New Look for Grain Elevators

March 18, 2013 Updated Mar 18, 2013 at 7:37 PM EDT

By Jason Gruenauer

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March 18, 2013 Updated Mar 18, 2013 at 7:37 PM EDT

BUFFALO (WKBW) The grain elevators of Buffalo are both a long standing part of history and a staple of the skyline; once booming, then idle, and now potentially making a comeback.

"They're existing urban mountains, so let's just play with them as such," Jason Schwinger of Silo City Rocks said.

That is the idea behind 'Silo City Rocks,' turning a now-vacant grain elevator along the Buffalo River into a rock climber's paradise.

"It's really a relatively low cost, potentially very high impact way to reuse these elevators," one of the project's partners said.

The facility would have indoor and outdoor climbing routes bolted right into the side of the elevator, a kid zone, retail shop, and much more.

"There's going to be bike rentals set up, standup kayaks, paddle boards, people rock climbing indoors and outdoors," Andrew Minier said.

"There will be a yoga studio inside, a community center, we're really going to focus on the history of the area as well," Schwinger added.

Organizers still have plenty of work to do, but are hoping to open climbing to the public by this summer.

And it's not the only movement on the grain elevator front. The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation is now moving forward with plans to light up some of Buffalo's signature structures.

"We're now moving into an implementation phase, which we will approve that implementation hopefully within the next couple of months," Robert Gioia, Chairman of the ECHDC said.

Chairman Gioia envisions a scene much like Quebec City, turning massive walls of concrete into moving art.

"Using the connection terminal like an outdoor theatre and a movie screen, an action film, which would be extremely exciting," Gioia added.

And in doing so, Gioia hopes to continue the progress and momentum of Buffalo's waterfront development and spread it even further.