During the windstorm on December 11, 2021, Buffalo’s Great Northern Grain Elevator sustained significant damage to its north wall. In response to the damage, its owner, Archer Daniels Midland, has rushed to raze the landmark and erase its history. But what is its history? And, perhaps more importantly, how has it influenced the present? Hear from Gregory Delaney, professor in the University at Buffalo’s Architecture department, about the history of the Great Northern Grain Elevator (believed to be the only surviving example of a “brick box” elevator) and learn how Buffalo’s grain elevators influenced the likes of Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe in spurring the development of the modernist movement.
Gregory Delaney is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University at Buffalo, where he teaches courses in architecture history, building and urban analysis, and studios in architecture and urban design. As someone who straddles many domains, his work operates in the liminal, intra-disciplinary spaces between design and history/theory/criticism; architecture and urban design; and speculative provocation and historic preservation. He is guided—both in thought and teaching—by an interest in lateral-thinking, advancing a middle space to work across disciplinary domains and better engage and promote public discourse around architecture and design. As core research and teaching methodology, he is dedicated to advancing student knowledge and engagement through site visits, community engagement, travel, and other forms of experiential learning. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University’s Knowlton School, where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and taught courses in architecture and landscape architecture before moving to Buffalo in 2011.