Creston Downtown Grain Elevators
In the southern B.C. interior town of Creston, two wooden grain elevators are up for sale and facing an uncertain future. The elevators are in good condition but grain crops are declining in the Creston Valley and the demand for operational grain elevators is low.
The former United Grain Growers elevator (1935) is unused, and the former Alberta Wheat Pool elevator (1936), declared surplus in 1982, was until recently used for grain storage by a local farmer. The current owner would prefer to see the elevators go to someone who will preserve them, but he cannot maintain the buildings indefinitely. He has explored funding options, including the now defunct federal CHPIF program.
Towering landmarks on downtown Creston’s main street, the elevators are witnesses of a flourishing agricultural industry on the Creston flats that brought the town into being. Yet despite their historical significance and their rarity in the region, the structures enjoy no protected status whatsoever. Their prime downtown location is very attractive to developers, and the potential salvage value of their lumber is high.
The elevators have been threatened with demolition several times since 1982, and each time only a public outcry—and some good luck—have prevented it. The Creston Downtown Grain Elevators Preservation Society has been formed with the intention of raising funds to purchase and preserve the elevators. The Society hopes to be able to maintain one elevator as a working elevator for a museum, and turn the other to a commercial or cultural use, such as a restaurant, art gallery or visitor information centre.
Location: Creston, British Columbia
Top 10 Endangered Places List: 2007