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Owner of Great Northern Elevator files for emergency demolition

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Posted at 5:20 AM, Dec 16, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The company that owns the Great Northern Elevator in Buffalo has filed for emergency demolition of the historic building after it sustained heavy damage in last weekend's windstorm.

ADM Milling Company released a statement Wednesday that said the damage the building took is too extensive and now poses "significant public safety concerns" in the area.

The company said those safety concerns prompted them to submit the emergency demolition application to the City of Buffalo.

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.
ADM Milling Company

ADM also referenced several other incidents in which the structural integrity of the elevator was jeopardized, along with numerous debris fall incidents in its emergency demolition application.

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

The Buffalo Preservation Board meets at 3:00 p.m. Thursday though it's not clear whether they will discuss the matter.