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History

For generations, Niagara Square has been known as the civic center of Buffalo life, anchored by City Hall. Up until the 1920s, Niagara Square was also a residential address. Millard Fillmore spent most of his post-presidential years living in a sprawling mansion that was torn down to build the Statler Hotel. Judge Samuel Wilkeson, the "Father of Buffalo” who was r…

History

“Who owns Buffalo?” was the question that celebrated Buffalo reporter Anne McIlhenney Matthews set out to answer in the Aug. 17, 1965, edition of her column “There Oughtta Be a Law” in the Courier-Express. McIlhenney Matthews was the only woman reporter at the Courier when she joined the paper in 1923. “Anne was a liberated woman from the day she was born,” said one…

History

It’s been 25 years this fall since the Walker Center opened on Main Street just east of I-290. Glen Campbell Chevrolet opened on the same spot 70 years ago in 1949. It was billed as Western New York’s most up-to-date dealership with 12,000 feet of space in the showroom, 215 feet of frontage on Main Street and a service garage large enough to work on two cars simultaneou…

History

Everyone has a favorite pizza place, but if you love the doughy, cheesy, sweet-sauced, charred-pepperoni pie that’s typical in the 716, one way or another, you can trace the pizza you love back to the Bocce Club on Hickory Street near Eagle in the 1940s. While pizza was already a popular dish in the Italian sections of Buffalo, especially on the West Side, only a small …

History

Without fanfare, on Labor Day 1956, the SS Canadiana – “The Crystal Beach Boat” – made its last daily run on the last day the Crystal Beach amusement park was open for the season. It wasn’t until a couple months later it was announced that the old steamer, moored in its spot by the Marine Drive Apartments, had carried its last Buffalonian across the lake for summertime …

History

Hundreds of people around Buffalo and Western New York tuned in their wireless radio receivers to hear the first broadcast of Buffalo’s first commercial radio station, WWT, on Easter Sunday, 1922. McCarthy Bros. & Ford company owned and operated the station from the third floor of its headquarters building across Mohawk Street from where the Hotel Statler was be…

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

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…

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…

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…

History

The decision to tear down the 60-year-old cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo was “agonizing, but dictated by reality” according to Bishop Edward Head, who, on Nov. 25, 1975, announced that the church building would host its last Masses on Sunday, Nov. 30. The building at the northeast corner of Delaware Avenue and Utica Street would then be closed and raze…

History

As a result of the most successful marketing campaign in the history of Buffalo, even 35 years after the store closed, a majority of Buffalonians can tell you the address of Sattler’s headquarters department store. The fantastic building filled with savings on just about anything you could imagine – the one most of us remember at 998 Broadway – was opened in 1947, but t…

History

“When you hear those thirsty voices calling, be prepared, Mom!” reads a 1970 ad for Mesmer’s Dairy Stores. “Give kids a drink that’s delicious, nutritious and will save you money.” Well, two out of three ain’t bad if you’re talking about the Mesmer’s drink that every kid remembers: Orange Zing. Just like the lesser-remembered Grape Zang, Zing was basically artificial…

History

“The Buffalo Stock Exchange was supposed to put Buffalo on the financial map,” read a 1980 story in The News, “but its timing couldn’t have been worse.” Stock in 65 local companies were available for trading over the counter, and once the opening bell sounded on May 1, 1929, the exchange averaged 12,000 trades a day. The largest number of trades in a single day –…

History

Many of the buildings in this photo are still standing and, in fact, have only in the last several years seen new life with businesses such as Raclettes Parisian Bistro moving in. But long gone are the bright signs that helped make this part of Main Street “Buffalo’s great white way,” considered the greatest display of dazzling and flashing marquees and signs between New Y…