Concrete Central ... (image heavy)

Zman

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You may have seen my previous posts of defunct grain elevators. Today I decided to make the trek to the last grain elevator I haven't explored. It's the Concrete Central, the largest and furthest down the Buffalo River. Developers have secured the other elevator properties and are undergoing renovation for new use as shops, restaurants, and apartments. Concrete Central is in a remote location and I wouldn't expect re-development of it, but you never know.

All RAW images post-processed with Adobe Elements 9 and Nik HDR Efex Pro ( I can't believe it's free )

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Zman

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^^^^^
What an amazing space. Did you go in alone? :eek:
I did. My greatest concern is coming upon a group of kids or homeless folks. One can only stay on the ground floor as all the stairways have been cut away, and the floor being solid concrete has no holes to fall into. I tread quietly & carefully and even use the electronic shutter so that my camera doesn't make a sound.
 
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I did. My greatest concern is coming upon a group of kids or homeless folks. One can only stay on the ground floor as all the stairways have been cut away, and the floor being solid concrete has no holes to fall into. I tread quietly & carefully and even use the electronic shutter so that my camera doesn't make a sound.
That's what I was thinking.
Glad you came out survived anyway. :thumbup:
 

doady

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What a coincidence, I finally just started reading a book I bought a year ago, Forgotten Heritage by Matthew Emmett, who photographs old abandoned buildings, and he describes some of the risks involved as well. I think you and others might his work also.

http://www.forgottenheritage.co.uk/
 

Darmok N Jalad

Temba, his aperture wide
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Due to the risk of spontaneous combustion of grain dust, those silos are built like bomb shelters. I've seen videos of contractors trying to implode them, and all that succeeds in doing is making them lean a little bit. They usually have to take the old-fashioned wrecking ball to them. They'll likely stand for a very very long time. It does look like the stairs are a bit ineffective now.
 

jhawk1000

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Several years ago, a grain elevator exploded from the grain dust and sparks which ended up blowing out one of the compartments and doing a bunch of damage to the elevator and killing several workers, and injuring several others. I was in my office and could see the plumes of smoke coming up from several miles out of the city. A friend of mine called me and said he was going to go to the elevator as one of the assistant district attorneys. He came over, picked me up and we drove very fast to the elevator. We were inside the elevator before some of the rescue people got there. He was interested in beginning an investigation into the cause of the accident. He used his badge to get us into the elevator and we had pretty much free reign as the hunt for injured and dead was progressing. The next day, he called and said that the grain elevator was closed while the Governor of the State visited but once again, we went out as if we were a part of the party, he showed his badge again and we followed a convoy of the Governor into the parking area and followed his party into the elevator again. We had met the Governor before but he had no idea when and where but assumed we were okay. We hung out and we could see some trying to figure why we were with the party.

Later, my firm ended up representing the heirs of one of the dead employees and one of the injured. We did nothing to contact or solicit the business so it was fortuitous that we were chosen to represent the workers, which by the way, they got the maximum allowed by workers compensation.

After going into the elevator twice, I would never enter one again unless absolutely necessary. We have elevators that are not functional but the owners are very careful to not allow trespassers because of potential liability. In fact, we had a deserted one explode last year since it had not been cleaned properly before it was more or less abandoned.
 

ektar

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Really enjoyed this set. Any idea how long it has been out of operation? Sort of fascinated by what appears to be the disappearance of or breakdown of paved roads into the facility.
 

Zman

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Really enjoyed this set. Any idea how long it has been out of operation? Sort of fascinated by what appears to be the disappearance of or breakdown of paved roads into the facility.
since you asked,
From wikipedia: "Concrete Central was built between 1915 and 1917 at the height of World War I. Due to its being the largest grain elevator in the world and concerns about German sabotage, Concrete Central's method of construction was top secret. The facility was utilized for grain storage until 1966. Concrete Central stretches along the Buffalo River for almost a quarter of a mile and was the largest transfer elevator in the world at the time of its completion in 1917.[2] It is also the largest elevator ever built in the Buffalo area. When in operation, it had the capacity to handle a total of 4.5 million US bushels (160,000 m3) of grain. The elevator allowed crews to load and unload 20 railroad cars an hour, and three marine legs along the Buffalo River side could load and unload three massive lake freighters at one time."
 

jhawk1000

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From the times that we built stuff. Gawdamighty.
In our city, we have not built that kind of stuff for years but we have certainly made it more beautiful and have set a world's record in the process. This concrete giant was the work of one artist named GLeo and it is called "Horizontes" showing the diversity of the area of the city. I asked my wife to shoot some pictures of the grain elevator for me to post on this forum since this is her project and I never try to interfere with trying to "steal her thunder" by photographing the same thing. It carries her logo but I was with her every step of the way as we went from a close-up
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view next to a major street to an area that showed the closeness to the railroad which is prohibited from entry.
 
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