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From 1880 to Today: Buffalo’s steeple-dotted skyline

Chronicles continues a weekly look back at an illustrated map of Buffalo from 1880 and examines how the features on that map have – or haven't – changed over 138 years. Click here to explore the map in all its glory.

Taken from the Watson Elevator of one of its neighbors out in the Buffalo Harbor, this image offers a photographic view from the same year the hand-drawn 1880 Hutchinson map was published.

It shows Buffalo’s skyline dominated by three steeples – all three of which still stand, but are certainly less dominating today.

When the photo was taken, the leftmost clocktower belonged to the relatively new City and County Hall building. Today, the building is known as Old County Hall, standing across Franklin Street from the Rath Building. It’s the home of the Erie County Legislature, the county clerk and courtrooms.

The middle steeple belongs to St. Joseph Cathedral, and to the right is St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral.

The foreground area of this photo is today occupied by the Marine Drive Apartments and Canalside.

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