Friday, May 7, 2010

The Wollenberg Grain Elevator and Feed Mill

Built in 1912 out of the wood salvaged from the old Kellogg "B" Elevator (which itself dated back to 1892), the Wollenberg Grain Elevator and Feed Mill managed to stay in business until 1987, when it suddenly closed and was abandoned. In 1990, the Wollenberg -- the only wood-binned country elevator in Buffalo -- was selected for documentation by the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), and in 2003 the Wollenberg was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Despite these honors, the Wollenberg was never properly cleaned or secured by the City of Buffalo. In point of fact, it was one big firetrap: filled with piles of flour, grain dust and feed. On 1 October 2006, the Wollenberg was partially destroyed by a fire of uncertain origin; on 3 October 2006, whatever remained was torn down by the City of Buffalo.

In 1992, Orrin Pava and I visited the Wollenberg. These are the photographs that Orrin took.

Grain dust (and cobwebs) cover the machinery inside.

Piles of raw grain dumped on the floor.

Looking down into one of the wooden grain bins. Bags as well as raw grain are at the bottom.

Spouts in the ceiling.

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