IHS Built Environment Typology : Structures : Buildings :

Grain Elevators (Part 1)

Pre-Elevator Buildings and Early Elevator Types

Grain Elevators are ubiquitous buildings, yet there is little popular understanding of them and their origins.

The basic arrangement of a grain elevator fits into two main Type-Families based on whether it is a discrete building ("Self-Contained"), or a semi-dispersed cluster of structures (Annex).

Within those classifications, there are several distinctive types based on grain bin design and arrangement, and also evolutionary level. Construction materials and design then determine different subtypes or material variants.

An index to this and related typologies spells out the interrelationships concisely (without the clutter of images and descriptive text). Related and similar building and structure types are in a sibling websection.

Pre-Grain Elevators

These type(s) are not true Grain Elevators, and properly belong with their own building types - but are included here to show the start of the evolution of the Grain Elevator.

They are apparently specialized Barn and Warehouse type buildings (the distinction between the two sometimes indistinct), appearing before the development of the full-fledged grain elevator.

Type Family: Self-Contained Grain Elevators

These types are buildings with enclosed shapes - not semi-dispersed structure complexes (i.e., the "Annex" Grain Elevator Master Type, below). They were the first developed, in the 1840s, and their designs survived through World War II, after which construction the Annex design probably became far more numerous.


You are here where the Grain Elevator typology begins at:
  • Grain Elevator Types 1 - Pre-Elevator and Early Types: Grain Warehouses
  • ...and continues in:
  • Grain Elevator Types 2a - Mature Types: Square-Bin Self-Contained Grain Elevators
  • Grain Elevator Types 2b - Mature Types: Round-Bin Self-Contained Grain Elevators
  • Grain Elevator Types 3 - Later Types: Conveyor & Annex Type Grain Elevators
  • Grain Elevators 4 - Post-Modern Grain Elevators!
  • ...and ends in:
  • Related and Similar Building Types

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