BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Judge Emilio Colaiacovo has issued a decision that allows for the demolition of the Great Northern Grain Elevator.
The grain elevator was damaged during a windstorm on December 11, 2021 and lost a significant portion of one of its brick exterior walls. The owner of the building, ADM Milling Company, then filed for emergency demolition and on December 17, 2021 the City of Buffalo announced it would grant an emergency demolition permit.
Since the announcement that the emergency demolition permit would be granted, the case has gone through the court system with preservationists fighting to save the building.
- Dec. 16, 2021: Union wants to purchase Great Northern Grain Elevator in Buffalo
- Dec. 20, 2021: Historic grain elevator gets temporary reprieve from wrecking ball
- Dec. 22, 2021: Great Northern Grain Elevator decision on hold
- Dec. 27, 2021: Ganson St. Grain Elevator decision to come "quickly"
- Dec. 29, 2021: Preservation group releases potential concepts for a restored Great Northern Grain Elevator
- Jan. 5, 2022: Demolition of Great Northern Grain Elevator can start after temporary restraining order vacated
- Jan. 7, 2022: Preservationists appeal Great Northern demolition ruling; judge denies request to extend demo stay
- Jan. 14, 2022: Another temporary restraining order issued blocking demolition of the Great Northern grain elevator
- Jan. 20, 2022: Ralliers call for independent expert to evaluate The Great Northern Elevator, urging Buffalo Common Council to place 60-day moratorium
- Feb. 15, 2022: Judge issues preliminary injunction blocking demolition of the Great Northern Grain Elevator
According to court documents on May 31, 2022 the court conducted an on-site inspection of the building and a hearing was held on June 2, June 3 and June 9 where each side was permitted to call witnesses to testify.
Following the hearings, Judge Colaiacovo's decision determined those trying to save the building "failed to demonstrate that the commissioner had no basis in fact" and "failed to show that the determination was irrational or arbitrary" when the emergency demolition permit was granted.
The decision says in part "while the Court certainly notes the public interest in this case as well as the history of the Great Northern itself, nostalgia and attraction does not warrant reaching a conclusion that is contrary to the facts. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, they are not entitled to their own facts. After the hearing, the facts show that this building, while historic and of sentimental interest, cannot survive with a huge, gaping hole in its northern wall."