History - The Buffalo News

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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. Fo…

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 …

Local News

After 93 years, the animals in the park-style carousel coming to Canalside in 2018 are back in North Tonawanda, a few blocks from where they were built. On Thursday, a dozen volunteers for Buffalo Heritage Carousel were at work restoring three of the 31 Spillman Engineering Co. animals that until recently had been stowed away in storage since 1956. "They will leave t…

History

On the afternoon of Jan. 20, 1963, 38-year-old bar owner Howard Collins was at his home on Wallace Drive on Grand Island preparing for work when he got into a very heated argument with his 13-year-old son, James. The topic of their fight was something the pair had butted heads over many times before: James’ romance with their 16-year-old neighbor, Grace Muetel. Alban…

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 …

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…

Local News

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…

History

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…

Local News

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…

History

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…

History

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…

History

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…

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…