History - The Buffalo News
print logo

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…

The recent improvements on Ohio Street happened without any action involving a dilapidated complex on the corner of Chicago Street. That's about to change. Ellicott Development, which owns several properties in and around the former E.&B. Holmes Machine Company building, has reached an agreement to buy the brick structure and put in apartments, along with some re…

Shortly after 1:30 a.m. on the morning of March 11, 1939, Buffalo firefighters responded to a call at 635 Plymouth Ave. on the city’s West Side. When they arrived, the back of the one-and-a-half-story residence already was consumed by flames that “burned through the roof and shot skyward,” The Buffalo Evening News reported later that day. Firefighters managed…

Some buildings are deeply associated with a city. The beloved Fellheimer & Wagner-designed Central Terminal, which rises 17 stories above the East Side, is one such place for Buffalo. Families said goodbye there to loved ones departing for military service during World War II, and later the Korean and Vietnam wars. Many immigrants who settled in Buffalo steppe…

Nearly a decade before Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow captivated the nation with their notorious Midwestern crime spree, the criminal exploits of a different set of lethal lovebirds dominated local headlines: that of Baltimore’s Richard “Candy Kid” Whittemore and his wife, Margaret “Tiger Girl” Whittemore. The couple’s 1926 arrest in connection to a major ba…

Here are some highlights from The Buffalo Evening News of May 19, 1917: * American Marines were slated for France under the command of Major-General Pershing. The bulk of the 2,600 troops were to be brought home from the tropics where they were stationed. * Belva Lockwood died at the age of 88 after a long illness. She was the first woman admitted to practice before…

Here are some highlights from the Buffalo Evening News of May 18, 1917: * A series of explosions at the Niagara-Electro Chemical plant led to a large fire that spread rapidly, destroying the plant and spreading to the nearby Cliff Paper Co. Both factories were destroyed at an estimated loss of $300,000 and other nearby buildings were slated to be dynamited. Twenty-five…

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 …

Here are some highlights from The Buffalo Evening News of May 16, 1917: * Russia's minister of foreign affairs resigned his post and the Cabinet. After a revolution a month earlier, the coalition Democratic government was already showing signs of chaos. * Major-General J. Franklin Bell, commander of the department of the east, visited Fort Niagara to inspect the offi…

Here are some highlights from the Buffalo Evening News of May 15, 1917: * Russia's provisional government was trying to "stave off collapse" after a revolution the previous month. Government officials announced they are determined to stick to the task of operating a Democratic government. * Buffalo was chosen for a new Army aviation station as the War Department also…

Buffalo's canyon of grain elevators is colossal. They are seemingly impenetrable. And there are a lot of them. In their heyday, the silos stored millions of bushels of grain inside more than 30 grain elevators. Today, 15 still remain, though just a handful are used. Now, an idea – and it's just that at the moment – is being floated to turn the cluster of six grai…

Talk to just about anyone involved in historic preservation, smart growth and neighborhood sustainability in Buffalo, and chances are they're a fan of Jane Jacobs. Jacobs' seminal book, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities," presented a counter-narrative to the prevailing views of urban planners of the 1950s and '60s. The urban renewal they propagated bulldozed …