The Urban Design Project Grain Elevator Project [header images/logo]
grain elevator

Symposium: Industrial Heritage in the Working Landscape

The BUFFALO GRAIN ELEVATORS are the largest extant collection of such grain elevators in the world. They reflect a very important part of our region’s past, actively contribute to the current economic situation, and we propose, will play a very important part in the future of the region.

Heritage can be preserved and celebrated, older industries can be productive while new industries emerge, and landscapes can be used for recreation. This conference asked: how do we manage all three at once? Many communities face the challenge of how to tell the stories and preserve the legacies of industries whose time has passed while at the same time supporting the survival of the remnants of those very same industries and fostering the development of new ones. And all of this occurs on landscapes that offer unique opportunities for recreation such as the Buffalo River Urban Canoe Trail.

The conference looked at how other cities have managed their industrial heritage. An update was given on our current scholarship and on recent efforts to bring these artifacts and their social, cultural, architectural history into a public conversation about the past, present and future of industry and tourism in the region.