For decades, the steel enclosure on a farm in Greensboro, Alabama, stored corn and grain sorgum—until 20 years ago when a tornado bowed it over. Timothy Hursley first spotted its bent form in 2006 and asked its owner, Towana Harris, for permission to photograph it. When he learned she planned to sell the silo for scrap, he purchased it and the right to move it away. That was three years ago, and there the silo still stands, an incongruous Oz-like artifact perched on Black Belt farmland.
Hursley, an architectural photographer based in Little Rock, is the lyrical documentarian of structures created by the Rural Studio. Auburn University sponsors the Rural Studio in Hale County to provide housing and teach design and construction to architecture students. This spring, a bonfire (above) marked the studio’s 20th anniversary.
“When I first saw the silo from Highway 14, I recognized it as a sculpture, maybe of a titan from space,” Hursley says. He shot it from many angles and set up a surveillance camera that captured it every 12 seconds, day and night, for a year and a half.
“Now I am looking for a partner to help with a move,” he says. “I’m open to many possibilities, but I think it would be best in an urban location—the more steel and glass around it, the better.”
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