Ogden Federal Elevator R.I.P.

Status of new or continuing risks to heritage sites

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Ogden Federal Elevator R.I.P.

Postby Admin » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:27 am

Updated October 2011. Elevator demolished.
Updated April 2013 - new book published on the lost elevator.
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It has become known that the land that the Ogden federal elevator sits on is being sold and the vendor states it is demolishing the elevator to improve sales prospects of the land (see the Calgary Herald article posted below). The City of Calgary 'Discover Historic Calgary' site states:


Resource Details - Ogden Federal Elevator



Name: Ogden Federal Elevator
Alternate Names:
Address: 4615 15 ST SE
Year of Construction: 1914
Community: ALYTH/BONNYBROOK
Resource Type: CWHR (City-Wide Heritage Resource)

Designations: Federal: No Date:
Provincial: No Date:
Registered: No Date:
Municipal: No Date:



Original Use Type: Food Supply
Original Use SubType: Grain Elevator
Architectural Style: Other

Architect: Department of Public Works
Builder: Department of Public Works
Provincial Master Plan Theme: Agricultural Development
Development Era: 1914 to 1918 (WW 1)
Legal Description:
Other Significant Dates:

Significance Summary: As a result of the expansion of government involvement in the grain industry early in the century, the federal government erected a series of "inland terminal" elevators. This landmark has dominated southeast Calgary since it was erected in 1914, and remains one of the largest structures in the city. It provides a powerful architectural link with the region's grain-farming past. The rectangular concrete-and-brick elevator tower rises twenty storeys, and is complemented by a nest of concrete tubular storage bins. Together these cover an area 200 feet wide by 500 feet deep. The elevator is an excellent example of an early use of slip-cast concrete construction technology, and is perhaps the pre-eminent example of its time of the "industrial aesthetic". (1982)


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Postby Admin » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:06 am

Links to similar sites which have been been at similar risk:

Concrete Atlantis
(Urban Design Project - U of Buffalo)
http://128.205.118.147/pub/concrete_atlantis.htm
http://128.205.118.147/pub/pdf/concrete_atlantis.pdf

Silo #5 in Montreal
http://www.calgaryheritage.org/document ... ntreal.pdf

Industrial Building in the West: The Dominion Goverment Elevators at Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Calgary
(Bulletin Magazine / Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada)
http://www.calgaryheritage.org/document ... 3.1991.pdf

Distillery District in Toronto
http://www.distilleryheritage.com/snippets/62.pdf
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Postby greenwood714 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:00 pm

Another good article by Patricia Vervoort about grain elevators and their relationship to historic Canadian prairie identity.

“Towers of Silence”: The Rise and Fall of the Grain Elevator as a Canadian Symbol
http://pi.library.yorku.ca/ojs/index.php/hssh/article/viewFile/4216/3414
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SOS - Saskatoon Elevator Terminal

Postby cjane » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:06 pm

Here is a link to the Statement of Significance for the Saskatoon Elevator Terminal. This elevator is an older "sister" to the Ogden elevator and pre-dates it by 2 years. Another "sister" was constructed in Moose Jaw, also in 1912.

http://www.tpcs.gov.sk.ca/govt-grain-elevator-saskatoon
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Postby LAB » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:56 pm

We were disappointed to learn that the Cargill Grain Elevator also known as the Ogden Federal Elevator will be torn down in the near future.

We believe it has great historical and architectural significance
• as an example of early industrial architecture critical to Calgary’s early history
• as an innovative construction techniques – early slip-cast concrete
• reference by Le Corbusier


“Le Corbusier advanced the building as a sterling example of the 'engineer's aesthetic' which allowed North Americans to build unfettered by the burden of history.” Prairie Architecture Edited by Trevor Boddy 1980


“Le Corbusier’s book also included a photograph by Harry Pollard of the Dominion Government Elevator in Calgary. According to architectural historian Trevor Boddy, the Calgary elevator became “the most internationally renowned piece of Alberta architecture” because of its inclusion by Le Corbusier.

39 American historian Reyner Banham makes the same point, but dismissively, he says the Calgary elevator is “notable chiefly because it was illustrated by Le Corbusier Not included in Gropius’s publication, the
Calgary elevator was completed only in the fall of 1915; the supervising engineer for its construction was C. D. Howe.

“Towers of Silence”: The Rise and Fall of the Grain Elevator as a Canadian Symbol”
PATRICIA VERVOORT*

Also noted in James Martin’s Book Calgary :the Unknown City 2001

See also pruned.blogspot.com/2006/10/grain-elevators.html

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Cargill Grain elevator

Postby cjane » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:55 am

Today's article in the Calgary Herald provides a variety of perspectives on the elevator's fate:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Demolition+grain+elevator+painful+heritage+advocates/5021628/story.html

It's looking grim. :cry:
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Postby newsposter » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:05 pm

bump ^
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Vanishing Sentinels

Postby vanishing sentinels » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:28 pm

Hi. My name is Jim A Pearson. and am the author of Vanishing Sentinels: The Remaining Grain Elevators of Alberta and BC (2007) and Volume II: The Remaining Grain Elevators of Western Saskatchewan. I am hoping to get an updated version of the first book done for 2012, since there is a lot of elevators that have been lost since the book was released, and I have updated the database with the help of the Canadian Grain Commission.

I also have two websites with photos detailing the remaining elevators I have shot or have had fellow vatorologists taken across the prairies and into eastern Canada.

WHen I heard about the old Canadian Government elevator possibly coming down... I must admit that I am disappointed to hear that. That elevator is one of the last few concrete elevators remaining in Calgary, and it would be a tragedy to see it demolished.

I hope that something can be done to save this part of Calgary's grain history!

Cheers!

Jim A Pearson
Vanishing Sentinels
http://vanishingsentinels.ca
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Ogden Federal Elevator marked for demolition

Postby LauraGrace » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:36 am

Demolition on the historic Ogden Federal Grain Elevator has begun. Calgary Herald article by Jen Gerson at the below link:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/Landmark+e ... story.html

Landmark Elevator Coming Down: Ogden Grain Facility Nearly a Century Old

"Once hailed by a master of architecture, the slow demolition of the Ogden Federal Elevator has begun.

Built in 1915, the stark, hulking edifice was once featured in famed architect Le Corbusier's Vers Une Architecture next to the Parthenon; a symbol in concrete of the noble, functional prairie. Now it sits in a traffic black spot, sandwiched by a sewage treatment plant and the producers of asphalt shingles.

Located in the southeast of the city and within sight of Deerfoot Trail, the building is nearing its end. About a fifth of the structure has been razed.

Lamenting the loss of the historical monument, which was once a city landmark, the Calgary Heritage Authority has taken pains to photograph its inner silos.

"Ideally, we hate to see it torn down, but without any practical adaptive use for the building, it's hard for us to advocate for it to be saved," said Scott Jolliffe, the authority's chairman.

Like thousands of other grain elevators across the province, the Ogden terminal was sacrificed to more efficient modern counterparts. The painted wooden elevators that were once the focal points of dotted rural towns have been made obsolete by high-throughput elevators. While the iconic old lifts could fill a grain train at the rate of four to eight cars per day, the faster versions can stuff 110 cars in the same span.

And while the elevators have a simple, clean look from the outside; inside they're windowless silos filled with dust, bins and vermin.

"We forget that there were 6,000 elevators on the prairies at one time and now we're down to 500 and still falling," Jolliffe said. "They're worth saving as symbols, but as a building, to reuse they're very challenging."

Some cities have managed to salvage their elevators; Akron, Ohio, turned theirs into a hotel and a silo in Montreal still stands. Several years ago, the town of Nanton banded together to save its red, triangle-topped elevator. They turned it into a museum.

However, the location and condition of Calgary's monument make preservation difficult. Planted in the middle of an industrial sector, it's too far out of the downtown to be considered as a hotel, meeting space, library or museum.

"How do you use 56 concrete silos, basically?" asked Jolliffe. "They have no windows in them. They're very difficult to reuse for anything without spending millions and millions of dollars retrofitting."

In addition, Le Corbusier's judgment notwithstanding, finding the elevator's outer beauty is no easy task.

"It's pretty to someone who's interested in industrial architecture," Jolliffe said. "I'd agree that does not include many people."

Even though it has been standing for almost a century, the Ogden elevator still impresses onlookers with its stature.

"This was built in the horse and buggy days, and when you see the scale of it, the size of it, the volume of materials. The amount of work that went into it is hard to believe."

The authority's photographs will be kept on record with the city's heritage planning group."
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Postby greenwood714 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:22 pm

Photos of the demolition. August 3, 2011

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IMG_1164 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1166 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1171 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1170 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1169 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1177 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1174 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1173 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1172 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1176 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1182 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1179 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1183 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1185 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1187 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1216 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1239 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr
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Ogden Elevator discussion on CBC

Postby cjane » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:29 pm

Listen to CBC's "As it Happens" broadcast on August 4, 2011 for an interview with CHI President, Cynthia Klaassen, about the demolition of the Federal Grain Elevator.

http://www.cbc.ca/asithappens/episode/2011/08/04/thursday-august-4th-2011/.
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Postby greenwood714 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:21 pm

Photos of the demolition. September 1, 2011

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IMG_1498 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1503 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1504 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1506 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1509 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1512 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1515 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1516 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1521 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1522 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1523 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1524 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1525 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1529 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1530 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1531 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr

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IMG_1532 by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr
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Postby greenwood714 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:27 pm

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Postby greenwood714 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:45 pm

Two days to go.

Image
Demolition Day - Minus 44 Hours by samuel.boisvert, on Flickr
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Photos of Government Elevator taken spring 1977

Postby Brokenrail49 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:30 pm

In the spring of 1977 I was out taking photos of the wooden Railway trestle on the old Canadian Northern that was being replaced by a steel one for the new Deerfoot trail, I took these photos of the Canadian Government Elevators, at that time they were still unloading grain from boxcars.Image[/url]
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