BUFFALO, NEW YORK, US – A New York Supreme Court judge on Jan. 4 cleared the way for the demolition of a damaged elevator owned by ADM Milling Co.

Judge Emilio Colaiacovo rejected a preliminary injunction sought by the Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture to prevent the emergency demolition of the rare brick box-style elevator with steel bins.

After the 125-year-old elevator, which has not been operational since 1981, was damaged in a windstorm last month, the City of Buffalo’s department of permits and inspections issued an emergency demolition permit to ADM.

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 Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture believed the elevator could be repaired and went to court seeking an injunction against demolition.

“Our primary concern is always the safety of the public, our neighbors, and our employees,” said Jackie Anderson, ADM spokesperson. “The court’s decision now allows us to actively address the significant safety concerns the structure poses on-site and at adjacent properties and roadways. Pursuant to the order, we will begin the required demolition activities without delay to address the immediate safety concerns.

 “In the meantime, we are identifying artifacts from the structure that can potentially be preserved safely. We are also reaching out to potential partners to discuss ways in which those items can be displayed and shared with the community to celebrate the legacy of the structure for years to come.”

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.

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.