Buffalo’s Grain Elevator Bricks Need To Be Cherished
A judge has ruled that an emergency demolition can take place on the damaged Great Northern Grain Elevator in Buffalo.
The building was hit hard by powerful winds off of Lake Erie and it is only a matter of time until the entire building will be coming down.
But no matter what you think should happen, or what the resolution will eventually be, there is an incredible history tied to the building. Not only was that building, and others like it, instrumental in making Buffalo the "Queen City of the Great Lakes", but the actual materials used to construct that building have an interesting history.
I found an perfect resource for anyone who wants to get more information about the history of the bricks used in construction and that were made here in Buffalo,NY. Up Against the Wall: An Archaeological Field Guide to Bricks in Western New York is a great way to learn about bricks you might find around your neighborhood and the history of the bricks used to build Buffalo.
In 1887, the city limits enclosed 27,004 buildings of wood, 7,943 of brick, 101 of stone and 74 of iron. In 1896, Buffalo initiated a building code that further encouraged substantial construction.
As a matter of fact/history, the Great Northern Grain Elevator was also built by bricks that were made right here in the 716 as well!
Landmark structures built of brick during the period included:
The 1898 Great Northern grain elevator on Ganson Street, the last "brick box" elevator in the nation.
Is it time for the Great Northern building to come down? It may be. But the tangible history of the building itself should be preserved in some way. Every brick tells a story about the grit and vision our fellow Buffalonians had nearly 150 years ago!