After 70 Years, Phoenix Grain Elevator Could Be Demolished

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 - 5:05am
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(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
A developer wants to demolish the former site of the Valley's first major grain storage facility.

Seventy years after it was built, the first major grain storage facility in the Valley could be demolished. A developer is scheduled to make his case to the Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission today.

Just off Interstate 17, west of downtown Phoenix, a dozen silos tower above warehouses and homes. When Del Webb built the grain elevator in 1947, it was the largest in the Southwest, attracting spectators who watched men work around the clock. Allied Grain Company collected and stored wheat, oats and barley until Feeders Grain took over the facility.

“It was very important at the time,” said Michelle Dodds, historic preservation officer for the city of Phoenix. “The country was booming, and all the farmers really needed a place to store their grains.” 

Dodds said the grain elevator has not been used in many years, and a developer wants to buy the site and demolish the elevator along with several buildings. 

“There’s a local business that wants to expand that needs the access to the railroad,” she said.

The potential buyer told KJZZ he could not comment but will make a presentation to the preservation board.

Currently, the site has no historic designation but board members could initiate a process to delay demolition.