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Exhibit Opening Reception: “The Life and Death of Buffalo’s Great Northern Elevator, 1897-2023”

06/05/2024 @ 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

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 17 featured photos in this exhibit, which were either captured by photographer Bruce Jackson or taken from the Museum’s historic imagery, show Great Northern in its functional youth, its dormant old age, and during the long, brutal process of its demolition. The opening night of this exhibit will feature a reception in the Penfold Portico from 6pm to 8 pm and remarks delivered by Jackson at 6:30 pm.

$10 admission, FREE for Members

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