Share this article

print logo

A Closer Look: Explore Western New York's architectural treasures

If there's one thing Western New York does not lack, it's buildings worth exploring. Buffalo News photographers are going inside, outside, above and, on occasion, underneath local landmarks for The News' ongoing "A Closer Look" series. These galleries take you behind the scenes, into rooms that most people do not have access to, and help you discover details you may have overlooked.

Here's what we have highlighted so far. If you have an idea for a building or landmark you would like to see showcased, please email 

International Preparatory School at Grover Cleveland.  The building was designed by architect H.W. Hoefer, architect for the State of New York. The Colonial Revival building was constructed in 1913, as the Buffalo Normal School  and was the predecessor to SUNY Buffalo State. Architectural Digest recently stated that "The International Preparatory School is one of the most beautiful buildings in Buffalo, and perhaps even New York State.”  It was Grover Cleveland High School from 1931 until 2011. It reopened as the present school in 2013. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

The Roycroft Campus. A National Historic Landmark since 1986; the campus dates back to the late 1800s. Visitors to the campus get a close-up look at the American Arts and Crafts Movement. The Roycroft name and symbol came from the combination of two words: "royal" and "craft," symbolizing an object so well-made it was fit for royalty. The Roycroft logo design has a circle with a two-armed cross above it. Believed to be from medieval times, it was used by monks at the end of their illuminated manuscripts. Founder Elbert Hubbard put the R inside the circle to make it represent the Roycroft. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)


The SS Columbia.  Docked in the Buffalo River near Silo City. The nation’s oldest remaining excursion steamboat, conjures up memories of  Buffalo’s own proud vessel – the beloved SS Canadiana . The Columbia – designed by the same architect as the Canadiana and her sister ship, the SS Americana – will remain in Buffalo for a year or two before moving on to New York City, where preservationist hope to restore it to working condition. Preservationists, of course, had tried to save the Canadiana – which shuttled generations from Buffalo to Crystal Beach. (Derek Gee and Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

The Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse. Built in 1875 at the cost of $90,000, the lighthouse was decommissioned in 1958. Employees of Golden Hill State Park say the lighthouse has a history of paranormal occurrences.  There have been at least four shipwrecks off Thirty Mile Point. The building that includes the lighthouse tower was constructed as a residence for the lighthouse keeper and assistant, as well as their families. Since about 2000, the upstairs flat, with three bedrooms, an updated kitchen, a comfortable living room and a magnificent view of the lake, has been rented to visitors. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

Hutchinson-Central Technical High School. Known to Buffalonians as "Hutch-Tech," the school was founded in 1904 under the name Mechanics Arts High School and was housed in several locations around Buffalo until it relocated to the current site on South Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. It has served as a learning facility for students interested in building design and construction, commercial art, engineering, machine design and electrical careers. The five-story brick-and-masonry Gothic Revival-style Hutchinson Central School was built in 1913 in the shape of an "H," to honor the Hutchinson family.  (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)

Temple Beth Zion. Designed by architect Max Abramovitz, Temple Beth Zion celebrated 50 years at 805 Delaware Avenue in 2017. The circular building features 10 scallop walls,  a symbol of the 10 commandments. The 1,000 seat sanctuary consists of 60 foot ceilings and two 30 foot high commandment tablets. Founded in 1850, Temple Beth Zion is the largest Jewish congregation in Western New York and one of the oldest and largest Reform congregations in the nation.  (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

The Delaware Avenue Baptist Church. Designed by architect John H. Coxed, who was also a member of the congregation, in the Richardson Romanesque style. The cornerstone was set in place in 1894. The graceful arches of the Delaware Avenue facade lead to the vaulted auditorium crowned with an art glass dome. The auditorium is supplemented by some of the finest mosaics in the city.  (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)


M&T Center's Gold Dome Bank. Originally built for the Buffalo Savings Bank. It was the vision of architects E.B. Green and William Sydney Wicks. The building, made of granite, is neoclassical Beaux Arts style and was finished in 1901. The gold dome at the top has been refinished three times -- in 1954, 1979 and 1998. The gold-leafed dome measures 23 feet tall and 56 feet in diameter. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)


Maid of the Mist. In 1846, the first Maid of the Mist steamboat, large enough to carry a stagecoach and horses, was christened to transport people, luggage, mail and cargo. In 1848, construction of a suspension bridge curtailed business, and the Maid of the Mist was re-branded as a sightseeing adventure that still operates to this day. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)



The Central Terminal. After Amtrak departed the East Side landmark, the art deco structure fell into disrepair, victimized by an inattentive city administration, poor private ownership, vandalism and the march of time. Today, the enormous complex – which includes a concourse, tower building and baggage building – has urgent repair needs.  (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)



Silo City. Consists of three grain elevator silo buildings - the Perot Malting Elevator, the American Elevator and the Marine "A" Elevator - and other obsolete plants situated on Childs Street along the Buffalo River near downtown Buffalo. The centerpiece of the complex is the Perot Malting Co. elevator and semi-attached malting house, which got its start in 1907 and closed in 1963 after the company dissolved. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)


The Broadway Market. The 127-year-old market at 999 Broadway Ave. in Buffalo has kept its old-world shopping atmosphere with family-owned and operated businesses selling fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, meats, exotic and unusual products. The third location and current home of the Broadway Market was built in 1956 and is 90,000 square feet in size. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)


Our Lady of Victory Basilica. Shortly after a fire severely damaged St. Patrick's Church in Lackawanna, Father Nelson Baker dreamed of replacing it with a grander building dedicated to Our Lady of Victory. Construction began in 1921 and finished by Christmas in 1925. Measuring 80 feet in diameter and close to 120 feet from the floor, the dome contains the painting of the Assumption and Coronation of the Blessed Mother. Take a look inside one of Western New York's most beautiful churches. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)


The Richardson Olmsted Complex. Designed by one of America's premier architects, Henry Hobson Richardson, in concert with the landscape team of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the building was completed in  the late 1800s as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane. It is currently being transformed into the Buffalo Architecture Center and Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center.  (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)


The Market Arcade. Is one of Buffalo's most unusual and decorative spaces, a 1892 beaux arts and neo-classical building that is considered the best surviving example of an early retail establishment in the city. G.B. Marshall commissioned Buffalo architects E.B. Green and W.S. Wicks to model the building after an arcade in London. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)


The Colored Musicians Club. The oldest running African-American club in the United States. In its heyday, it hosted jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and many more.  Jazz music can still be heard in the upper room. A century ago, eight local black musicians formed their own union, Local 533. That local soon morphed into the Colored Musicians Club, which later moved to the corner of Broadway and Michigan Avenue. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Karpeles Manuscript Museum: North Hall. Once the former First Church of Christ, Scientist. The congregation commissioned Chicago architect Solon S. Beman to design the building at 220 North St. The structure was built in 1911. The Christian Scientists occupied the building until the early 1980s,  it was purchased by the Museum in December 2003.  (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)


The Guaranty Building. Buffalo businessman Hascal T. Taylor commissioned Louis Sullivan to build the “finest office building in the country. The Guaranty Building was completed in 1896 by the Guaranty Construction Co. of Chicago. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1975 and represents the beginning of a uniquely American style of architecture. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)



Statler City. The Statler Hotel, designed by George B. Post & Sons, was completed in 1923, near Niagara Square. It was the second and largest hotel opened in Buffalo by Ellsworth Statler and was once the grand hotel of Buffalo. Mark Croce, the building's current owner, has restored three levels of the building to date, with more changes in store. (Mark Mulville/The Buffalo News)


The Riviera Theatre and Performing Arts Center. The theater in North Tonawanda is owned and operated by the Riviera Theatre and Organ Preservation Society, its mission is to preserve and maintain the historic theater and its Mighty Wurlitzer organ and to promote the performing arts. Billed as the “showplace of the Tonawandas,” the theatre was built in 1926 by the Yellen Family. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)


The Michael J. Dillon U.S. Courthouse. Renamed in 1987 in honor of Internal Revenue Service employee Michael J. Dillon, the courthouse occupies an entire block along Niagara Square and will become the City of Buffalo's new public safety complex. Construction  of the seven-story sandstone and steel courthouse in 1936 was part of the Emergency Relief and Construction Act of 1932.  (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)



The Darwin Martin House. Designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright and completed in 1905 for Darwin D. Martin and his family. The most substantial and highly developed of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie houses in the Eastern United States. The multi-structure estate was placed on the National Historic Landmark in 1986 and receives visitors from around the world. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)



1005267133-inside-city-h37Buffalo City Hall. The Art Deco building, completed in 1931, is rich with artwork.  "Frontiers Unfettered by Any Frowning Fortress" by artist William de Leftwich-Dodge visable over the entrance way,  depicts Buffalo as an international gateway to Canada. The most significant murals are in the first-floor lobby; however paintings, artwork, and elaborate tile work extend throughout the building.  (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)



1005514973-ellicott-square-gee36Ellicott Square. The Ellicott Company commissioned architect Daniel H. Burnham of Chicago in 1895 to design an "office block" in downtown Buffalo. The building is 144 feet tall, comprising the entire block between Main Street and Washington Street. It was the largest office building in the world when it opened on May 30, 1896, at a cost of $3.5 million. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)


1005629731-history-museum-gee21Buffalo History Museum. Built by architect George Cary in 1901 as the New York State Building for the Pan-American Exposition, it is constructed of white Vermont marble. The Secretary of the Interior designated the Historical Society building as a National Historic Landmark in 1997.  It remains the most important surviving building from the Pan-American Exposition. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)


1005650510-lafayette-hig16Lafayette High School. This treasure was the third high school built in Buffalo, and the oldest that still remains in its original building. The school was designed by Buffalo architects Esenwein and Johnson and constructed in 1901 by Mosier and Summers. Located in Buffalo's Upper West Side, the school opened on Sept. 10, 1903. In 1999, the LHS Alumni Association restored the building's landmark cupola. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)


1005709837-wilcox-mansion-gee41Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site. The Ansley Wilcox Mansion was approved as a National Historic Site in 1966. The house was originally built as a military barracks in 1838. Dexter Rumsey purchased the house in 1883 as a wedding gift for his daughter, the family lived here until 1933. From 1939 to 1959 it was the Kathryn Lawrence Tearoom . Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office in the home on Sept. 14, 1901, following the assassination of President William McKinley.  (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)


1005786002-sheas-buffal42Shea’s Buffalo Theatre.  This National Historic Site was designed by architects C.W. and George L. Rapp. Its interior was designed by Tiffany Studios and features a Neo-Spanish Baroque design that is modeled after a European opera house. Shea's Buffalo Theatre was saved from demolition in the 1970s and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.  Over the past 18 years, Shea's has undergone a $20 million restoration. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)



1005386910-parkside-candy-mulville-023Parkside Candy. After  89 years the 1927 candy shop is getting restored. The $230,000 restoration project began on Aug. 15, 2016. Located at the corner of Main Street and West Winspear Avenue in University Heights, Parkside Chocolate was designed by architect G. Morton Wolfe, based on the Adams Revival style of 18th-century Scottish architect and interior designer Robert Adam. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)


1006056527-fireboat-cott15Edward M. Cotter. The Buffalo Fire Department's fireboat was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1996 and is believed to be the oldest active fireboat in the world, just recently celebrating its 116th birthday. She was originally named the William S. Grattan when built in 1900 by the Crescent Shipyard in New Jersey. The boat was rebuilt and renamed the Edward M. Cotter in 1953. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)


1005876651-hayes-hall-mulville-06Hayes Hall. With its weathered-gray stone and clock tower, Hayes Hall has long been the most recognizable structure on the University at Buffalo’s South Campus. Constructed in the late 1870s as an insane asylum,  the University of Buffalo acquired the building in 1909 to make it the cornerstone of a new campus. The building reopened earlier this year after a $44 million overhaul. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)



1006032545-old-erie-coun57Erie County Hall. Designed by Architect Andrew J. Warner and constructed from 1872-1875, the building underwent extensive renovation in 1925 by Harold Jewett Cook, a local architect renowned for his bank designs. A three-year, $3.4 million restoration project was completed at Erie County Hall in 2015. President McKinley’s body laid in state in the building in 1901. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)


There are no comments - be the first to comment