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Preservationists appeal directly to Buffalo mayor to save waterfront landmark

President of Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture asks Mayor Brown to block demolition of Great Northern Grain Elevator.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Preservationists are now appealing directly to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown to stop the demolition of the Great Northern Grain Elevator, heavily damaged in a windstorm a month ago.

After failing to convince a judge last week that the city failed to conduct due diligence in issuing an emergency demolition order to the building's owner, the group's President Paul McDonnell sent a letter to the Mayor asking him to rescind the order, withhold any pending permits to carry it out, and to "compel the owners to stabilize and repair this extremely important treasure." 

It's the latest measure taken by preservationists who are seeking to prevent the destruction of the 125-year-old landmark.

Though it was the city's Department of Permits and Inspections which issued the demolition order, Brown has contacted the owners of the building, Archer Daniels Midland, urging them to explore ways to preserve it and assistance available from government programs to do so.

Meanwhile, a lawyer for the preservationists had hoped to be able to convince one of the justices of the NY State Supreme Court Appellate Division to agree to review the decision rendered last week by Justice Emilio Colaiacovo, and order a new stay of demolition until after hearing their appeal of Colaiacovo's ruling. 

As of Monday evening, there was no word whether any of the higher court justices had agreed to review the case.