallic crest.

Plans are still in the works about where those will be displayed around town, but village officials have said the artifacts would be well-suited at village hall, in the downtown and at the Arlington Heights Historical Museum.

A Bears official said the goal is for at least 80% of the demolition material to be recycled, including concrete, ferrous metal, nonferrous metal, blocks, bricks and general construction debris.

Most of the disposal material is being taken to the Lakeshore Recycling Systems waste transfer station on Powis Road in West Chicago. Some of it is being taken just blocks away to the waste hauler's transfer station on Berdnick Street in Rolling Meadows.

Exterior demolition started June 16, with crews working to tear down the east and west sides before proceeding toward the center. The structure is set to be gone by the end of the year.

Demolition of the office, paddock and jockey buildings is scheduled to start in the fall and also be done by year's end.

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  A little more than a month into demolition of the six-story Arlington Park grandstand, crews continue to work piecemeal through the structure instead of using detonation. Paul Valade/
  Pieces of the cantilevered roof have been taken down at Arlington Park. Paul Valade/
  Demolition crews have been working the east and west sides of the Arlington Park grandstand, then proceeding to the center. The job is expected to be complete by year's end. Paul Valade/
  Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes said Monday the village will preserve about 1,000 bricks from the Arlington Park grandstand for distribution to the public. Joe Lewnard/
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