Patrimonio Industrial nacional e internacional


viernes, 14 de febrero de 2020

Elevadores de Grano de Canadá en peligro.

Lamentable noticia que llega desde Canadá, con impactantes imágenes del derribo de icónicos elevadores de grano. Construcciones imponentes que se merecerían un futuro mejor que su derribo.

A continuación os transcribo parte de la noticia original, que está en inglés.

'The last piece of the skyline': the battle to save Canada's ‘prairie castles’
Artículo de Leyland Cecco para The Guardian

For nearly a century, a wooden tower has loomed over the prairie town of Andrew in western Canada, rising from the rolling landscape land like a lone sentinel. Built during the agricultural boom of the early 20th century, the grain elevator – and six others that stood nearby – once bore testament to the town’s prosperity.

Today, the main street of Andrew is quiet, even on a weekday at noon. Many of the town’s storefronts are shuttered and all that remains of the railway line is a faint imprint on the ground. The local school only has 70 students, and residents wonder how long it can remain open.

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Andrew is no stranger to loss: over the years, jobs and residents have slowly dwindled. But when its last remaining grain elevator was slated for demolition, the community battled hard to win a stay of execution.

“Trying to save this thing was like praying to God,” said Dave Cuthbert, a resident. “You were never certain if your voice was being heard.”

Grain elevators were once an icon of Canada’s west: often painted a bright boxcar red, they stood in towns across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. As the tallest structures in the vast landscapes, they were visible from kilometers away and were known as “prairie castles” or “prairie cathedrals”.

Behind their simple wood facades was a complex series of ropes, chutes and pulleys to transport and store grain. During harvest season, trains chugged up to the elevators in town and received a shower of grain.

In the 1930s there were nearly 6,000 towers; now fewer than a thousand remain. The destruction, in many ways, mirrors the broader decline of rural communities in western Canada.

Small family farms – once the biggest employers in the region – have been replaced by larger commercial operations.

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And the wooden elevators, where farmers would congregate to talk crop prices and weather, have been replaced by hulking structures of concrete and steel far outside town.

“There’s a feeling in many of these towns that if they don’t have a grain elevator, a sense of identity and community has disappeared,” said Ali Piwowar, an architect who grew up in the prairies. “Some people say they feel their town could just blow away without the anchor point of an elevator.”
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