Silo City - Table of Contents ........... Grain Elevators - Table of Contents

Marine "A" Elevator

105 Childs Street in the First Ward in Buffalo, NY
Part of Silo City



Watercolor By Carol Case Siracuse

Industrial Heritage Trail Photo, Map, History

Silo City


See also:
HABS (online April 2013) The main source of information about Marine "A"

3 drawings illustrating how grain elevators work

Original owner: The Buffalo-based Abell family built the original Marine Elevator about 1870 beside the Hatch Slip at its junction with the Buffalo River downstream of the Michigan Street Bridge. There was little space for expansion, so Harold L. Abell acquired the undeveloped site at 105 Childs.

Upon completion of the building at 105 Childs, the old elevating complex was known as "Marine B." 

Marine "A",  built as a transfer elevator, had a very short active life. It was constructed in 1925 and because it didn't have a mill associated with it (although one had been planned) , the elevator fell victim to the demise of the industry during the 1960s when the transshipment business that was prevalent in Buffalo collapsed.

Construction cost:
$250,000 in 1925  ($3,238,505 in 2012 dollars) 
1. Rather than raising the bins on a full bin slab above basement columns which bore the weight of the structure, the design carried the bin walls down to the foundation slab. Within each bin, a full width conical hopper is supported on pilasters

In this design, the hopper bottom only has to support the weight of the grain in the hopper.  The weight of the grain above the hopper is transfered to the side wall of the bin.

2. This is an early example of all concrete slip formed workhouse construction.

Rail shipment

Though the Marine Elevator Co. did not anticipate unloading substantial amounts of grain shipped by rail, facilities were provided to transfer from cars to the new elevator.  Four tracks entered the car shed vat the southwest corner of the elevator and between each pair of tracks a carpuller was installed for spotting boxcars over the receiving hoppers or under the car loading spouts.

Two pairs of manually-guided Clark automatic power shovels scraped the grain out of the cars and into the 1,000-bushel receiving pits located under the two tracks nearest the elevator.

- HABS, p. 18 (online March 2013)

Special thanks to Silo City owner Rick Smith for his cooperation, and to Silo City steward "Swannie Jim" Watkins for his assistance. PHOTO

Color photos and their arrangement 2013 Chuck LaChiusa
| ...Home Page ...| ..Buffalo Architecture Index...| ..Buffalo History Index... .|....E-Mail ...| ..

web site consulting by ingenious, inc.