BUFFALO, NEW YORK, US — Developer Douglas Jemal said he is offering Archer Daniels Midland Co. $100,000 to stabilize a damaged elevator that has been cleared for demolition, the Buffalo News reported.
He also has offered to pay for outside structural engineers to examine the abandoned grain elevator and give an independent judgment on its condition. Jemal has made a career in Washington, DC, US, and now Buffalo of resuscitating blighted buildings.
A New York Supreme Court judge on Jan. 4 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 facility, which is known as the Great Northern elevator.
The Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture believed the elevator could be repaired and went to court seeking an injunction against demolition.
Company attorney Brian Melber dismissed the idea of ADM selling the Great Northern when he was asked in court if the company would consider such an offer, the newspaper reported.
The Great Northern is the last remaining brick box-style grain elevator in North America, and the first, with the Electric Elevator, to be powered by electricity. Some of the 20 cylindrical steel bins inside are partially viewable after the storm created a large hole in the north wall.
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.