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History

From private homes, to bowling alleys, to Broadway-Fillmore’s finest eating and drinking establishments, the men of Polonia were raving about the brand-new, solid-state RCA XL-100 console televisions available at the Lucki-Urban Furniture and Appliance store at 881 Broadway. The ad comes from a time when more men took as much or more pride in their television as they di…

History

For the last 39 years, heading to the Buffalo Athletic Club meant you were heading to the gym. After the original BAC fell on hard times, the club’s majestic E.B. Green-designed home was renovated into a modern health club with exercise facilities for both men and women. For decades before it was just a gym, it was a private men’s social club. Very private. When Epis…

History

“St. Bridget’s is purely Celt,” read a 1904 story, “from the stooped form of the white-haired parishioner with one foot in the grave, to the cooing, dimpled-faced infant in its baptismal robe.” More than just reflective of the Old First Ward neighborhood that surrounded the parish, the Catholic Times and Union story went on to say that the church at Fulton and Louis…

History

Erie County will soon turn 200 years old, after being separated from Niagara County in 1821. There are few events here that match the spectacle seen when the county was only three years old, and the Village of Buffalo had only about 2,000 residents. A spectacular and scandalous story of murder captivated the people of the then-rugged frontier that was Western New York, …

History

The Cave of the Winds has been plagued by rockfalls through its history, as recently as 2012. But in 1920, rocks falling behind the cataracts turned fatal. The original attraction wasn’t the winding wooden staircase visitors see today, but a cavern with a natural rock ledge behind the Bridal Veil Falls. It opened in the mid-1800s to tourists and quickly became a popu…

History

In 2019, everyone knows what a hippie is – or at least has their own notion of what the word means. In 1967, the word wasn’t quite as well-known but definitely connected to young people doing odd things on college campuses. WKBW Radio is fondly remembered as the station mostly listened to by Buffalo’s young people in the late 1950s, '60s and '70s – but it was far and…

Columns

One way or another, Wednesday could be a pivot in the saga of the Skyway. Empire State Development, a state economic agency, will unveil 16 design visions at the downtown Central Library that offer possible futures for the monumental and much-debated waterfront bridge to Buffalo. The finalists were chosen from about 100 proposals by designers and architects. While state…

History

Two people drowned in floods mostly east of Buffalo in June 1937. The Coast Guard took boats into Lancaster and Depew rescuing people from rooftops. A motorist died after being washed off the Penora Street bridge near Broadway in Depew. Buffalo’s newest neighborhood was the worst-hit part of the city. The Bailey/Kensington intersection was flooded. Shea’s Kensingt…

Buffalo

More than 150 years of Buffalo winters have worn down the columns that hold up the roof structure covering the west porch of the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site. That's why five of the six 16-foot-tall columns fronting the Greek Revival building at 641 Delaware Ave. were being removed Thursday for reconstruction. The most damaged column was removed last summer and rep…

History

In 1874, in roughly the same place where Buffalo’s new train station is being built, a hurdy-gurdy man was putting on a show with his monkey at what was then Buffalo’s New York Central Train Station. As a part of the act, while he was grinding away music, the “itinerant organ grinder” handed the “trick monkey” a loaded gun – and the monkey shot a man in the face. A mob …

History

Last month marked the end of the 27-year, $52 million renovation to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Darwin Martin House. Today heralded as a national landmark, it was a long-abandoned, overgrown eyesore when a Buffalo architect purchased the main house as an office and home for his family. In order to maintain and save the rapidly deteriorating main house, Sebastian Tau…

Buffalo

The July morning began in the same way as years of Tuesdays for Helen Bowen. As always, she picked up Daisy Estelle Anderson at a Baptist Manor apartment in Buffalo, and they did their volunteer duties at the Ladies of Charity headquarters on Broadway before stopping for a quick lunch at Wendy’s. Only then did things take an unusual turn. Estelle, which is what her frie…

History

If you lived in Buffalo in 1980, there’s no way you didn’t know Big E Bank, Barry Lillis, and Super Duper. Barry Lillis was the zany Channel 2 weatherman from the '70s through the '90s who seemed to be in every parade and visit every school. In his first stint at WGR-TV, he was best known for doing weather forecasts while wearing t-shirts from various community even…

History

Long before the name Woolworth was sentimentally remembered by millions of Americans and the name Knox was one Buffalonians recognize from the worlds of art, sports, and banking, there was Woolworth & Knox in Buffalo. A small blurb in the Oct. 13, 1888, Buffalo Courier describes the pivotal moment in Buffalo history, mentioning a 5 and 10 cent store opening. …

History

Rather than park your SUV in a sea of hundreds of other SUVs and meander among hundreds of thousands of products, it wasn't all that long ago that just about every Buffalonian walked to corner to grab their groceries from the few hundred items being offered by a neighbor who not only knew their order by heart, but probably extended them credit, too. In the 1890s, the bu…