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Marie Barnett Snodgrass apologized in advance. The Flag Day decision that made her a living part of American history occurred 75 years ago this week, when Snodgrass, now 85, was just a little girl. "Your memory can get kind of dim," she said. There was no need to worry. When she spoke of those days – and the role a U.S. Supreme Court justice from Chautauqua County pl…

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…

Columns

Some people really do call it "The Catch." But then quite a few sports fans would argue that's "tosh." They'd talk about David Tyree pulling in "the helmet catch" of a ball thrown by the Giants' Eli Manning in the Super Bowl. Some would argue that San Francisco's Dwight Clark in 1981 is as entitled as any football player to have made something called "The Catch." Or …

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

Many Western New Yorkers will spend part of Memorial Day weekend visiting the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park at Canalside, widely known for its military vessels, which include three naval ships that are on display where the Buffalo River meets Lake Erie. The park didn’t open to the public until 1979; before that, the property was in a post-industrial …

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…

History

The Town of Boston’s website calls it “the most widely known of any event in the history of Boston.” And it is a grisly one. The story of the North Boston Love murder took place not even a decade after the town was formed in 1817, when it was still mostly a wilderness with fewer than 200 settlers. The true tale tells of the Thayers, a poor family headed by the father…

History

This post is the latest in an occasional series about the men and women who played important roles in Buffalo’s early history. Of the Native Americans who called Western New York home when European and Anglo-American settlers arrived in the late 18th century, the Seneca chief Red Jacket is perhaps the most widely known. Many Buffalo-area residents are familiar with land…

History

This post is the latest in an occasional series examining the history of Buffalo-area highways and streets. Western New York is home to two major east-west transcontinental highways: Interstate 90, the longest route in the Interstate Highway System, and U.S. Route 20, the longest road in the older United States Numbered Highway System and also the longest road in Americ…