KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
July 19, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
The Cardiff Rice Dryer, a Katy landmark for over half a century, has a new owner. Work can actively be seen causing much excitement about what that could mean for the community. While the new owner remains anonymous, residents are assured that history and care are being considered.
Photo courtesy: Katy Heritage Society
A Passion Project
Katy is a buzz with the news of the dryer being restored and ideas of what it could become for the public. However, this is described as a “passion project” and will take a lot of time to clean the dryer up and get rid of remnants of pests and evidence of trespassers.
The public can look forward to a great future for the dryer, an iconic symbol to Katy’s history and the symbol most commonly associated with Katy’s “skyline.”
What Do We Know about the New Owner?
“I feel that he (the new owner) is the perfect person for this project,” says Adrienne Davitz, President of the Katy Heritage Society.
The new owner recently started a social media campaign to keep Katy residents in formed on the progress. He wishes to remain anonymous at this because this is a job and he wants to stay focused on it, his other projects, and his family.
According to Davitz, the new owner is a developer who lives just outside of Katy. This is unlike any project he’s ever done but Davitz says that for him in is a “passion project.”
He also has a son who is a graduate of Katy High School and the family is involved in the community.
The new owner is not associated with No Label Brewing Company, the popular local brewery and hangout that sits in the shadow of the dryer.
“I was very nervous originally when the Cardiff family put the rice dryer up for sale,” says Davitz. “This is the Katy skyline!”
Owner Shares Goals with Katy Heritage Society
Davitz and the Katy Heritage Society want to preserve the Cardiff Rice Dryer and its history to Katy. She couldn’t find anyone or any group that could buy the dryer but she and the society are involved.
About a month ago, Davitz and the Katy Heritage Society was emailed by the owner requesting historical information on the dryer.
“Then it turned into me touring and us envisioning possibilities,” says Davitz. “We’ve met to go over areas of it and he volunteers at Katy Heritage Society events.”
Everything is still very much in the planning process and anything can change but Davitz and the new owner of the Cardiff Rice Dryer appear to have the same goals.
“We agree that we want people to be able to use the area,” says Davitz.
Restoration is the Priority, Some Form of Future Museum
Many ideas are being discussed. The only things that are certain is that there will be some form of museum and the dyer will be restored.
“Right now, the rust needs to stop,” says Davitz. “This is a major clean-up operation.”
She says that the dryer is full of trash, the converter belts all have rotted rice in them, and they found a lot of rats and a bee colony.
All the windows are broken and shattered from years of trespassers.
“Making the place safe is the priority,” says Davitz. “Somethings will be removed but the historic feel will remain.”
An example is the two giant blowers that people see when they look at the dryer. The buildings around the dryers are falling apart but the blowers will be restored and displayed somewhere for the public to see.
“The new owner is taking care and paying attention to the little things,” says Davitz. “This takes time.”
The public can follow the dryer’s journey to restoration and exciting future on Facebook. The owner wishes to focus on the large task at hand but he’s keeping the public in the loop and even responding to comments.
When asked about what local company had supplied the concrete for the dryer’s construction, the answer proved most interesting. In searching for this information, the owner and the Katy Heritage Society found that it was Moore & Sons Construction.
But even more amazing, Davitz learned that it was her grandfather that delivered most of the concrete to the dryer, including the last load that finished the project!
Davitz understands that public’s desire to get the dryer open for tours and just to look pretty again. She stresses that it will get there but it’s hard to put a timeframe on this because it is such a massive project. They are also running into supply shortage and delays due to COVID.
The owner has been looking to other silos and dryer restoration projects from around the U.S. for ideas. Many things are being considered but it is certain that the Cardiff Rice Dryer will be restored and will benefit the Katy community.
This is an exciting and developing story.