Pillsbury A Mill Concrete Elevator, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Concrete Elevator at the Pillsbury A Mill

Address: Second Street Street SE
Neighborhood/s: Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Saint Anthony Falls, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Saint Anthony Falls Historic District, Minneapolis, Minnesota
City/locality-
State/province
Minneapolis, Minnesota
County-
State/province:
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Historic Function: Manufacturing facility
Part of the Site: Pillsbury A Mill

Minnesota, Saint Anthony Falls, Saint Anthony Falls Historic District Minneapolis Hennepin


The eastern portion of this structure, known historically as the Concrete Elevator, was erected in 1914. Its 40 storage bins had the capacity of 1.8 million bushels of grain. The western section, the Concrete Elevator Annex, was completed by 1916. Its 24 storage bins added the capacity of 1.1 million bushels of grain storage (HABS 1987 No. MN-29-5D).

The 1914 portion of the Concrete Elevator has overall dimensions of 104 feet by 260 feet and consists of a block of 40 bins 26 feet in diameter and 100 feet in height. A head house is located above the western end of the structure and a conveyor monitor surmounts the remainder of the structure. Two conveyor bridges connect the head house with the Red Tile Elevator.

The 1916 portion of the Concrete Elevator has dimensions of 104 feet by 156 feet and consists of storage bins of the same height. Two of the bins are 20 feet in diameter; the rest are the 26-foot-diameter bins of the first-built portion of the structure. A conveyor monitor or gallery tops this block of bins. The walls of the storage bins are 5-inch-thick monolithic reinforced concrete.

The head house and conveyor monitors are framed with reinforced-concrete columns and beams that support reinforced-concrete floor and roof slabs (HABS 1987 No. MN-29-5D).

Significance Pioneering work on reinforced-concrete construction was undertaken in Minnesota and is represented by the seminal Peavy-Haglin Experimental Concrete Elevator erected in St. Louis Park in 1899 (a NHL). The first commercial-scale terminal elevators built in reinforced concrete in Minnesota were completed in 1908. The Pillsbury “A” Mill appears to have been part of a group of such facilities that confirmed that the new building material would come to dominate elevator construction (Frame 1989a:E.29-E.31).

Frame argues that all reinforced-concrete terminal elevators, a similar property type, built before 1920 should be considered eligible “because they likely will represent a total engineering approach to the problem of building in concrete” (Frame 1989a:F.7).

The Pillsbury “A” Mill Concrete Elevator Complex is an excellent example of a reinforced-concrete receiving elevator. It should be considered an important component of the Pillsbury “A” Mill complex associated with the modernization period and to have significance under Criterion A.

Character-Defining Features The character-defining features of the Concrete Elevator Complex include its overall form and massing with the block of storage bins and the conveyor monitors and head house positioned above the bins. Additional defining features are the two conveyor bridges connecting to the Red Tile Elevator; uniform monolithic reinforced concrete tank walls; and framework elements at the perimeter of the blocks of bins.


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