Meyer Malting

12/20/2014 22 images Share: , , Album RSS
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Meyer Malting Complex is the only 20th century Buffalo facility near the Erie Canal. Established in 1909, the complex is an example of H.R. Wait's early work. The elevator had a capacity of 500,000 bushels in 14 bins. The elevator features the first concrete workhouse constructed in Buffalo.

George Meyer Malt & Grain was the dean of Buffalo malting houses. In the 1950s it was the largest maltster east of Chicago. George Meyer had learned the trade working with the Curtiss Malting Company of Buffalo. Upon his death the company was taken over by his family and in-laws, later being operated under the Frauenheim name.

Construction of the existing plant, and alterations of the wooden elevator already present, began in 1909. A reinforced concrete malt bin, and a 4-story brick malt house was built, with a reinforced concrete elevator, brick and concrete warehouse and flour mill added in 1920. The plant expanded on a regular basis, and by early 1950 property covered 2 city blocks north and south, and 2 blocks east and west.

In addition to the malting operations, Meyer purchased the 40 year old Spencer Kellogg linseed oil elevating and mill site in 1954. The acquisition added a huge water-based shipping and processing plant to it's holdings. At this time the New York State Thruway Authority demolished the western half of the Niagara Street site to build the I-190. Meyer Malting also sold the southeastern portion of its operation to the Catholic church.

The innovation created by Edward Frauenheim, grandson of George Meyer, of a glass and steel tower to draw barley from the top down by gravity was never built, and the malting operations were sold. Schaefer Brewing purchased the original Niagara St malting plant and the Spencer Kellogg plant, had them until 1985, and then sold the malt house to Stroh Brewery in 1987. The property was immediately sold back to the Frauenheims who hoped to re-enter the malting industry. The property has sat abandoned and decaying since.

The City of Buffalo declared the site in the state of "imminent collapse" and began demolition on May 22, 2006.

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