BUFFALO, NEW YORK, US – A New York Supreme Court judge on Dec. 19 issued a temporary restraining order preventing Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) from demolishing a grain elevator that was badly damaged in a recent windstorm, the Buffalo News reported.
The elevator, which stands adjacent to the company’s flour mill in Buffalo, has not been operational since 1981 but is considered a historic landmark by local preservationists.
Known as the Great Northern elevator, it was once the nation’s largest grain storage facility when it was built in 1897 and is believed to be the nation’s only brick-box elevator still standing.
But ADM, which has submitted an emergency demolition application to the City of Buffalo, now sees the structure as “posing significant safety concerns on site and at adjacent properties and roadways.”
The restraining order issued by Justice Dennis J. Ward bars demolition or alteration of the building until the next scheduled meeting between ADM and representatives of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture, which requested the restraining order.
“Our primary concern is always the safety of the public, our neighbors, and our employees,” ADM said. “Under the circumstances, we have submitted an emergency demolition application to the city. In it, we share our commitment to dismantle the structure in a prompt, responsible and safe manner and look for ways to preserve the legacy of the structure, such as donating artifacts to a local museum.”
In its demolition application to city officials, ADM noted that there have been several incidents in recent years in which debris has fallen from the building.
The damaged grain elevator is located next to one of the nation’s largest operating flour mills. With a daily production capacity of 22,600 cwts, the ADM Milling plant in Buffalo ranks as the 17th largest mill in the country, according to Sosland Publishing Co.’s 2022 Grain & Milling Annual.