Grain elevators are among the most iconic of all structures on the plains of the United States and Canada. They not only contribute to the economies of rural communities, but also serve as a wayfinders in sparsely settled areas. Colorado boasts a variety of grain elevator types, many of which face threats due to changes in agriculture that have resulted in abandonment, demolition or neglect. The objectives of this project were to locate, photograph and document grain elevators in a research area from Interstate-25 to the Colorado eastern border. Through a summer seminar course, graduate students learned how to conduct a selective reconnaissance survey, develop and apply research skills, prepare a context study, and synthesize their findings for the final report. More than 280 extant grain elevators were identified and documented.
Reconnaissance Report and Historic Context: Eastern Plains and Front Range Grain Elevators of Colorado