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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

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. Just north of Main and Huron streets stood the twin-spired Universalist Church of the Messiah in 1880, No. 33 on the map. The church was built in 1866, and then rebuilt following a fire in 1870. The c…

History

It was a different kind of good time on Chippewa Street when this photo of the Root Building was taken in 1983. According to the signage on the building, Radice’s offered go-go girls and topless exotic entertainment nightly. The black and yellow building to the left was the home of the Fisherman’s Wharf, which made Radice’s look like the Yankee Doodle Room at AM&…

History

A great scene of typical life in Buffalo from 70 years ago shows how entirely different life was in Buffalo such a short time ago. Streetcars, men wearing wide-brimmed hats, billboards in Polish, all in a Buffalo/Cheektowaga city line neighborhood where they’d all be unrecognizable today. The billboard was for “Polish Everybody’s Daily,” as the Polish daily newspaper “D…

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. Scarce few landmarks on the 1880 map are recognizable in today’s Buffalo. We no longer call it the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, and it’s no longer alone in the most rural outstretch of the cit…

History

Bishop Joseph A. Burke issued an edict to all of Buffalo’s parochial schools banning the “Twist” from all school functions. The ban came in the form of a memorandum from Msgr. Leo Hammerl, superintendent of diocesan schools, that read, in part: His Excellency, the Most Rev. Joseph A. Burke, bishop of Buffalo, has directed the Department of Education of the Diocese …

History

Most Buffalo neighborhoods had one, if not several, stores like Hertel Avenue’s Spohr’s — a relatively small storefront department store, with the local owner as an important part of the fabric of the community and found in the store six days a week. In 1919, George Spohr’s first store was at 2262 Seneca St. at Indian Church Road. The spot was later home to Jahraus-Brau…

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. Today, it’s the spot where downtown office workers pour out onto Main Street in the summer to watch the free lunchtime concerts that have been sponsored by M&T Bank for decades now. In 1880, t…

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. …