BUFFALO, N.Y. — It has been a long 9-month battle for Tim Tielman and the Campaign for Greater Buffalo to save the Great Northern Elevator. The last of its kind still standing, anywhere, on the planet.
"We're at an inflection point," Tielman said.
After multiple court battles, accusations of neglect of the property offered by developers to buy the elevator, and countless lawmakers weighing in, the next 48 hours could be 'make or break' for efforts to save it.
"I think, critically if the city actually believed that there was a life-threatening danger, imminent to the public, we wouldn't be standing here," Tielman said, standing across the street from the building.
Unless a judge grants an injunction to halt demolition while one of the last appeals works its way through the court, demolition could begin Friday or Saturday.
"We're very concerned," Tielman said. "This obviously has been a great disappointment, not just to us, but to citizens across the city who want to see this thing saved."
Tielman points some of the blame towards Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, who Tielman says could have ended this ordeal months ago.
The mayor, unfortunately, has never taken the power that he has, and simply with his pen, nixed the emergency demolition order," Tielman said. "He has the power, he knows this."
A spokesperson for the city told 2 On Your Side that ADM wouldn't need any additional approval to begin dismantling the 125 historic buildings. The same building Mayor Brown pressed upon ADM to consider saving. Since the judge dropped the restraining order for demolition in July, the company could begin demolition on August 12.
Tielman says he's urgently seeking the injunction.
"If we can get it tomorrow, that would be great, the day after great," Tielman said. "The urgency is through the roof for us on this."
One, potential, hail mary in this whole process. A Perigon Falcon was spotted perched on the side of the brick veneer that protects the elevator. If the falcon is nesting in, or near, the building, that may prevent demolition.
2 On Your Side has reached out to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to find out if there is a nest on the grounds.