Elevator Alley

  • Photographer
    Adam Elstein
  • Prize
    1st Place / Architecture/Industrial
  • Company/Studio
    Adam Elstein Photography
  • Date of Photograph
    2014
  • Technical Info
    Digital Pigment Print

Buffalo NY is home to the largest collection of concrete grain elevators anywhere in the world. The elevators date from the early 20th century, when Buffalo prospered as a key hub in the transshipment of grain from the Midwest to the Atlantic. They are concentrated in a small part of South Buffalo's First Ward, an area that has been called "Elevator Alley". Architectural Historian Reyner Banham described Elevator Alley as a "Concrete Atlantis", and argued that their monumental geometries played a key role in the development of 20th century architectural modernism. The notion that I had come upon some sort of lost Atlantis was very much in my mind as I was making these photographs.

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