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OLD GRAIN ELEVATOR ISN'T WORTH PRESERVING

The argument against the razing of the Great Northern grain elevator is flawed at best. The author of a May 17 letter argued that preserving this abandoned, rotting behemoth on Ganson Street is in the best interests of the city. His contention that this grain elevator is as important to Buffalo as the pyramids are to Egypt is quite humorous.

But it's not too surprising. If we were to take the word of the Preservation Board, every old building in this city, no matter how useless, is worth saving. What the board fails to point out is that in the end, it is we the taxpayers who foot the bill.

Let's not kid ourselves here. We are not talking about demolishing the Darwin Martin House, the Frank Lloyd Wright House or the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Mansion. Nor are we advocating razing any of the dozens of legitimate historical landmarks in this city. We're talking about razing an obsolete, hulking eyesore on this city's waterfront. ADM Corp., one of the few Fortune 500 companies left in this city, will pay for the cost of demolition and debris removal. In its place will be a cleaned, graded parcel of land that has the potential to be a valuable piece of reclaimed real estate on Buffalo's waterfront.

The Preservation Board cannot even get funding to restore a legitimate historical landmark like the Central Terminal, yet it would have us believe that tourists will flock to see a grain elevator? Sorry, I just don't see that happening. And comparing the Great Northern to one of the seven wonders of the world like the pyramids, in terms of architectural importance, is just ludicrous.

JOSEPH J. BALDI

Buffalo

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