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Local News

Amherst will wrap up the yearlong celebration of its bicentennial with a ceremony Monday, Dec. 17. The town marked its 200th birthday with a series of events throughout 2018. The closing ceremony starts at 3 p.m. Monday in the Amherst Municipal Building, 5583 Main St., Williamsville. The Amherst Symphony Quartet will perform and officials will show a tribute video an…

Buffalo

Michigan Avenue soon will be illuminated with an artistic archway that aims to make the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor a destination point. The $322,000 structure, which will span Michigan Avenue between Broadway and William Street, is Buffalo's first full archway in recent history, said Common Council President Darius G. Pridgen. “It will literal…

History

Today, Church Street between Franklin and Pearl streets is an urban canyon, with the Prudential/Guaranty Building and the New York Telephone building to the south, and the Rath Building and Main Place Towers to the north. The view in 1880 was about to change drastically, but for the moment looked a lot like it had for more than 50 years – back to a time when Buffalo…

History

The original Lafayette Square Theatre, on the northeast corner of Lafayette Square at Washington and Broadway, was built in 1901. It held 1,600 people in balcony seats – there was no gallery. It was devoted “entirely to the burlesque” when it was opened, although by 1916, it was hosting baseball fans when the Bisons were out of town. A “paragon playograph” was set u…

History

Even removing any social justice or political overtones, as a community, Buffalo has a tortured relationship with national chains, especially chain restaurants. On one hand, we are proud of our superlative and eclectic local dining scene, and we are very encouraging and protective of our Western New York neighbors trying to make it in the slim-margin restaurant world. …

Buffalo

An important anniversary in the history of the United States came and went last week with barely any notice: the end of Prohibition. But they noticed at 85-year-old Hodge Liquor, a small, always-family-owned liquor store in Elmwood Village that owes its birth and its very existence to the moment when it became legal to sell and consume alcohol again. Italian immigran…

Buffalo

James T. Kelley Sr. has a warm smile that quickly turns to laughter. It is a character trait that appears to have served Kelley well throughout his 93 years and, including his two years in the Navy during World War II and 1 1/2 years in the Navy during the Korean War. "I just liked the Navy — the water, the boat, the camaraderie," Kelley explained. A lifelong Sout…

Local News

On the anniversary of one of the most profound days in American military history, two of Buffalo's major companies gave a serious boost to a major military monument that is on track to open downtown next year. M&T Bank and Delaware North announced Friday, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, a $200,000 joint grant to the African American Veterans Monument, a first-of-its-k…

History

With an influx of people speaking languages other than English in Buffalo during the 1910s and '20s, civil service positions were created in Buffalo to provide city services to those who spoke Polish or Italian as their primary tongue. Civil service tests were offered specifically to Polish and Italian speakers to become police officers, especially in neighborhoods wher…

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. For most of Buffalo’s history, the easiest place to shop was Main Street downtown. Until the 1980s, the largest and best-stocked dry goods and department stores had names l…

History

The area shown in this Stuyvesant Plaza photo has changed much over the last 32 years. No longer standing are the Safeway locksmith and Fotomat kiosks, and the Mister Donut store was a Bakerman Donuts location in the '90s, and has been a Just Pizza location since then. The Your Host sign still stands, but for 20 years or so has advertised Chinese Kitchen instead. …

Hamburg

Working as a clerk for an insurance company in Manhattan, 21-year-old Robert J. Kenefic was earning money to resume his college education. But he ran out of cash while studying at Iona College and did not want to take out loans. So he found work. Then Uncle Sam found him. By way of a draft notice, Kenefic embarked on a different kind of education. It left him shaking…

History

A monthly story time program for families begins Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, 825 Depot Avenue West. Stories, crafts and snacks will be offered for the program geared toward children between 3 and 9 and their caregivers. Story time, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., doesn't include admission to the Heritage Center. The program k…

Buffalo

Bob Pawelski's mother sent him out to the garage of her Hamburg home three years ago for holiday decorations and he ended up forging an unexpected connection with his long dead grandfather. As Pawelski rummaged through boxes, he says he "uncorked" a Tupperware container and discovered  a "dusty vinyl pouch" containing the World War I journal of Louis Pawelski. "It wa…