Elevators for Elevators in Buffalo

During the first half of the 20th century, Buffalo, New York, had the largest capacity for grain storage in the U.S. with more than 30 concrete grain elevators along the Buffalo River and Lake Erie. In addition to serving as monuments to a former prosperity¬† — the first grain elevator was built in Buffalo in 1842 and the last in the 1950s — the structures boast distinct historical features. Some of the remaining 20-odd facilities are being preserved and even reborn, such as one that is now a mixed-use building, Silos at Elk Street, that serves as headquarters for Young + Wright Architectural. After buying the property for only around US$5,000 at auction, the firm poured approximately US$3 million into its transformation, which includes an elevator (of the vertical-transportation, rather than grain-storage, variety). Young + Wright tells ELEVATOR WORLD the transformation includes a five-stop elevator by Schindler in a five-story, brick building that formerly housed drying operations for grain used to make beer. “We have not actually touched the silos portion of our building,” the firm’s Mark Gallivan says. So, this post might be a little misleading in that the elevator is not actually located in the former grain elevator. However, an elevator in a grain elevator could be coming to Buffalo soon as part of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.’s plan to transform the circa 1915 Connecting Terminal on the Outer Harbor into a public attraction with an outdoor viewing deck. The Connecting Terminal is already home to nightly light shows.

The five-stop Schindler elevator that serves the offices.

 

Cold Starbucks and Claustrophobia: One Writer’s Account of Being Stuck in an Elevator

Madison, Wisconsin-based writer Doug Moe was visiting Washington, D.C., with his wife recently when he became stuck in their hotel elevator on the way back from fetching Starbucks. Moe wrote a pretty entertaining account of his misadventure for Madison Magazine. Check it out here!

Writer Doug Moe is clearly relieved to have been rescued by firefighters.

Elevator Operator: Being a Walmart Greeter Just Won’t Be The Same

There are still a few around, but elevator operators are a dying breed. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently told the story of

Wodke operating the elevator in the 1925 Century Building in downtown Milwaukee; photo by Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

a gentleman who has been operating the elevator in the 1925 Century building in downtown Milwaukee since 1992. More than simply a button presser, James Wodke had more of a public-relations, customer-service role, handing out treats for canine passengers and spraying air freshener when certain smells lingered in the cab. Originally an office building, the eight-floor structure now houses condos on several of its floors, and requires an elevator that can be operated automatically, 24/7. That puts Wodke and two part-timers out of a job as of October 1. Wodke told the Sentinel he might become a Walmart greet; certainly, it will not be nearly the same!