Thesis for Silo City Adaptive Re-use Design – Buffalo Rising

The following Silo City proposal study was conducted by Alfred State College student James Jacobik for his Spring 2017 B.Arch Thesis. According to Jacobik, the multi-pronged plan would bring a multicultural center to Buffalo, in the realm of “New Age Bauhaus Movement”.

“Artists and trades people can collaborate to create and showcase their work to the public. I believe this will bring great economic revenue to the City of Buffalo and will be a great addition to the city’s renaissance.  I was able to meet with owner Rick Smith, and fly the school drone for some great “as built condition” photos. I also have reconstructed each silo into 3D computer models at 1:1 scale.”


The unused tombs of Buffalo’s golden age still lay vacant, anticipating another breath of life. Silo City is in need of an awakening to form the city’s esoteric reality of culture.

This thesis focuses on the renewal of Buffalo’s cultural community. By capitalizing on the availability of federal grants from the Buffalo economic development plan, an adaptive reuse of Silo City will connect artists and entrepreneurs with a formerly urban rust belt community.


By 1825 The Erie Canal was constructed, creating a waterway system in the United States that connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic. To account for the demand of seven million bushels of wheat and flour annually, private grain companies built “colossal” grain elevators and mills supporting a population of 18,213  people in 1842.

By the late nineteenth century hydroelectric power generated by the Niagara River marked Buffalo, New York as “The City of Light”. Local mills, connected to grain elevators, would benefit from this newly found energy source. Buffalo’s population scaled to 352,387 people and was ranked the eighth largest city in the United States. Due to the Buffalo waterway transportation system, The Lackawanna Steel and Iron…

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