Perot - Table of Contents ........... Grain Elevators - Table of Contents

2013 color photos
Mainhouse and Elevator - Perot Malting Elevator

100 Childs Street in the First Ward in Buffalo, NY
Part of Silo City

1933 additions
Original owner:
Perot Malting Co. Dissolved in 1963.
1984 owner:
Genesee Brewing Co. through its subsidiary Fred Koch Malting Company
The second example of reinforced concrete elevator construction in Buffalo.

On this page, below:

Exterior mainhouse and elevator


Mainhouse grain receiving

Mainhouse grain distribution

Mainhouse first floor

Elevator gallery/bin deck

Elevator scale

Elevator basement

Exterior Mainhouse and Elevator

View looking north towards Buffalo River.
Upper left: Overhead conveyor between American Elevator and Perot for transfer of barley from a ship to Perot.  This was built in 1933.

Center: Perot mainhouse, southern end of the building, and elevator.  In front of the workhouse is the sacking shed. Behind the mainhouse are the silos.

Between the two Perot buildings: Overhead conveyors  (bridge) between the elevator and malthouse transfer the barley from elevator to malt house for processing. The malting process includes cleaning, steeping the barley in water, germinating, drying and grading.

Right: The brick malthouse has "Perot" ghost writing.

Note rail line between the elevator and malt house. Before 1933, all the barley purchased by Perot came by rail and was unloaded here. This is also where distribution by rail took place.

When Genesee Brewing Co., through its subsidiary Fred Koch Malting Company, purchased the Perot complex elevator, the malt was hauled to Rochester, New York, to be brewed along with other ingredients into Genesee Beer.

Photo source: 1994, by Jet Lowe, found on HABS (online March 2013)

Same scene in 2013
Mainhouse/elevator ... Bridge ... Brick malthouse

Perot workhouse and elevator. behind.  In front of the workhouse is the sacking shed.
Photo source: 1994, by Jet Lowe, found on HABS (online March 2013)

Same scene in 2013.
Left bridge between American Elevator and Perot.  Right bridge between Perot mainhouse and malthouse.
Top mainhouse detail in next photo below:

Head house / Workhouse.
Lower section: Reinforced concrete ... Upper section: Steel structure covered with corrugated steel.

Traditional layout and design of grain elevators incorporates the equipment into an enclosure on top of the silos, which is known as a head house. The grain in this type of facility arrangement is conveyed to the individual silos/bins.

In the HABS research articles on Buffalo's grain elevators, "workhouse" is used instead of "mainhouse." HABS (online April 2013)

View of elevator and mainhouse from the Buffalo River.  Upper bridge used to horizontally convey barley from American Elevator to Perot.

Mainhouse Grain Receiving

Note railroad tracks to the immediate right of the Perot workhouse and silos in center of photo.

 Rail cars unloaded grain into a pit in the workhouse. A lofter scooped the barley from the pit up the workhouse for weighing and for distribution to the bins.

Photo source: 1994, by Jet Lowe, found on HABS (online March 2013)

Perot was built without marine legs. Until 1933, it used rail transportation to receive barley for malt production. This is where barley was unloaded from a rail car and dropped into the grated pit. Note one rail at bottom of photo.

Grated gravity pit that extends into the building. Rail cars unloaded barley here into the pit.

 Note rollers where a horizontal conveyor belt on rollers would have carried the barley from the grated gravity pit into the building.

In the gravity gravity pit barley drops onto three 30" wide crossbelts and is carried to the single 6,000 bu./hr. receiving leg. In this photo, the receiving leg ("lofter") is not visible because the beam at the right in the photo is blocking it.

This lofter (internal legs for the transfer of grain from the lower to the upper systems of horizontal conveyors) takes the barley up to the workhouse where it enters the 3,000 bushel garner-scale unit. From the scale, grain is dropped either to the 40" wide bin floor belt or transfered to the cleaning and grading area. From grading barley is transfered to bins for storage until transfer to the malthouse.

"The grain is dumped from a truck through the grates. The area below the grate is called the pit. The leg [lofter]  runs from the pit to the head house. On the leg is a thick rubber belt with buckets or cups. When the leg is started, the belt will move through the pit. The cups will fill up the grain and take it to the head house. As the leg reaches the top, it will arch, the cups will be up side down. When the cups turn to go back down towards the pit, they empty the grain on a conveyor belt. The cups will be facing downward, until the cups reach the pit and the will right themselves, filling up with more grain. The run is the conveyor belt between the elevator and a storage annex." - Gary Rich, How does a grain elevator work? (online April 2013)

Diagonal lofter (internal legs for the transfer of grain from the lower to the upper systems of horizontal conveyors) is at top right.

Diagonal lofter is at  right.
For another illustration of a lofter, see Perot elevator building.

Mainhouse Distribution into rail cars

Same area where grain is received from trains. Note spout that will drop grain into a door on the train car.

2nd story distribution room.  Spout illustrated above receives grain from this screw conveyor.

Mainhouse First Floor

Wall-size photos wheat pasted on wall.

For additional photos, see 2012 City of Night Party.

Far left: painting
Left: Metal lofter leg
Center: Photo leaning against wall is that of Silo City steward "Swannie Jim" Watkins.
Far right: Wall-size photo - perhaps not a scene from Buffalo - wheat-pasted on wall by Max Collins.

Left: Lofter (see next photo below)
Photo of Silo City steward "Swannie Jim" Watkins by Max Collins.

Detail of a lofter
Lofter definition: Internal legs for the transfer of grain from the lower to the upper systems of horizontal conveyors.
Leg definition: A vertical conveyor belt made of leather or canvas and equipped with buckets.

Two wall-size photos [probably not set in Buffalo] wheat-pasted on wall by Max Collins.

This is where grain from trucks was received.
Wood covers a channel where round screw conveyor was located. The conveyor continued through the hole in the wall.
Three wall-size photos of local dancer Nancy Hughes by Max Collins  are wheat-pasted on walls.

 "This series of photographs features local dancer, Nancy Hughes, posing in the grain elevators behind these very walls.  My intent was to create images that capture our industrial roots infused with a new creative energy that is making the rebirth of our region possible.  No longer will we think abandonment and defeat when we come across these spaces.  Instead, we will see opportunity." - Max Collins on his 2012 post.

Elevator gallery/bin deck

Gallery: A floor in the headhouse known as the "bin deck" at the same level as the silo tops. There were two parallel conveyor belts that carried grain outbound from the headhouse where the grain was diverted off the belt with a "tripper" into a selected silo for storage.

Horizontal conveyor belt with doors to bins below

Horizontal conveyor belt with tripper at right.
This traditional elevator employs belt conveyors with a movable tripper which diverts grain off the belt and into the desired bin below.  The belt and tripper combination is located above the silos in an enclosed structure called the gallery or bin deck.

When the tripper is positioned over one of the doors to bins below, grain is released from the tripper and the grain falls into the silo.

When a silo had a lot of grain stuck on the sides, a worker was lowered into the silo on a swing through the door illustrated above who then scraped the silo clean.

Note the handle and the swing seat.

Elevator scale

Located above the gallery.  Grain is weighed before being moved into the gallery and then into silos below.

Note the Classical fluting, a  characteristic of American architecture and design until the modern period.

Elevator basement

1907 hopper (a steel, tapered container found on the bottom of each bin/silo for easy unloading). A horizontal conveyor belt would have been positioned below the hopper. Note the concrete piers.

1907 steel hopper detail ...  Light bulbs were enclosed for safety purposes.

1907 reinforced concrete piers.

Instead of 1907 style reinforced concrete support piers, the 1933 annex used reinforced concrete piers.

Note two different sizes of hoppers. The smaller hoppers are at the bottom of the smaller interstitial silos.

Smaller interstitial hopper

Barley on the floor fallen from a silo and hopper above.  There is still [2013] some barley stuck to the sides of the silos, and, occasionally, some falls.

Special thanks to Silo City owner Rick Smith for his cooperation, and to Silo City steward "Swannie Jim" Watkins for his assistance. PHOTO

Photos and their arrangement 2013 Chuck 
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