The Tillotson elevator in Lincoln, Nebraska is majestic in winter light

DSC_3138Story and photos by Kristen Cart

One of the most beautiful projects completed by Tillotson Construction of Omaha was their elevator with its annex in Lincoln, Neb. I was fortunate to be able to persuade my dad to stop with me to take some photos in perfect light.

DSC_3174One of the challenges of elevator photography is picking the structure out from its sometimes tight surroundings.

Usually you can take close pictures with a wide angle lens, which distorts straight lines, but can give you a full view of the elevator. In this case, I was without that tool since it broke when it fell off a chair, so I had to make do with a mid-range zoom lens.

You be the judge of whether the pictures were successful, given the limitations of distance, obstructions, and points of view.


The trademark rounded headhouse rises above one of the largest elevators Tillotson Construction built

This elevator is a couple of blocks from the Cornhusker Highway in Lincoln, and one of the obstructions to a clear shot is an overpass feeding traffic to that main artery through town. The limited view required some cropping of the elevator. But the light and sky made up for the field of view.

The manhole covers display the company name on both the elevator and the annex

The manhole covers display the company name on both the elevator and the annex

We do not know why the Lincoln elevator is not among the projects recorded in the company ledgers. It appears that at least one page was missing from the records, and there is no way to know where it is, or why it is missing. So the only information we have about its construction is from the manhole cover on the main elevator, which says 1955. Presumably, the annex was built shortly thereafter.

Because the facility, AGP Grain Cooperative, was closed, we obtained no further details on this visit. This elevator will be the first on our list when the harvest time comes around again, and we can see the elevator in operation for ourselves.