What It Looked Like Wednesday: The silos before the six-pack

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

For decades before the six grain silos at the Ganson Street RiverWorks complex bore the name Labatt Blue, they bore the initials GLF.

The site was home to the then- state-of-the-art Wheeler elevator starting around 1908, replacing the earlier wooden elevator shown below.

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The Grange League Federation bought the elevators in 1929 and renovated and added to the structures over the next handful of years. At top production, a grain mill built on the site in 1930 was filling 100 rail cars with hog and cattle feed every day.

The GLF C-Annex was built in 1936. Its six main 100-foot tall, 21-feet across bins could hold up to 154,700 bushels of grain.

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In 1964, GLF merged to combine Agway, and the milling and storage work done on the Buffalo River eventually moved to Tonawanda. The site was abandoned in the mid-1970s.

In 2014, the six silos of the GLF-C annex were painted blue and wrapped with giant vinyl beer can labels. RiverWorks co-owner Doug Swift called it “the largest six-pack in the world.”

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.