Todd Hariaczyi - The Buffalo News

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Todd Hariaczyi


History

It was a scene sure to catch anyone’s attention: a cavalcade of cadavers, coffins in tow, parading down Delaware Avenue in the dead of night. Of course, this was a thing of imagination, but it was from the imagination of author Mark Twain. They were escaping — as one skeleton described it — their dismal resting place one or two blocks north of the author’s residence. …

History

Last week, Chronicles provided a whirlwind tour of some of the city’s most recent additions to its burgeoning hospitality market. Our tour, as expected, mentioned nothing of those hotels’ amenities – laudable as they may be – but explored the sites where they now stand. These sites – once the place of homes, businesses and, in one instance, a canal blamed for the outbre…

History

A cursory glance along Fargo Avenue shows little evidence of the express mail magnate whose name not only adorns the street signs of this neighborhood but also once adorned the iconic stagecoaches of the Wells Fargo. In 1872, William Fargo, one of two founders of Wells Fargo & Co., built a lavish mansion on five acres of land bounded by Fargo and West avenues an…

History

When it was announced that a Wyndham Hotel would occupy the long-dormant AM&A’s flagship department store, it was the most recent of several upscale hotel chains to enter into the city’s burgeoning hospitality market. Over the last four years, the Hilton, Marriott and Westin brands have planted their flags alongside such stalwarts as the Hyatt Regency and, more recentl…

History

Buffalo’s most famous – or infamous – season has long been the butt of jokes, largely on account of that pesky Blizzard of ’77. Of course, one season of falling snow, frigid temperatures and high winds should not define a city – Buffalo has a lifetime of that season, to her credit – but winter did contribute to one of the costliest disasters in the city’s history on Jan. 2…

History

The unassuming northeast corner where Main and Seneca streets intersect belies its history. Today, 237 Main St. is the site of a construction project to transform the 16-story building into a combination of apartments, offices and banquet space. Hints of the building’s past as headquarters of the Marine Trust Co. abound – whether they be the carvings of an anchor and th…

History

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. Johnso…

History

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, quite…

History

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 intersection of …

History

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…

History

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. Fortu…

History

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 along …

History

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 of the cit…

History

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 century a…

History

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 a child…