Todd Hariaczyi, The Buffalo News
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Todd Hariaczyi

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When John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, it marked the first time in our nation’s history that an event of such magnitude was broadcast across our television screens. A stunned nation watched a visibly shaken Walter Cronkite announce the death of the president. The images that followed are forever etched in our collective memory: a solemn Lyndon B. John…

Last month, I asked our readers which demolished building they wished were still standing today — the Erie County Savings Bank or the Larkin Administration Building. Readers cast their votes on a Chronicles’ tweet. I expected polling to be close, but I may as well have asked readers if they preferred blue cheese or ranch with their chicken wings. The results were, q…

In 1825, around the same time Gov. DeWitt Clinton was celebrating the wedding of the waters with the opening of the Erie Canal, Mordecai Noah was devising a plan to transform 2,000 acres of wilderness on Grand Island into a refuge for Jewish settlers. It was to be called “Ararat,” after the resting place of Noah’s Ark, and would have been situated near the intersec…

Standing at the empty, wedge-shaped parcel of land where Ohio and Chicago streets meet, it is hard to imagine what the Old First Ward neighborhood looked like over 60 years ago. Any remnants of the homes and businesses that lined these streets have long been demolished, save the long-vacant E. & B. Holmes Machinery Co. Building. Six decades ago, these same streets bust…

When it was announced in June 2013 that Dipson Theatres would not renew its lease with North Park Theatre, many wondered if the curtain had finally fallen on the historic neighborhood theater. The passage of time, previous owners’ indifference to the building, and the exorbitant cost of digital projection were all capable villains for this poor damsel in distress. Fo…

From the deck of the S.S. Canadiana – the boat used to ferry passengers from Buffalo to Crystal Beach Amusement Park – the silhouette of the Comet roller coaster could be seen along the horizon as the boat inched closer and closer to Fort Erie, Ont. The Comet was, in fact, the first ride that greeted visitors as they disembarked from the Crystal Beach Boat docked …

Imagine, just for a moment, Buffalo’s Outer Harbor teeming with activity – houses lining the shores of Lake Erie and excited beachgoers playing in its waters. It’s a scenario that’s been described again and again by many of the city’s civic leaders, seemingly for decades, as they bemoan the death of industry along the waterfront, leaving nothing but reminders …

Let’s get ready to crumble! It’s likely famed boxing announcer Michael Buffer has never stood before the wrecking ball and uttered such words, but how many demolitions during the height of Buffalo’s urban renewal were met with such fanfare? Beginning in the 1950s, Buffalo – like many cities throughout the country – witnessed the demolition of its stock of 19th…

It was a refrain commonly heard throughout our house as a child: “If you keep misbehaving, I’ll send you to Father Baker’s!” My mother never told me Father Baker had died 50 years earlier and that the orphanage so intimately linked to the iconic priest had closed. Perhaps my grandmother had also failed to mention these seemingly important details to my mother as…

Over a century ago, it was shoes, not baseball caps, that dominated conversations at the intersection of Delaware and Huron. Those conversations were not held in a corporate boardroom but rather a family dining room. New Era Cap Co.'s flagship store on Delaware Avenue offers no evidence of the stately mansion that once stood there, but a century ago, it was the home of …

From the moment French missionary and explorer Father Louis Hennepin laid eyes upon Niagara Falls, visitors to the natural wonder have been in awe of its majesty. The three waterfalls that collectively make up Niagara Falls — the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls — attract an impressive 30 million visitors every year. For more than two c…

The sound of the explosion was unmistakable. The music teacher, Mrs. Seibold, directed students to the door, but it was already too late. They were repelled by thick, billowing clouds of smoke and flames that engulfed the hallway. They immediately retreated to the windows at the back of the classroom, breaking the glass and pushing themselves through the small window pa…

On the night of April 14, 1865 — only five days after Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant, thus ending the Civil War — Abraham Lincoln was mortally wounded by an assassin’s single bullet while attending a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. Lincoln’s lanky, lifeless body was carried across the street to a boarding house where he finally succ…

The stately mansion that sits atop a small hill at 641 Delaware Ave. has a long, albeit spotty, history that predates its fame as the site of Theodore Roosevelt’s inauguration as the 26th president of the United States at the height of the Pan-American Exposition. Roosevelt, of course, was thrust into the presidency on Sept. 14, 1901, when William McKinley finally su…

In February, C-SPAN released its ranking of the nation’s presidents from first to worst as determined by more than 90 presidential historians. The results of the polling are not entirely surprising, as names such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln top the list — as they would on any list ranking the nation’s leaders. Buffalo’s Millard Fi…