architect: Joseph Dart, Robert Dunbar (Engineer)
years built: 1864
“The first grain elevator in the world was built in Buffalo in 1842 by Robert Dunbar for Joseph Dart. The Evans Elevator was originally built by Dunbar in 1847 and several times rebuilt after fires. Until its destruction last year it was the oldest standing elevator.
Comparable to the great textile factories of the east were these new industrial edifices which had their origin in Buffalo and spread from here all over the world. Their splendid scale, simple, dramatic forms and direct functional expression are in the sharpest possible contrast to the ornamental excesses of the houses and commercial buildings of the mid-century. Like their successors, the concrete elevators of the twentieth century, these peculiarly Buffalo Buildings represent the challenge of American engineers to American architects. This challenge has rarely been answered. “