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Steve Cichon

All eight of his great-grandparents lived here and he can trace back eight generations of ancestors in Buffalo-- it makes Steve Cichon is as thoroughly a proud Buffalonian as you'll find. The local radio and TV veteran, historian and author of five books has turned his passion for Buffalo's pop culture history into a career. Steve is the News Director at WECK Radio and publisher of BuffaloStories.com, has spent the last 20 years renovating his EB Green-designed Parkside home with his wife Monica, and has spent the last 30 years telling people that his bow tie is not a clip-on.


History

The 1980s were a rough decade to love Buffalo. Sure, there was the “Talking Proud” song, but really that was about it. Many of Buffalo’s most iconic industries didn’t make it out of the '80s, and neither did the jobs associated with those factories and plants that closed. Even those who still loved Buffalo found it hard to be “in love” with Buffalo as friends, neighb…

History

“The silent Chinese of Buffalo are good and happy folk,” read the headline describing “Buffalo’s Chinese colony” in the Courier-Express in 1940. “Not one of them has been on police record in 20 years.” There were 96 Chinese in Buffalo in 1900. That number had grown to 110 by 1930. In the intervening years, a small Chinatown sprouted up along Michigan Avenue around Willi…

History

Today, 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. Our 1880 map shows "The Arcade" at the corner of Main and Clinton, on the south edge of Lafayette Square. It was Buffalo's largest office building, and around 1880, it was the home of many busi…

History

Bandleader and clarinetist Benny Goodman was known as the "King of Swing." In 1938, his band was the most popular in the world, and his brand of swing jazz helped pave the way for nearly every form of popular music that has followed since. Goodman and his orchestra played in Buffalo twice in 1938. A month after Goodman played the first jazz or popular music concer…

History

You could call it "the day the roast beef died." Sept. 25, 1979. Flames and smoke poured out of the three-story structure at 1298 Bailey Ave., the longtime home of Bailo's. The fire, which started in the kitchen of the restaurant, caused more than $150,000 in damage to the building and contents, and it ultimately lead the Buffalo landmark to close. From just about th…

History

Today, 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. The German Insurance Building was the backdrop to the dedication of the Soldiers & Sailors Monument in Lafayette Square in 1882, only two years after this 1880 map of Buffalo was printed. …

History

In 1940s America, the frenzied commercialism, hot-burning bulbs and pulsating neon of Times Square ignited a sense of wonder and excitement over what an American city could be. Buffalo had its share of the lights – Main Street near Chippewa was aglow with what was described as "Buffalo's great white way," and the greatest display of dazzling and flashing marquees and si…

History

Frederick Law Olmsted's lesser-known partner in "Olmsted & Vaux" was Calvert Vaux, who designed many of the Buffalo park system's early buildings and structures, including the Farmstead, which was built in 1875 "to be used as a residence and office by the General Superintendent" of the parks. The house and barns stood in what is now the Buffalo Zoo's parking lot. …

History

If the newspaper ads were to believed, the greyhound track at Maryvale and Harlem roads in Cheektowaga was "the most modern greyhound track in the United States" when it opened in 1935. The building of the $100,000 stadium was surrounded by controversy and fears that "illegal betting might flourish in connection with the enterprise." Plans called for a concrete a…

History

These old houses represented several different front lines in the battles over the development of the new Buffalo over the last decade or so. As recently as the early 1980s, the row of houses on the east side of Elmwood Avenue between Forest and what was then a tiny breakfast joint named Pano's were still mostly residential. While the '80s wore on and Elmwood found i…

History

Today, Chronicles begins 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. In 1880, St. Michael Roman Catholic Church was an important enough landmark to be one of the 58 landmarks labeled in the city. The German parish was established in 1851 and grew so quickly that a…

History

Few buildings mirror the battered and unlikely history of Buffalo better than Buffalo's Cyclorama Building at Edward and Pearl. Within a decade of its construction in 1888, the building was obsolete, becoming a stable, a roller rink and a junk storage warehouse until it was bought by the city and left to sit until condemned. Rebuilt by the out-of-work men of Buffalo…

History

They pulled out all the stops. One of the great actresses of the silent film era, Norma Talmadge was brought in amid a parading caravan of 25 touring cars when Marcus Loew of the Loew's Theater chain threw open the doors of his 3,000-seat Century Theatre on Main Street between Mohawk and Genesee in 1921. The movie house with a grand reputation passed through the hand…

Buffalo Magazine: BufFYI

From an unassuming storefront on Buffalo’s East Side, one of the city’s most widely renowned craftsmen puts as much energy and artistry into the single hat ordered from a local walk-in as he does from his big orders from Hollywood costume designers. Gary White is as humble as the generations-old tools of the hat making trade that surround him at The Custom Hatter on Bro…

Buffalo Magazine: BufFYI

As we age, the muscle around the lens in our eyes diminishes in strength and doesn’t allow us to focus up close the way we used to. “It’s an unavoidable anatomical change,” says Dan Leberer, optician and co-owner at Visualeyes. The question becomes how to deal with it. Most people’s first solution is to grab what are essentially a pair of magnifying glasses — commonl…