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Forty-five years later, it’s hard to imagine Mighty Taco as anything other than a Buffalo institution, but in 1973, three Army buddies opened what was Buffalo’s first taco stand inside a tiny store front on Hertel Avenue, right in the heart of North Buffalo’s Little Italy. "We'd have old North Buffalo Italian ladies come in and ask what they were,” co-founder Andy Gerov…

History

When it was sold to be developed into homes by a Toronto builder in 1912, “the far famed” Buffalo Driving Park was called “The Mother Track of the Old Grand Circuit.” Pop Horter and George Hosley, two of Buffalo’s most prominent horse men, built the mile-long track on Ferry between Michigan and Jefferson in the early 1860s, right behind the Cold Spring Hotel. Aft…

History

The IRC, International Railway Company, was the forerunner of the NFTA in providing mass transit options in the City of Buffalo and some surrounding areas. Caring for more than 400 miles of track and several hundred individual streetcars left the IRC chronically in debt and left the transit rail infrastructure chronically in a poor state of repair. In 1928, The Buffalo …

History

Very soon, nearly 12 decades of tradition at The Buffalo Zoo will come to an end when Buffalo Zoo’s two Asian elephants, Jothi and Surapa, move to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. When they’re gone, it will mark the first time since 1900 the zoo has been without an elephant, or at least plans to find an elephant to bring here. Buffalo philanthropist Frank Goodyear pai…

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

In 1932, Buffalo was celebrating its centennial amid the Great Depression. The new art deco City Hall opened as a shining example of a modern Buffalo and the E.B. Green-designed Walter Mahoney Office Building was completed, rounding out Niagara Square. A few miles down Niagara Street, preparations were being made to build a new park out of a former industrial site – wha…

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…

Amherst

Carl L. Bucki performed as a child in the annual Christmas Pageant at Polish Saturday School – but the 11-year-old wanted to be home in front of the TV watching the Buffalo Bills play the Boston Patriots. “Everybody was talking about the game. It was the years of Jack Kemp and Cookie Gilchrist,” recalled Bucki, 65, who now is the chief judge for U.S. Bankruptcy Court We…

History

News looked different in 1880, as is clear from the first issue of The Buffalo Evening News. The Evening News offered the following editor's note regarding the debut: “We do not think it necessary to devote much space in introducing the Evening News to public notice, neither do we intend to indulge in extravagant promises. For the former is unnecessary and the latter…

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.…

Local News

The $2 million restoration of the 1903 George Barton House, on the grounds of the Martin House Complex, has been completed. The house was the first of six interconnected structures built by Frank Lloyd Wright on the Jewett Parkway grounds in North Buffalo, and is the final building on the estate to be restored. Cosmetic restoration and mechanical upgrades took one ye…