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City of Buffalo to grant emergency demolition permit for Great Northern Grain Elevator damaged in windstorm

Great Northern Grain Elevator
Posted at 4:00 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 16:01:36-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The City of Buffalo announced it will grant an emergency demolition permit for the Great Northern Grain Elevator that was damaged in last weekend's windstorm.

The owner of the Great Northern Elevator, ADM, filed for emergency demolition earlier this week and said the damage the building took is too extensive and now poses "significant public safety concerns" in the area.

The demolition filing, submitted Wednesday, states several reasons the structure is beyond repair. Their filing reads, in part:

All of the engineers have concluded that the structure was not designed or built to withstand what are now understood to be the expected wind loads in its location, and that there is no safe or feasible way to remedy those design deficiencies. The Brick exterior walls are far too high, too thin and are unsupported. And because the building is over 120 years old the mortar throughout has degraded. In addition, the corrugated panel sheeting on the cupola is corroding and pieces are being periodically blown off the structure by the wind, causing potentially life-threatening debris falls. The unavoidable conclusion is that the only way to protect the public from the dangers of an inevitable further catastrophic collapse, or the ongoing scattering of debris being blown off the structure by high winds, would be a safe and immediate demolition.

Earlier this week, many community members and leaders spoke out against demolishing the structure due to its historical significance.

Thursday, a local union said it was interested in determining the feasibility of purchasing the grain elevator and re-purposing it as a union hall.

7 Eyewitness News has reached out to ADM and Preservation Buffalo Niagara for comment, we are waiting to hear back.