Why Not Here?From The Buffalo History Gazette: Just a few driving hours away from Buffalo in Akron Ohio lies one of the best examples of grain elevator re-use when the option of grain storage is no longer viable. They had one grain elevator in Akron near downtown and after it closed there was a grand transformation to the site. Demolition? A Buffalo tradition. Of course not, they put it to good use and made a first class hotel out of it. Currently, The Quaker Square Inn at The University of Akron. Photo Gallery of Quaker Square I have stayed there three times and slept in a silo! This hotel is very impressive, steeped in tradition of the Quaker Oats Company who had a mill to go along with the elevator. One doesn't come away thinking this as an interesting hotel inside a grain elevator, the reaction is more like, "this is a magnificent hotel!" And this is by no means the only example of this type of re-use. Since this was built there have been many similar reconstructions into living space in grain elevator and related mill buildings around this country and around the world. What does all this have to do with Buffalo? Plenty. (continued in the Buffalo History Gazette)
See what a little pride and respect for ones history and heritage created in Quebec City. 400 Hundred Years of Quebec City History Projected on a Grain Elevator, the Largest video projection in the world. On the Video Page.
No, we’re not talking plastic surgery here. The latest and greatest opera house in France used to be an old, decrepit grain silo, abandoned and left for demolition. Overlooking the port of Marseille, Arenc Silo was built in 1927, and was highly visible from within Marseille. Fortunately, the city decided it just needed a transformation. The result was a fully renovated, modern and beautiful work of architectural art. It’s home to a restaurant with a panoramic view of the city, and the large open space at the center of the silo is perfect for an auditorium. Waste not, want not, right? The Web Urbanist calls it “adaptive reuse.” We learned through them that Amsterdam-based architect Bjarne Mastenbroek has transformed old farmhouses into futuristic homes, while other architects have turned old fire towers into epic mountain homes with insanely beautiful views. Broken down train cars are even being used as churches!
However, other creative minds prefer to turn abandoned buildings into light installations. Luisa Alvarez transformed an abandoned house into a “color-filled wonderland” using old color-tinted photographic negatives and gels. Named Habitando, Alvarez created room dividers, window coverings, and even furnishing to fill the old home with colors and silhouettes. The effect caused swatches of color to be thrown onto the walls and interior. Some of the negatives featured silhouettes of people dancing and swaying along the wall.
To this day, Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill’s legendary live/work complex in Barcelona, Spain remains one of, if not the most impressive examples of adaptive reuse we’ve ever seen. It all started about 35 years ago when the controversial architect discovered an abandoned cement factory comprised of over 30 silos, underground galleries and huge engine rooms. He bought it and began renovation. This included defining the space by demolishing certain structures, cleaning cement, exposing previously concealed forms, and planting various greenery including eucalyptus, palms, olive trees and cypresses. Today, the factory has been successfully transformed into his personal home, as well as a multitude of offices, modeling and archival laboratories, a projection room, and a huge space known as ‘The Cathedral’, which serves as a venue for subsequent exhibitions, lectures, and concerts.
The Barcelona Spain cement elevator renovation from 1975, video, photos & links. You WILL be amazed! Where is all the innovative thinking in Buffalo? Compare this story to the Wheeler story on the left. The opportunities for great things are all around us, but here, it is faster & easier to tear something down, than to THINK and CREATE!
Barcelona Spain Cement Elevator Re-use
Grain Silo Becomes Opera House in Marseille TRAVEL NEWS — BY CANDICE WALSH ON NOVEMBER 11, 2011 AT 11:33 AM
The National Museum of Industrial History captures the stories of America's industrial achievements and the accomplishments of its inventors, managers and workers. Located across from the main entrance of the historic Bethlehem Steel, the National Museum of Industrial History features exhibits in the context of American society, economics, technologies, business and workers. Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, the NMIH strives to display America's excellence for the Bethlehem community.
Kellogg Elevator by the Michigan Ave. Lift Bridge over the Buffalo River
The Sascatchewan Pool Elevator on the outer Harbor is ideally situated for a hotel conversion. It was sold to a local developer in June.
Joseph Dart - Missing in Action!
The most significant figure in Buffalo's waterfront history, next to Samuel Wilkeson, has gone missing! Joseph Dart, inventor of the worlds first commercial Grain Elevator has disappeared! On the Commercial Slip Bridge, historical signage about Joseph Dart and the Grain Elevator he invented, was mysteriously replaced with a "REBIRTH & RENEWAL" sign talking about the "fight for rebuilding Commercial Slip" and how it came to be! THAT is more important than Joseph Dart? Hardly. The R & R story is nothing to brag about, an embarrassment at best in my opinion. There should have been no fight about reconstructing Commercial Slip, the western terminus of the Erie Canal. That site is one of the most historic in this country and definitely in NY State. All it does is express the ignorance of those in power in Buffalo at the time when all this was being planned. Rebuilding Commercial Slip was such a no-brainer that the lawsuits, fights and arguments etc. necessary to bring this about, was not a proud moment in our planning history. Joseph Dart invented the worlds first Grain Elevator, a system of grain handling that took full advantage of our location on the Erie Canal, making Buffalo the greatest grain handling port in the world for over a century. His system revolutionized bulk grain handling in every port in the world that transferred grain. He made possible Buffalos first great commercial venture, a reason for being, 17 years after the opening of the Erie Canal. But the real issue is, where is the Joseph Dart Sign?? As far as authentic history of Buffalo, one can't get much more noteworthy than Joseph Dart. Leave Dart out, then you may as well take away every other sign on the bridge also. If those responsible really need the rebirth story out there, build your own sign, you have the money. Return Joseph Dart to his rightful place. Where is it? Don't care who took it, just have some respect for Buffalos Heritage and return Joseph Dart to his rightful place soon. Thank You - See also: Grain Elevators as They Were, Part 2
Help Find Joseph Dart
IF ANYONE CAN SHED SOME LIGHT ON THE MISSING JOSEPH DART SIGN PLEASE CONTACT ME AT:
Jerry M. Malloy
We see the Wilkeson name at a new park on the outer harbor. What was his role in history on the Buffalo Waterfront? Read his story about the building of Buffalo's first harbor and the fight for the Erie Canal with neighboring Black Rock in the: Buffalo History Gazette.
500 Plus Visit the Col. Ward Pumping Station During Our Annual Tour
Col. Ward himself would have been proud at the interest his pumping station generated on September 20th, nearly a hundred years after it went into operation. Hundreds crowded the balcony on a beautiful sunny Saturday to view the displays, photos, video and of course the Holly Steam Pumps. Next year look for additional tours planned to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the station.