Historic Grain Elevator Renovation - Hermann, MO

Paradigm Architects, LLC was hired originally in 2005 to provide design and master-planning assistance for several key projects at the heart of Hermann, Missouri’s downtown historic district. All of these projects were driven by owners Jim and Mary Dierberg’s passion for the community and desire to make this a tourist destination built upon the significant agricultural, architectural and cultural contributions of Hermann’s German-immigrant founders.

Historic Preservation of Hermann, Inc. had long wished to incorporate the town’s historic, late-19th century grain elevator into the mix of renovated / adapted structures, but the questions had long been, “how can the complex of connected buildings best be used?” and “how feasible is restoration of such a challenging, maintenance-deferred structure?”

The initial focus was on stabilizing and restoring the basic structure so that it remained sound and contributed to -- rather than detracted from -- the district. The entire original heavy-timber-supported central tower was lifted in place so the badly damaged stone foundation, rotted sill and other timber members could be repaired and/or restored; walls that in many cases were nothing more than a sheet of tin on a few damaged studs were replaced with thermal- and weather-protecting construction; once repairs were complete, the tower was re-set at an elevation complying with current regulations governing construction in the Missouri River flood plain.

With Phase I of restoration complete, the complex is being used as an event space for seasonal festivals, like Octoberfest, Maifest, and the annual Christmas market. Amenities include approximately 5,900 square feet of enclosed, conditioned space (with new toilet facilities), 1,500 square feet of covered space, and generous exterior, connected patio areas. The covered service drive that once carried vehicles conveying grain to and from the elevator now serves as a walkway that provides visitors a glimpse into one important part of Hermann’s significant agricultural past.