Grain Elevators, Buffalo, New York


This is a portrait of lost time, both my own and my hometown’s.

Buffalo was built on the back of the grain elevator. At the start of the 20th century, Buffalo was the fifth-largest city in the US and the largest grain port in the world. The siloes still crowd the river on both sides, but they’re mostly empty now, a decaying reminder of the past. Only the General Mills plant still accepts freighters.

Buffalo loves its grain elevators but can’t quite figure out what to do with them. I feel exactly the same, but I’m a landscape painter, which gave me a tool to fix the elevators in time.  I painted the view from the Ohio Street Bridge south. That’s the Standard Elevator on the left, and the Perot elevator on the right.

That’s the Buffalo of my youth, but it’s not the Buffalo you’ll see today, much of which has had a facelift in the ensuing decades. “The reuse projects are really cool but they’re only cool in light of where the city is coming from,” a Buffalonian told me.


Grain Elevator, Buffalo, New York is painted from the Ohio Street Bridge, 18X24, oil on canvas with cold wax medium, handmade cherry frame.

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