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When the Skyway was the gateway to Buffalo, 1958

At least one of the finalists in this week’s “Aim for the Sky” competition reimagined the Skyway as “a gateway to Buffalo.”

When the bridge was first built, the Buffalo Junior Chamber of Commerce used the height of the bridge and the roof of Memorial Auditorium to welcome motorists to the city.

The sign was built by Rigidized Metals, which still operates on Ohio Street.

“Rigid-tex metal was used for the letters on the ‘Welcome to Buffalo’ sign which is mounted on top of Memorial Auditorium,” read a 1957 ad. “The patterned surface of modern beauty stays new-looking without maintenance.”

The Aud under construction to expand capacity by raising the roof in 1971.

The welcoming billboard stood for about a decade, until the major league sports came to Memorial Auditorium. When the NBA Braves and NHL Sabres came in 1970, the roof of the Aud was raised and the Orange section of seats was built.

Lower Main Street in 1962. Memorial Auditorium, with the Welcome to Buffalo billboard on the roof, is at the lower left.

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