Eastlake Farmers Co-Operative Elevator Company

S + E elev looking N along UPRR.JPGHistorical Significance

Acting as an embodiment of High Plains industrial agriculture between 1920 and 1960 in rural Adams County, the Eastlake Farmers Co-Operative Grain Elevator stimulated the local economy by providing high-quality goods and services to nearby farm families and large grain companies. As agricultural markets moved away from a focus solely on wheat grain processing, local producers also shifted their attention to sugar beets cultivation and livestock feed production.

To accommodate these changes, the make-up of the storage area within the complex was altered, increasing the number of individual products that could be offered to its customers. With a capacity in excess of 14,000 bushels of grain, this rural elevator is a valuable and evocative representation of the agricultural, economic, and engineering history of early twentieth-century rural Adams County.

In May 2010, the National Parks Service listed the Eastlake Grain Elevator on the National List of Historic Places. The historic name for this structure is called Eastlake Farmers Co-operative Elevator. It is also listed on the Colorado State Register of Historic Places.                                                                                                         

Eastlake1.jpgPhysical Description

The Eastlake Farmers Co-Operative Elevator structure occupies a 1.2 acre site directly west of the historic town of Eastlake and north of the intersection of First Street and Lake Avenue. The property is occupied by three structures: the original 1,080-square-foot timber frame, a four-story Farmers Co-Operative Elevator with an attached 504-square-foot, three story steel frame storage shed housing six additional steel grain bins, and two detached one-story outbuildings.

The elevator itself is a four story stud walled elevator with an 8” x 8” yellow pine post and beam superstructure and nine wood storage bins within.  Horizontal wood bands penetrated by iron tie rods that extend through the elevator interior supported the lateral loads created by the grain stored in the bins.  Corrugated metal siding clads the wood exterior and helped prevent stray sparks from rail cars and other external sources from igniting the grain dust or the fire-prone wood elevator.

Goals For Adaptive Re-Use

Considering its historical significance, the best way to preserve the grain elevator is to adapt it to an economically sustainable use. As a result, the probability of ongoing maintenance and improvements to the building will likely increase. The goals of adaptively reusing the Eastlake grain elevator and associated buildings include:

  • Provide a venue for locally-owned and operated businesses
  • Attract mutually supportive businesses and attractions
  • Attract a diversity of people and cultures
  • Attract uses that support commuters, residents, businesses, and local history