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Torn-Down Tuesday: The Lehigh Train Terminal

This Torn-Down Tuesday was originally published May 24, 2016.

When the new Lehigh Valley passenger terminal opened in 1916, it was “a cause for civic celebration” and “the dreams of years fulfilled.” Its construction gave Buffalo the passenger terminal that for a generation people had been wishing and hoping to see built.

lehighpostcard

Postcard image, Buffalo Stories archives

Called “the most portentous” passenger terminal in “this section of the country,” the four-story structure was built of gray Indiana limestone.

By the 1950s, however, rail passenger service was becoming a thing of the past in Buffalo. The mammoth Lehigh Terminal had become unnecessary and was allowed to fall into disrepair.

On Oct. 1, 1954, the New York State Thruway Authority paid nearly $7 million to purchase the right-of-way of the Lehigh Valley Railroad between Dingens Street and lower Main Street. Motorists who travel the I-190 between the Mainline Thruway and downtown Buffalo are driving along what was once the path of the LVRR.

The terminal itself was demolished in 1960 to make way for the Donovan State Office Building, which was refurbished and is now the home of Phillips Lytle, Courtyard by Marriott and Pizza Plant.

 

Buffalo News archives

Buffalo News archives

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