Grain elevators have allowed grain to be held in bulk since the 1840s. These towers, which help drop grain into storage silos, started off as wooden structures (that also happened to catch fire easily). To make the silos safer, developers in the 20th century began using concrete, and the structures grew in popularity.
In the past few decades, however, an increasing number of grain elevators have been abandoned in cities. New shipping routes have allowed grain transport to bypass urban areas, and more than 9,400 silos are now idle throughout the United States, according to the Department of Agriculture.
The massive size of these silosmakes them tough to demolish, and doing so can cost millions of dollars, according to The Wall Street Journal. Instead, more and more developers are renovating grain elevators for new uses, converting the spaces into hotels, museums, and residential apartments all around the world. Take a look at some of the buildings.
Buffalo, New York, was a major grain handling port in the US for much of the 20th century. It is still home to a grain silo complex along the Buffalo River.
One of the structures, American Grain Elevator, was built for the American Malting Corporation in 1906. It was used to make beer for the eastern US until Prohibition.
The Perot grain elevator was built in 1907, and the Marine A grain elevator followed in 1925. In addition, the five-story Perot Malt House (which went up in 1907) served as a place to malt barley.
Most of the grain elevators in Buffalo’s Silo City have not been operational for decades, but the Lake and Rail Elevator was in commission until 2017.
Part of the complex lights up with various displays throughout the year.
Visitors can also participate in several activities during the day, such as rock climbing.
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Source: Business insider