The Buffalo History Museum Debuts Great Northern Elevator Photo Retrospective

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

For anyone that is interested in the life and death of the great American grain elevators, mills, and silos, the Buffalo History Museum is launching a new exhibition titled “The Life and Death of Buffalo’s Great Northern Grain Elevator: 1897-2023.”

The exhibition is in tandem with the launch of educator and photographer Bruce Jackson’s new book, which documents the epic and fragile life of one of Buffalo’s mighty monoliths. The book spotlights the Great Northern that recently bit the dust at the hands of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).

Opening night of the exhibition is Wednesday, June 5, from 6pm to 8pm, with a reception in the Penfold Portico. Jackson will delivering marks on the photographs and his new book at 6:30pm.

About the exhibition, curated by Anthony Greco, Director of Exhibits: The 17 featured photos in the show, which were either captured by photographer Bruce Jackson or taken from the Museum’s historic imagery, show the Great Northern in its functional youth, its dormant old age, and through its controversial demolition.

Archer Daniels Midland got lucky the night of December 11, 2021: a fierce winter wind took out a third of the brick curtain surrounding of Buffalo’s Great Northern Grain Elevator. ADM had wanted to demolish the 225-year-old building since 1993, but each of its demolition requests to the city had been blocked. Six days after the storm, with no public hearings, the building was condemned. The ADM’s and the City’s rationale was that the damage to the brick curtain made the entire structure dangerously unstable. That was untrue: the brick curtain supported nothing; the Great Northern was in astonishingly good shape.

Preservationists objected in the press and in the courts, but to no avail. The Great Northern never had a chance. A unique piece of Buffalo’s economic and global architectural history was gone by early 2023.

“The Life and Death of Buffalo’s Great Northern Grain Elevator, 1897-2023”

More information can be found at Exhibit Opening Reception: “The Life and Death of Buffalo’s Great Northern Grain Elevator, 1897-2023” – The Buffalo History Museum.

$10 admission, FREE for Members

The Buffalo History Museum, One Museum Court, Buffalo, 14216 

The post The Buffalo History Museum Debuts Great Northern Elevator Photo Retrospective appeared first on Buffalo Rising.

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