Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Standard Elevator

The Standard Elevator was designed by A.E. Baxter Engineering and built by James Stewart Engineering in Buffalo, NY, in 1928. An extension was added in 1942 by M.-Hague.

In 1992, Orrin Pava and I were given a guided tour of the facility by a man named Chris, who (as I remember) was the elevator's superintendent. Then owned by Pillsbury, the facility was being used to unload boats from the Great Lakes/New York State Barge Canal and transship the grain to neighboring flour mills via railcars and trucks. But when Orrin and I returned to the place in April 2010, it appeared that the elevator, "now" owned by ADM, was no longer operating.

One of the Standard's marine legs, thrust into the hull of the J.L. Mauthe.

A view of the leg, extended from the marine tower, into the boat's hold.

At the top of the marine tower, the grain is conducted towards the main house through "Y" spouts that have been erected on top of it.

Part of the machinery that garners the grain into batches and weighs it out. Note the wheel that turns the flow on and off: not an instance of "pure" utility or "form following function," but an instance of "useless" decoration and aesthetic beauty!

A horizontal conveyor-belt system waits to receive the grain from the garner and scale above.

The chart upon which the bins inside the "B-House" -- the extension built in 1942 -- are represented. Since the contents of the various bins (both full and interstitial) are temporary, they are "recorded" in chalk and then erased when the account has been cleared.

(All photos 1992 by Orrin Pava.)

1 comment:

  1. The Standard elevator has been in continuous operation since it opened in 1928 and still receiving grain to this day. However it has been converted to self unloading ships exclusively and no longer uses the marine towers. In this decade, all operating elevators in Buffalo have been converted to handle self unloading ships only.