Silo City - Table of Contents ........... Grain Elevators - Table of Contents

Introduction - Silo City
Childs Street in the First Ward in Buffalo, NY

Silo City is a collection of three grain elevators on Childs Street owned by Rick Smith of Rigidized Metals Corp.  who dubbed the site "Silo City." Lake and Rail Elevator, originally part of Silo City, was sold to a Minnesota hedge fund in 2008 (online April 2013) and is now (2013) in use.  The Silo City elevators:

In addition to the 3 elevators, there is one other building that is part of Silo City:  the Elevator B Beehive.

Beth Tauke
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor Department of Architecture, UB School of Architecture & Planning
"Sampling Silo City"AUDIO

Silo City steward "Swannie Jim" Watkins ... Right Silo City owner Rick Smith ... Background: American Elevator office building

Rigidized Metals Corporation
658 Ohio Street. 

This is located on the property adjoining Silo City. If you are approaching Childs Street from downtown Buffalo on Ohio Street, Rigidized is just past Childs Street on the left.

A Rigidized owner - Rick Smith - bought the 4 elevators on Childs Street, sold one, and dubbed the remaining three "Silo City." See "For Buffalo's Grain Elevators, an Experimental Second Act" on The Atlantic Cities (online March 2013) for more information.

The Electric Elevator Annex / Cargill Electric Elevator Annex / Gelinmac Feed and Storage Mill
20 Childs St. (Ohio Street Lift Bridge at left)

This is the elevator at the corner of Childs and Ohio streets. It is NOT part of Silo City.

HABS (online March 2013).  11 photos and 24 data pages.

Industrial Heritage Trail

Excerpts from Grain Elevators: How to See Them: The Electric Elevator, by Aaron Heverin in 1997 (online March 2013):
The Gelinmac storage bins are all that remain of the Electric Elevator, which in turn was known as Cargill Electric. The Electric was built in 1897 as Buffalo's first elevator to be powered by electricity rather than steam. Electricity greatly reduced the risk of fire or explosion caused by on-site burning of coal for steam power.

Excerpts from Feed Plant Ordered to Shut Down, April 12, 2000 The Buffalo News article (online in March 2013):
After trying for years, city officials Tuesday won their battle to shut down a rat-infested Childs Street plant that has been manufacturing animal feed without a permit.

State Supreme Court Justice Frank A. Sedita Jr. ordered Gelmac Quality Feeds to cease operations within 30 days at the 20 Childs St. facility, a plant that processes old bakery goods into animal feed. His decision came after a two-hour hearing in the case, which dates back nearly four years in city records.

Last fall, one city attorney claimed "rats the size of Buicks" had infested the former grain elevator in the Old First Ward, where, according to city inspectors, Gelmac has been operating....

See also: Electric Elevator (DEMOLISHED)

Empty lot
between the Gelinmac (background) and American elevators (not in photo). 
This is the site of the demolished (1984) Electric Elevator.

American Elevator / Russell-Miller Milling Company Elevator / Peavey Co. Elevator
87 Childs Street
Part of Silo City.

"The Elevator was the first in Buffalo built of reinforced concrete, and is thought to be the first in the nation raised by slip forms into which concrete was continuously poured. Previously, concrete had only been poured once a day before any new concrete was placed." - HABS (online April 2013)

Elevator B Beehive
Part of Silo City.

A massive bee colony was lodged in the American Elevator Office Building. The idea of a competition to move the bee colony was hatched between UB School of Architecture and Planning and Silo City owner Rick Smith. The Ecological Practices Research Group did  much all of the planning and coordination of the competition which was called Hive City.

The project was built mostly by UB students. Rigidized Metals was involved in fabricating the metal panels, but the students built the structure, built the bee (elevator) cab inside, and attached the panels to the structure. Majority of construction was done by the students.

The students involved were Courtney Creenan, Kyle Mastalinski, Scott Selin, Lisa Stern, and Dan Nead.

The faculty advisors for the project were: Joyce Hwang, Chris Romano, Martha Bohm.

American Elevator Office Building
A massive bee colony was lodged in the American Elevator Office Building.  Owner Rick Smith contacted the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning's Ecological Practices Research Group to participate in a competition to transfer all of the bee colony from the office building to another site at Silo City.

Perot Malting Elevator / American Malting  Elevator / Genesee Brewing Elevator
100 Childs Street
Part of Silo City.
Located just past the American Elevator. The 1907 complex, with 1933 additions, consists of two distinct buildings: the workhouse/elevator and the malthouse.

Perot never had marine legs. It was connected to the American Elevator next door by an overhead conveyor that transferred grain to the Perot bins. The elevator complex was always used for malting barley for beer.

Lake and Rail Elevator / International Milling Elevator / ConAgra Elevator
120 Childs Street, Buffalo, NY

This elevator is NOT part of Silo City. Originally part of Silo City, it was sold to a Minnesota hedge fund in 2008 (online April 2013) and is now (2013) in use as a grain storage facility. Grain stored in this elevator gets shipped around the world.

Marine "A" Elevator
105 Childs Street, Buffalo, NY
Part of Silo City.

This is the last elevator on Childs Street and it is the only one on the right (east) side of the street.

View from downtown.

Original photo (without text) from Google Earth.

View from Silo City

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

Photos and their arrangement 2013 Chuck LaChiusa
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