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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon, news director at WECK Radio and publisher of BuffaloStories.com, tells the stories of Buffalo's past through The News' BN Chronicles. He is a local radio and TV veteran, historian and author of five books.


History

We all know that a paddy wagon is a truck that police use to transport a whole bunch of perps at once, either from a crime scene “down to headquarters,” or from jail to court or from court to prison. The term came into wide usage in the 1930s, and references either the fact that a lot of the big city police officers of that era were Irish (thence “Paddy”), or it’s an al…

History

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. Have you ever had the kind of commute where you feel like you need a break halfway between Williamsville and downtown Buffalo? While bumper-to-bumper traffic can mak…

History

Especially since Exit 52A of the New York State Thruway was built at William Street in the early 1990s, the intersection at William Street and Union Road has grown — both in the numbers of commuters and in the numbers of lanes, with both streets now six lanes across. By 2018 standards, it’s a typical busy Western New York suburban intersection, even down to two diff…

History

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. In the lower right corner of our 1880 map, at the corner of Chicago and Ohio streets, is the Niagara Elevator and malt house. It was built in 1868 by th…

History

From just about the moment that construction on Buffalo’s City Hall was completed on Niagara Square, the mostly Italian immigrant, mostly poor neighborhood became the target of those wishing to “give the city a cleaner look.” One front page Courier-Express headline read, “6,000 dwell in slums in the shadow of City Hall. 85 acres of misery near civic center.” The …

History

Starting in 1948, Buffalo television for its first 18 years was a de facto — and in some cases, policy-driven — segregated medium. During World War II and the years immediately following the war, Buffalo's black population grew quickly both in real numbers and as a percentage of the overall population. Eventually, there were a small handful of radio shows that catere…

History

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. In the 1920s and 1930s, a lot was written about “the twin pumps” that brought fresh well water to what is now the Canalside area for most of the 1800s.…

History

The City of Tonawanda has been home to several breweries since farmers began growing hops along the Niagara Frontier around 1810. The Tonawandas' most famous beer factory was at 533 Niagara St. at the corner of Hinds Street. First opened by George Zent in 1867, the place was also known as Busch Brewing Co. – unrelated to the current discount-priced national brand. Th…

History

Two months into the Buffalo Sabres’ first season in 1970, tenor Joe Byron got a phone call that would make him a Buffalo pop culture icon. The anthem singer wasn’t working out, and the Sabres asked if he was available. It was a quick turnaround, and he never even had the chance to rehearse with organist Norm Wullen before he sang for the first time. His first night a…

History

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. This is the corner of Delaware and Allen as it appeared, looking north, in 1884. It was the home of James Sawyer in 1880. He was an early businessman al…

History

Last week, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz offered two different proposals for a new convention center to replace the current complex that is being called “functionally obsolete.” The new plans call for the razing of buildings, including the 1865 Hiram Hotchkiss house at 153 Delaware Ave. which is the last extant example of a Civil War-era home in the downtown …

History

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. It has been known for more than 70 years as the giant old building where the City of Buffalo keeps its snow removal equipment, but the history of what we n…

History

What would become known as the Seneca-Babcock section of the city sprung from the outgrowth of the Old First Ward and South Buffalo, St. Monica Roman Catholic Church and school was built on Orlando Street in 1913. The building was a utilitarian one, and mirrored very closely similar church/school structures that were springing up in newly populated areas – or areas wher…

History

The hamburger has been an American food staple for more than 100 years, and for that entire time, there have been people fighting over who “invented” the hamburger. For the last 30 years, a campaign to claim Hamburg, N.Y., as the birthplace of the hamburger has been raging with enthusiasm, but few facts. After a discussion with a “true Hamburg hamburger believer” sev…

History

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 scaffolding around St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1870, this photo offers a view that would have been familiar to anyone in Buffalo in 1880. St. Pau…